IT WAS a £10,000 donation that was the springboard to success for a fledgling charity.
And, after making amazing strides in the past few months, Beat The Bullies will officially launch on November 16 at the start of national Anti-Bullying Week.
The charity came from humble beginnings in Chloe Hine’s bedroom after the teenager wanted to set up a support network for people who have experienced bullying.
She and mum Emma Hine did everything in their power to lay the foundations, but cold hard cash was needed to get the charity off the ground.
That’s where Mark Smith, founder of The Car Finance Company in Portsmouth, came in.
Beat The Bullies was awarded £10,000 from the company’s Friends in Finance project, which transformed what it was able to do.
The charity now occupies a large office in Langstone Gate, Havant.
Mark wanted to see the work of the charity for himself and visited the offices.
Last month he visited Hannah’s Holiday Home on Hayling Island, which was also the beneficiary of a grant.
‘It’s great to see how it’s moved on and become more professional,’ he told The News.
‘It’s what we were looking for – an organisation that was going to have maximum impact to as many people as possible.’
Chloe, 16, from West Leigh, Havant, said: ‘The £10,000 saved the charity.
‘If it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t be where we are now. It made me cry!’
Emma, 38, added: ‘The cash meant we could grow.
‘Most businesses have cupboards that were bigger than our old offices.
‘Mark believed in us at a time when we really needed someone to believe in us.’
Dozens of volunteers will be working at the office in Havant and providing support for people who have been bullied.
Every volunteer will have their own funky avatar – which will be displayed on the walls – designed by Havant illustrator, Paul Christie.