With the new year just beginning, SoGlos is delighted to announce the Hollie Gazzard Trust as our Charity of the Year for 2024.
Founded in 2014, the charity is commemorating its 10th year, but the milestone is bittersweet as it marks 10 years since Hollie Gazzard was murdered by her ex-partner while she was at work in Gloucester.
Since that tragic event, her family have been on a mission to make sure nobody goes through the same experience, working hard to raise awareness of and prevent domestic abuse.
On top of raising more than £2 million, the charity has developed educational programmes to teach children and young people what healthy relationships look like, provided domestic abuse awareness training in workplaces and businesses, as well as creating the HollieGuard app which has had more than 500,000 downloads to date.
The innovative app helps to prevent abuse with its unique, free emergency alert service, which automatically notifies emergency contacts and collects evidence such as video and audio if an alert is raised — as well as providing specialist support and monitoring through its next-level paid subscription.
Hollie's dad and charity co-founder, Nick Gazzard, was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Gloucestershire in November 2023 for his contributions to research.
He said: '10 years has passed with a blink of an eye in one sense. On the other hand it seems an age since we lost Hollie. When I look back on what we have achieved as a trust I am very proud. From the launch of the HollieGuard App and delivering training programs and workshops to schools, colleges, universities, workplaces and other organisations across the country, we have done a considerable amount.
'We have been involved in changing laws, meetings with ministers and completing over seven documentaries. We have had a positive influence on many individuals and in many areas. We have delivered training to police forces, local governments and private organisations. The positive feedback that we have received and also the vast number of messages about lives we have saved is very heartwarming.'
To commemorate its 10th year, the charity aims to raise £100,000 in 2024 so it can grow and help even more people — and SoGlos will be supporting it every step of the way.
SoGlos co-founder, Michelle Fyrne, said: 'The Hollie Gazzard Trust is a cause that is close to the hearts of many people in this county, including members of our own team. As someone who was born and raised in Gloucester, Hollie's tragic murder is something that is etched into our collective memories — and something we hope never, ever happens again.
'With a predominantly female workforce, having the protection of an app like HollieGuard provides a level of safety and reassurance that just isn't found anywhere else — and we're proud to be able to support the trust's incredibly important work to prevent domestic abuse and stalking for everyone, for good.'
Nick continued: 'A charity such as ours should not be necessary, but the sad fact is that it is. We aim to raise even more awareness of the issues that affected Hollie, have a positive impact on more and more individuals, and provide more education. We will be able to do this from funds raised during our 10th year and help us to create a bigger platform nationally to build from in the coming years.
'The problem is not going away, so we will continue to do more of what we are good at and try to have a positive impact on more individuals across the country.'
The trust has a packed year ahead which SoGlos will support, but will begin its anniversary year with a service of remembrance at Gloucester Cathedral, presided over by the Bishop of Gloucester, on Tuesday 20 February 2024 — almost 10 years to the day since Hollie died.