The father of a student who took her own life has been made an MBE, for his services to child safety online.
In 2017 Molly Russell, a student from Pinner, died from an act of self-harm after suffering from the negative effects of online content. Since then, her father Ian Russell has been working to support mental health in people under 25, setting up the Molly Rose Foundation (MRF) to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
MRF works with schools throughout Pinner and beyond to help raise awareness about the dangers of online content, and the importance of monitoring time spent on social media platforms.
Speaking to Pinner News about setting up MRF, Ian said: “By just taking one step at a time, even the most difficult journeys can be accomplished. It just seemed very obvious. We had discovered in the most tragic ways a problem we couldn’t believe existed on social media. From this, we hope to prevent future tragedies.”
Ian admitted that being given an MBE was bittersweet, and he thought long and hard before deciding to accept the British order of chivalry.
He said: “I am honoured to be included among those who have been recognised in the 2024 New Year’s Honour’s list. Although it is individuals who receive such awards, I think this is recognition for the work of so many others.”
“This award reflects the dedication of all the MRF volunteers and supporters, who have worked so hard to establish MRF as a successful charity in helping to prevent young suicide.
“I think it is also a recognition for everyone who has helped shaped the Online Safety Act, which we hope will soon better protect young people from the harms to be found online as Ofcom, the regulator, fully uses the new powers given to it by the Act.”
If you would like more information about the Molly Rose Foundation, support, advice, or resources, please head to https://mollyrosefoundation.org/