‘The light that burns twice as bright,
burns half as long’Lao Tzu
Olly was truly special. He brought joy, happiness and laughter wherever he went and had more friends and adventures than for a lifetime. He had a magnetic personality which lit up a room, and yet he was also a deep thinker and wise beyond his years.
Olly’s Future has the motto ‘love and light’ which sums up Olly perfectly.
He was compassionate and kind and would always put the needs of others before his own. In recognition of his love of humanity and empathy, UCL – where Olly gained a first in History – presents the Oliver Hare Altruism Award every year.
Olly also loved to party and was a great singer and entertainer, taking the compering role in a jazz show at the Adelphi Theatre in London, and leading the Christ Hospital Marching Band during Lord Mayor’s Parades and at Lord’s Cricket Ground. There is now an annual prize at Christ’s Hospital School, where he went until the age of 18, for the Best Musician of the Marching Band, presented to the winner by the Lord Mayor of London every year.
Olly was hugely talented and intelligent. He spoke French, Spanish and German and was getting to grips with Mandarin when he died. He read extensively and could always be found with a book in his hand when he wasn’t in the middle of a crowd of friends. He was an inspiration to all who met him and made friends very easily with his warm personality and great sense of fun. At home, Olly was always loving, helpful and joking about. He and his older brother Sam were great friends, being nearly four years apart in age. They loved each other’s company and were always romping around or teasing one another.
Olly travelled all round the world, but perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is that he kept incredibly detailed journals of all his experiences and adventures. We hope to publish these one day. They include stories of trekking for days in the Amazon, walking on the salt plains of Bolivia, dancing the tango with a gorgeous girl in an Argentinian bar, being wined and dined on a World Traders visit to China after winning an Economics prize to become the London livery company’s Apprentice, and going clubbing at foam parties in Portugal, where his old suede shoes came out ‘really clean!’.
Two summers running, while still at school, Olly helped at a Romanian orphanage and also worked briefly for the local Worthing MP and for the charity Cricket for Change. He worked at Top Desk, a Dutch software company, while at university, to earn money and he also did Saturday jobs from washing up at a beach café to working at Argos.
But the drive that took him forward, seemed to go suddenly into reverse when he came back from Shanghai after the first term of working as a language teacher after leaving university in the summer before. He saw a doctor in early January 2017 and said he was feeling anxious, depressed, lost and unsure about the future. He had a blood test for thyroid which proved fine, but when he rang again, saying he still felt low, another doctor prescribed Citalopram over the phone. It was after just four days of taking this, that Olly was overwhelmed and compelled to end his life suddenly.
We now have a campaign to ensure that the first time a patient is prescribed an anti-depressant, that they are seen by a doctor, face to face, so that they know the risks and possible side-effects.
We lost Olly to suicide on 14th February 2017, just two days before his 23rd birthday. Our lives will never be the same without him.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, with 75% of all suicides being carried out by men. With the terrible loss of our son, our brother, our nephew and our friend, this devastating statistic becomes all too real. As suicide rates for men continue to climb, we will put every effort into preventing further tragedy.
Olly’s impact on the world transcends that of most people who live out full lives. This impact will continue through his memory and the influence he had on so many of us.
Love and Light.