Luton teenager stars on track to raise money for two charities
Raising awareness of the mental health support available for young people
A teenager from Luton who was bullied at school has joined forces with Generation Z to raise money for Young Minds UK and Grief Encounter.
Olivia Lynn, 14, who has been singing since nursery, wants to raise awareness of the support that is available for young people, after spending years being bullied at high school.
The song, Strong, is being released to raise money for Young Minds UK - the UK's leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health - and Grief Encounter, a child bereavement charity.
Peri Lynn, Olivia's mum said: "We want this to be positive for people and raise awareness of the support that is out there.
"She has got through the worst of it and moving forward with her life and we want people to see that and take something from it, and ask for help if they need it.
"We want to raise awareness of her story, she has been through a lot but has made it through and is still singing.
"She had a really hard time at school, she found it hard going to high school, she didn't go to one of the feeder schools so she had to make new friends.
"She just wanted to learn and she was a reliable student, she was the one teachers would ask to help someone else out.
"The bullying started off with small things like pushing or shoving past her in the corridor and talking about her behind her back, but then it got worse and she was punched, stabbed with a compass and had a black bin bag put over her head in an attempt to suffocate her.
"Throughout year's 8 and 9, we were constantly in talking to the school and she was always in the medical room.
"It was really bad and she got to a stage where she didn't want to live anymore, she stopped eating and her anxiety got really bad.
"We were referred to the hospital and her attendance at school declined.
"When she went back to school, the main students that had bullied her had been excluded and things did get better.
"She had counselling which helped her a lot and just before lockdown it had calmed down at school.
"When lockdown happened at first it was perfect as Olivia always felt safest at home until her social media took off and she became ‘TikTok’ famous with over 100,000 followers came so much love but also so much hate and unfortunately Olivia could only seem to focus on the hate.
"I called the school for help with counselling again, as I didn't know what to say to help her, and she started having quite bad OCD tendencies, which were quite worrying.
"Through the help of counselling again and her love of singing and music, she got through it again.
"Earlier this year Olivia auditioned for a project with Generation Z and when lockdown happened they put a hold on that but started on a different project about being strong and getting through hard times.
"She was asked to be part of that and she has loved it, it has helped her focus on something during lockdown and she has made new friends.
"We have had a really positive experience recently and we want to share that to help others.
"We want to promote that you can get through the tough times, you just need to speak up."
Moving forward Olivia will continue working on projects to raise awareness of her experience and will continue with her singing.
Olivia said: "I was feeling very safe being at home at the beginning of lockdown but unfortunately endured some hate during this time via my social media but thanks to having strong the song to focus on I have pushed through and I'm feeling more positive.
"I have decided not to go back to school in September and have opted for home education instead having made this decision I feel less anxious and I am looking forward to raising awareness of bullying and how it can affect ANYONE and asking children to please speak out.
"Thanks to 'Strong' I have been able to do this and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Generation Z and our song."