Louise Olivian Burfitt-Dons (née Byres, born October 22, 1953) is an English writer, humanitarian and global warming campaigner who is best known for her anti-bullying activism as the founder of the charity Act Against Bullying.
Early years and family
Louise Burfitt-Dons was born to Olive and Ian Byres in a small desert hospital at Magwa, in the Burgan district just south of Kuwait City. Her father worked for Kuwait Oil Company and her mother ran a kindergarten. She had an elder brother Laurence (b. 1952). Burfitt-Dons was educated at the Anglo American School in Kuwait and later at the Hertfordshire and Essex High School and Ashford School for Girls in Kent. Both her brother and mother committed suicide and her father died of cancer when she was 26. From 1975 she rented an attic flat in Belgravia owned by Elspeth Rhys-Williams, a stoic human rights campaigner and daughter of Juliet Rhys-Williams.
Burfitt-Dons has two daughters, Brooke (b. 1988), who is a student at University College London, and Arabella (b. 1992), by her pilot husband Donald Burfitt-Dons, a New Zealander of Danish extraction (Dons) who she met and married in London in 1982 while he was on an overseas basing with Qantas. The couple lived in Australia between 1982 and 1993 where Louise worked as an actress and wrote plays for the Sydney stage. She gave birth to both her children at the Portland Hospital and now they live in London. They lived in the South of France for some years before moving back to the UK. Both children attended the Lady Eleanor Holles School.
Since setting up Act Against Bullying Burfitt-Dons has been outspoken on the ill-effects of tribalism in society as a speaker and writer. She has advocated that tribalism is on the increase and has been taking effect in all forms of modern society leading to social unrest. Feeling the need to express what the public were confiding in her she designed a range of campaigns to promote human dignity and individuality  in modern society. Burfitt-Dons has said it was her way of ‘saving lives and alleviating suffering of the heartbroken and humiliated’. She designed the Cool to be Kind Campaign in 2000. She initiated a National Decency Campaign in 2002. The Grade Not Degrade campaign in 2006 . The New Scotsman quoted her as suggesting Celebrity Big Brother was legitimising the growing trend of bullying behaviour in classrooms around the country.  She was a speaker at the Conservative Women’s Organisation Forum  at the House of Commons on cyber bullying claiming that today ‘children have to be as savvy as celebrities but without the pr support’. In response to the growing trend of internet abuse she designed the CyberKind Campaign  which was launched at the River Room, House of Lords by Baroness Hayman and Lord Grocott on Remembrance Day November 11 2009. Burfitt-Dons is co-founder of Kindness Day UK with David Jamilly and in association with the World Kindness Movement. She appeared on BBC Breakfast on the first Kindness Day UK on 13th November 2010 alongside Kathy Lette who claimed that English people were condescending and unfriendly.
Since 2007 she began campaigning on global warming and has said that ‘climate change may be the ultimate issue that unites us all’.
In 2006 She was nominated as an Angel Hero for the US My Hero project
In May 2009 she was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her work with children as well as to acknowledge her efforts as a campaigner and speaker on humanitarian and environmental issues.
Louise’s concern for global warming was fuelled by her husband's interest in the tropopause. His experience of the subject had been recorded from 30,00 feet up. A pilot for 38 years he has taken account of the effects of climate change and the increase in the intensity of hurricane activity since his days flying for the New Zealand Air Force in the 1950s.
Burfitt-Dons is a founder director of the Global Warming Alliance which was set up in January 2006 to find solutions to the crisis. On the 2nd December 2008 she launched the Global Warming Hotspot channel on You Tube.
She is currently spearheading the Hot Women Campaign.
Since she began her campaigning work, Burfitt-Dons has been an active motivational and inspirational speaker. She writes a blog Encouragement For Women . In October 2009 she was part of the heated debate   at the Cambridge Union on the side of Cosmopolitan Magazine Editor Louise Court against Edwina Currie on the motion 'This house believes we’d be better off if women ruled the world’. As a Fellow-led initiative Burfitt-Dons set up the RSA Women’s Speakers’ Network whose mission is to ‘raise women’s profile in society by greater involvement in public speaker’. She chaired the launch event at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on November 9th 2010 in a public debate entitled ‘The Great Female Debate: Do Women Speak Too much or too little?’.
Publications and plays
- The Counsellor by Louise Byres, October 2000
- Painkillers by Louise Byres, June 2001
- Act Against Bullying by Louise Burfitt-Dons, August 2002
- A Christmas Riddle by Louise Byres, June 2000
- Valentine Card by Louise Byres, June 2001
- How to Catch A Man by Louise Byres, September 1991
- "Impact of extra tropic cyclones in Europe on Insurance Industry - Transcript of keynote speech by Donald Burfitt-Dons". The Global Warming Alliance. http://www.globalwarmingalliance.com/insurance_implications.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- "Brooke appeals for residents' votes to help get her to semi final". ChiswickW4.com. 14 October 2009. http://www.chiswickw4.com/info/conceleb195.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- "RAF Air Squadron Trophy Competition". News. The Lady Eleanor Holles School. http://www.lehs.org.uk/srnews/RAF_Air_Squadron_Trophy_Competition.php. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- "About Brooke Burfitt-Dons" (pdf). Bio. Brooke Burfitt-Dons. http://www.brookeburfittdons.com/index.php?view=article&catid=34%3Acelebinterviews&id=49%3Ahayley&format=pdf&option=com_content&Itemid=41. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- Parr, Alexis (9 September 2006). "Princess Beatrice broke my tooth at school ... now I want £2,000". Mail on Sunday. Associated Newspapers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-404382/Princess-Beatrice-broke-tooth-school---I-want-2-000.html. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
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