Ottery family's grand total for suicide loss charity that gave 'amazing' help after loss of loved-one

Published: 21 January 2019

A family from Ottery St Mary have raised nearly £1,000 for the suicide bereavement charity that gave them ‘incredible’ support following the heart-breaking loss of a loved-one.

Gemma Youlden organised a New Year’s Eve party at the town’s cricket club to boost Pete’s Dragons, a service she had never imagined needing.

The cause provided ‘amazing’ help and comfort following the death of her brother Rob, aged 28, in March last year.

“I’m absolutely overwhelmed with the amount we raised,” said Gemma.

The 22-year-old chef hailed the night of fun and laughter, attended by some 50 people, as a ‘great success’, adding: “I hope Rob would be very proud. Not only was the event in his honour, but also to raise awareness of what this fantastic charity does and the support that can be offered. I’d like Pete’s Dragons to use the money to carry on what they already do. They are amazing; the endless support is incredible.”

This week, Gemma and her parents Dave and Caroline handed over £946 to the Exmouth-based charity, which provides bespoke support to suicide bereaved families across Devon.

Gemma thanked everyone involved with the party, adding: “Without my friends, family and the community, it wouldn’t have been possible.

“I met some amazing people at the event who’ve also been through similar experiences. I hope, together, we can continue to raise as much awareness and money as possible in the future.”

Gemma is already planning another party for December 31 this year.

Pete’s Dragons CEO Alison Jordan, who founded the charity after her brother, Pete Wicks, took his own life at the age of 24, said: “Huge thanks to the Youlden family. We’re always inspired by families who put so much hard work and effort into helping us help others.”

Ottery resident Graham Rowland, a trustee of the charity along with his wife Lesley, said: “The money raised by Gemma will go towards supporting the people of East Devon if they need the services of Pete’s Dragons. A big thank you to all the people that supported this event and especially Gemma for all her hard work in organising such a successful evening.”

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