When Sarah Morrissey lost her nephew Dylan to Sudden and Unexpected Death in Infancy in 2008, she knew she wanted to do anything she could to make sure no other family went through the same heartbreak.
So she set herself a challenge –to raise $1 million to fund bereavement support services, research and education.
“Red Nose’s bereavement services helped my family so much, which is why this is so important to me,” Sarah explains.
One of the ways she is raising funds for Red Nose is through the annual Little Rockers Red Nose Disco presented by iHeartRadio. The Little Rockers disco is now in its fifth year, and a much loved annual fundraising event for childcare centres and community groups across the country.
“When my kids were younger I started a radio station called Little Rockers Radio,” Sarah says.
“After Dylan died I wanted to partner with Red Nose, because as an organisation they really helped us with what we were going through.
“So I nervously reached out to Red Nose with my idea and they were so lovely and supportive.”
Sarah said running the Little Rockers Red Nose Discos had been extremely rewarding, while helping to channel her grief.
“Myself, my sister-in-law and my step-sister were all pregnant at the same time, so we went through our pregnancy journey together,” she explains.
“And our boys were all born just weeks apart – Dylan was the oldest.”
But tragedy struck, when Dylan passed away at 16 months. “After Dylan passed away my brother moved to Melbourne and moved in with us, and while he was here he accessed Red Nose’s support services for men, and my mum also saw a Red Nose counsellor,” she says.
“I saw how much these services really made a difference, and I wanted to do something to help, so I started to hold afternoon tea fundraisers at home.
“All our family and friends would come, and we’d raise a couple of hundred at a time.”
Eventually, Sarah wanted to do more, and the Little Rockers Red Nose Discos were born – which has now seen over 50,000 children take part.
“We held the first disco in 2015 at Luna Park and it was so much fun for the kids,” she said.
Although, on a personal level, the first few years of the discos were heartwrenching. “The first year especially, we cried a lot,” Sarah says.
“And while it is painful, it really helps channel the grief, and it means so much to be able to something like this in Dylan’s name.
“Today, it’s become more than just a disco. Hosting a Little Rockers Red Nose Disco can change lives. It’s not only entertaining and fun, but it’s contributing to a much bigger cause.
“SIDS is a tough thing to talk about and raise awareness for, but kids’ music and dancing can help to start a conversation.”
And as for the future? Sarah is adamant to continue raising funds and awareness in honour of Dylan. “My aim is to raise $100,000 a year, which is ten years of discos!” she says.
“It’s so important to me to raise funds to support Red Nose’s bereavement services because they did so much for our family. And it’s just as important to raise funds for research and education, so no other family has to go through what our family has gone through.
“And that’s why I’m so eager to ask you to join with us. Get involved this Red Nose Day and help stop little lives being cut short. Together we can reach zero. “
Your donation helps make sure grieving families have free access to vital support services so they don’t have to endure the anguish of losing their precious child alone.host an event buy official Red Nose Day merchandise