Family stage fundraising New Year's Eve party to thank Pete's Dragons for its 'incredible' support

Published: 24 December 2018

A big New Year’s Eve bash in Ottery St Mary will help a family boost the suicide bereavement charity that supported them after the loss of a loved-one.

Gemma Youlden is putting on the celebration at the town’s cricket club in memory of her late brother Rob and to raise cash for, and awareness of, Pete’s Dragons.

She hopes proceeds from the night of ‘fun, love and laughter’ on December 31 can give something back to the ‘incredible’ cause.

Pete’s Dragons supported Gemma’s family after Rob, aged 28, a much-loved dad, son and brother, died in March.

“It’s a charity that we never thought we would need. The work they do behind the scenes for people who are suffering is absolutely incredible,” said Ottery resident Gemma, 22, who works as a chef.

“Pete’s Dragons is very close to my heart; they help everyone; adults and children.

“I’ve come to realise just how important it is to have amazing support just when you need it the most. It can be very comforting in such a distressing and vulnerable time.”

The New Year’s Eve party starts at 7.30pm and there will be a charity auction, food and drink galore, a disco and bar.

Gemma has thanked local businesses and the community for the ‘overwhelming and fantastic’ range of prizes donated to the auction.

“The response has been absolutely phenomenal - I cannot begin to thank everyone enough,” she added.

“This is an incredible time of year to all get together as a community, let our hair down and dance the night away.”

Volunteers for the event and auction prizes are still being sought.

Pete’s Dragons provides a bespoke service to anyone in Devon who has been affected by suicide and can offer client-specific support from within 48 hours of a bereavement.

The award-winning charity, which is based in Exmouth, receives no statutory funding and its work is completely reliant on fundraising, donations and grants.

Tickets (£5) for the New Year’s Eve party at Ottery Cricket club are available from Gemma on 07957 653690 or by emailing Gemmayoulden@hotmail.co.uk.

To find out more about Pete’s Dragons, visit petesdragons.org.uk.