R;pple charity founder from Fareham given MBE for online tool diverting suicide searches to helpline

  • Alice Hendy was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for her services to online safety

A bereaved sister has been recognised with an MBE for creating an online interceptive tool - diverting people searching for suicide or self-harm, to support helplines.

Alice Hendy from Fareham, started the suicide prevention charity, R;pple, after her brother Josh took his own life in 2020.

She attended a ceremony at Buckingham Palace today (Friday 19 April) where she received her MBE from Princess Anne.

  • Alice Hendy describes the moment Princess Anne gave her the MBE

Alice Hendy said: "I cannot help but feel a bittersweet pang in my heart, knowing that my brother Josh is not here to share in this moment with me.

"Josh’s unwavering belief in me and his selfless support were instrumental in shaping me into the person I am today, which is why I dedicate this MBE to my brother.

"He may no longer be with us, but his spirit and love continue to guide and inspire me every day and a testament to the profound impact he has had on my life."

Her brother Josh was just 21-years-old when he took his own life after his mental health declined.

Determined to stop it happening to anyone else - Alice founded R;pple Suicide Prevention.

The charity’s tool has been deployed by organisations across the UK and is available in 14 languages. Credit: ITV News

Rpple is an online tool that can be installed on a network or device.

When anyone searches the internet for terms like self-harm or suicide - an automatic pop-up appears on screen with support helplines.

Three years on from its creation - Ripple is now used in 49 countries and has intercepted over 38,500 harmful online searches.

Ms Hendy continued: “I feel incredibly humbled to receive an MBE. This recognition represents the culmination of hard work, dedication, and a passion to make the online world a safer place through my charity, R;pple Suicide Prevention.

“The growth of R;pple over the last few years has been phenomenal, with almost 2 million downloads of the R;pple technology.

"I couldn’t have achieved these enormous figures without the wonderful support of my team, and the kindness and encouragement of my family."

As well as R;pple - other organisations where people can go for mental health support include:

If you have been affected by issues in this article and need help, support is available:

  • CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, runs a free and confidential helpline and webchat. It also supports those bereaved by suicide, through the Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP). Call 0800 585858 (daily, 5pm to midnight).

  • Mind is a mental health charity which promotes the views and needs of people with mental health issues. It provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Call 0300 123 3393 or email info@mind.org.uk

  • Samaritans is an organisation offering confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone 116 123 (a free 24 hour helpline) or email jo@samaritans.org

  • YoungMinds is a resource with information on child and adolescent mental health, but also offers services for parents and professionals. It is the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health, and wants to make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need when they need it. Visit youngminds.org.uk

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