Sarah Morrissey remembers all too clearly the night she received a call from her brother to tell her of her nephew’s passing at 16 months of age. The devastating blow was a call-to-arms for Sarah – in 12 years since she has helped to raise over $190,000 for Red Nose to fund research, education and support through her Little Rockers Radio station for kids.
“I wanted to help raise funds in memory of my nephew Dylan, in a fun way, that was easy for children to get involved,” says Sarah, disco creator. “After launching Little Rockers Radio, an online kids radio station in 2013, the idea was clear, a special disco broadcast where Early Learning Centres around the country could Press Play and disco dance, have fun and help raise much needed funds and awareness.”
Early Learning Centres register to host a disco at their facility, wear red on Red Nose Day and children are encouraged to bring in gold coin donations, with all the funds going to Red Nose.
Little Rockers Radio partnered with Red Nose in its first year and the two organisations have worked together since, with hundreds of Early Learning Centres around the country joining in.
“I truly believe that working together as a community is where the magic happens,” Sarah, an Inside Small Business 2017 Top 50 Small Business Leader, said.
Despite COVID-19 approximately 800 Early Learning Centres have registered to run discos on Red Nose Day 2000, which takes place on Friday 14 August. And parents whose children cannot attend their centre for this year’s disco due to the stage-4 lockdown in Melbourne will be contacted and invited to register online so they and their kids can dance away at home. This interest sparks a belief that Sarah will be able raise her target of $40,000 on the day.
“With 3000 Australian babies dying suddenly and unexpectedly each year, there is still much work to be done in the devastating areas of stillbirth,
Keren Ludski, CEO of Red Nose, added, “COVID-19 has presented all of us with many challenges, but just imagine what it’s been like for the thousands of Australian families who have lost a baby during this time? Red Nose is there, providing much-needed virtual grief support around the clock thanks to the generosity of Australians who dig deep each Red Nose Day.”
COVID hasn’t prevented Little Rockers from making a difference. During the pandemic Sarah collaborated with baby swaddle and sleep suit experts LOVE TO DREAM™ and The Nappy Collective to bring better sleep to Australian families and make a social impact, supporting two new purpose radio programs by Little Rockers Radio and The Nappy Collective – Baby Buddy Lullabies and The Nappy Diaries. The collaboration addresses the fact that sleeplessness and anxiety are common symptoms during a public health emergency.
“Lullabies are proven to improve babies sleep and therefore help reduce anxiety in parents,” Sarah said. “Our all-night Baby Buddies Lullabies can lend a hand to many Australian families who need it and in turn help The Nappy Collective with their important work.”
According to The Nappy Collective, many families were already struggling to buy nappies for their babies before COVID-19, and that the pandemic only made matters worse. To date the initiative has supplied over 5000 nappies to individual families that need them, and a large number of nappies have also been passed on to a charity in Melbourne who were running out of nappies to hand out to those they help.