People from across the New Forest, educational, sporting and musical communities turned out to support the launch of a new charity ‘Olivia Inspires’ to enable the spirit of Olivia Burt to live on.
Olivia, from Milford on Sea, was a gifted and beautiful young woman who inspired others. Only 20 years old, she was killed in February 2018 in a horrendous incident at Durham, where she was a first-year university student studying natural sciences.
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She was just embarking on a journey that would have doubtless seen her leaving a lasting mark on our world. But more than this, everyone who knew Olivia remembers her smile and her kindness, and how she inspired others.
Olivia Inspires aims to allow her spirit to live on by helping young people aged 11 to 18 years, whose families live in the New Forest District Council area and who are facing financial hardship. Grants will be provided to help them develop their potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the arts and sport.
The charity, set up by Olivia’s parents Nigel and Paula, was launched on Thursday (3 October 2019) at Lymington Town Sailing Club, where Olivia, who sailed for Great Britain, was a member.
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The evening included speeches from Nigel in which he said: “I will finish with a thought from Charles Dickens that Olivia would have agreed with: The most important thing in life is to stop saying 'I wish' and start saying 'I will.' Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.” Nigel was followed by Olivia’s friend and British Sailing Team member, Sam Whaley. Sam recounted how Olivia had encouraged him to take the step from being a club sailor to competing nationally which has now led to him challenging for a place in the Olympics. The formal part of the launch concluded with Sarah Le May, the High Sheriff of Hampshire explaining just how important to the New Forest, Olivia Inspires will be.
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The evening concluded with an auction of lots on the theme “Things Money Can’t Buy”. Lively bidding saw lots snapped up including:
- A tour of a nuclear submarine hosted by a serving Rear Admiral
- 3 paddock passes for the 2020 British Grand Prix
- Dinner for 10 at Palace House Beaulieu
- A cricket bat signed by the England and Pakistan sides in 2019
In total the evening raised in excess of £7000 for young people in the New Forest.
Further fundraising events are planned, but the priority now is to get the message out to young people, that Olivia Inspires might be able to help them achieve their dreams.
To find out more, apply for assistance or donate to the charity please visit:
You can follow them on Facebook @oliviainspires or Twitter @olivia_inspires.