A GRIEVING mother has pledged to fight the “evil, growing trend of bullying” she believes contributed to her daughter’s death.
Nicola Harteveld, from Milford Haven, has set up the Megan’s Starr Foundation in memory of her “beautiful, caring, kind and considerate” 14-year-old daughter, Megan Evans.
After speaking about her loss on ITV show This Morning in February, Nicola said she was overwhelmed with messages of support, “showing clearly that this problem is very real and at some point in most people’s lives they have been affected in some way or another by bullying”.
“Despite my overwhelming grief, I made the decision that I could either let this tragedy consume me and destroy myself and my family, or I could stand up and speak out to raise awareness of this horrifying situation,” she said.
“I don’t want Megan to become yet another statistic and I don’t want even one more family to feel this dreadful pain or be affected by the devastation that this has caused.”
Nicola now hopes to raise £15,000 to help other young people who are experiencing bullying.
“I want Megan’s Starr to be a platform to help young people reach out and help raise awareness of teen suicide and the devastating effect bullying has,” she said.
“To show that words hurt – words can kill.”
So great was the response to Nicola’s This Morning interview, presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have now launched the Be Kind campaign.
They are calling on parents to watch the interview with their children, and so far more than 85,000 people have pledged to do so.
Said Mr Schofield: “Across the country there are children spending the day in fear, too frightened to go to school, too frightened to fight back, too frightened to tell anyone.”
He said Nicola’s story was “a warning to parents, to children being bullied, and to those who take part in the bullying”.
Addressing youngsters being bullied right now, he added: “Remember help is out there, don’t be afraid to talk, it will get better.”
To support Megan's Starr Foundation, click here.