JUST a few short weeks after bravely telling their story as victims of bullying, sisters Amanda and Leah Bolden say they have a new lease on life.
Feeling more confident and even more determined to banish the cruelty of their past, they have taken the first steps towards their goal of helping other people shake off their own demons and move on with their lives.
Since telling their story to The Standard last month and launching their anti-bullying Facebook page, the sisters have been flooded with support from all over Australia, receiving letters and messages of support from socialite Brynne Edelsten as well as local MP and Premier Denis Napthine.
“It’s been amazing. We can’t believe the response. When we walk up the street now people recognise us and tell us we are doing a fantastic job,” Amanda said.
“It’s been so nice to hear people say that. It’s made us more determined to keep going. We don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”
The sisters achieved one of their first goals by securing sponsorship to help them on their journey.
Warrnambool-based gym Up and About Fitness has come on board to help the sisters shape up and feel more confident and positive about themselves.
Gym owners ‘Bear’ Dixon and Nikki Dixon were touched by the sisters’ story and wanted to do something to help.
“We thought it was a fantastic concept,” Mr Dixon said.
“We believe a healthy body leads to a healthy mind so if we can help Amanda and Leah feel good about themselves and restore their self-confidence, that’s all we can ask for.
“Bullying is one of those things that effects almost everyone and it needs to be stamped out.
“We get so much out of seeing people like Amanda and Leah get their confidence back. It’s nice to know we can help them,” Mrs Dixon added.
Leah said after just four weeks of working out one-on-one with the Dixons she was already feeling the benefits. “It’s amazing. Amanda and I never used to go anywhere because we would worry about what people would say,”she said.
“Bear and Nikki have helped us realise it doesn’t matter what others think.”
“We can’t thank Bear and Nikki enough,”Amanda added.
“Their help and support so far has been amazing.
“This is only the start. We want to keep going and help others start feeling better about themselves.”