December 2023

Ian Russell made MBE for services to child safety online

Molly Russell’s father Ian has been made MBE for services to child safety online in this year’s New Year Honours list.
With family and friends, Mr Russell, who is Chair of the Molly Rose Foundation Trustees, set up the charity in Molly’s memory in 2017, following her tragic death at the age of just 14.
The aim of the foundation is suicide prevention and connecting young people to the help, support and practical advice they need, and Mr Russell has contributed to the establishment of the Online Safety Bill.
Mr Russell 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 the Molly Rose Foundation 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.
“And most of all it is for the far too many families like mine who have lost a child, especially in connection with online harms.
“There are too many young lives lost, and we must do more to prevent the reoccurrence of such tragedies by raising awareness about their causes and reminding everyone, it is important to speak about mental health and suicide prevention.”
Last month, the MRF released a report in the week that would have marked Molly’s 21st birthday, publishing research which revealed that social media platforms amplify content promoting suicide and self-harm.
Mr Russell added: “It’s also important to work towards a safer online world, and while we are striving to do this, we should make time to check that our young people are safe when using digital technology, to help prevent future tragedies like Molly’s.”

If you’re struggling just text MRF to 85258 so you can speak to a trained volunteer from Shout, the UK’s Crisis Text Line service,

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