Support from police and county council means Pete's Dragons can spread its wings

Published: 12 February 2019

A charity helping suicide bereaved families can reach even more people in Devon after a successful Crowdfunder campaign was supported by police and the county council.

Pete’s Dragons has smashed a £3,000 target as it bids to extend into Plymouth and South Devon – where its much-needed specialist services do not exist.

The funding will also aid the cause, which currently has a caseload of around 300 people, in continuing its work in East, Mid and North Devon.

Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police both recognised the value of Pete’s Dragons by each awarding it £1,000.

A host of generous donations meant the Exmouth-based charity, which receives no statutory funding and is reliant on fundraising, donations and grants, netted a total of £4,544 in 41 days.

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: “We have been astounded at the support received throughout the campaign. We are grateful to each and every person and organisation that helped us to exceed our target. Pete’s Dragons provide a critical service to those bereaved by suicide, a service which is both bespoke and immediate. Maintaining a high quality, responsive service comes at a price and fundraising, although essential, can consume valuable time which we would prefer to spend with our beneficiaries. This boost to our funds from the local community means we can put time and effort into beneficiaries residing in areas of Devon which we currently find difficult to reach.”

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We are happy to support this initiative as a considerable amount of time is spent with vulnerable people in our communities that need additional support in order to cope with the stresses and pressures of everyday life.

“By supporting Pete’s Dragon this will reduce demand on frontline policing and allow trained professionals to provide the right support at the right time.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for communities, said: “Via Crowdfund Devon, Devon County Council is proud to support ‘not for private profit’ organisations, like Pete’s Dragons suicide bereavement service, to deliver a wide range of activities that enrich and involve local communities; improving and achieving the things that matter most to them, in the ways that they choose. Helping local communities in Devon to help themselves.”

Messages of support flooded in to the charity during the crowdfunding bid, with beneficiaries hailing it as ‘a lifeline’ and ‘wonderful’.

“Pete’s Dragons are an amazing charity that I personally will be forever thankful to for helping me get through the hardest period of my life,” said one supporter.

“Losing a loved one is hard enough, but to lose them due to suicide can be hard to understand and cope with. To have such a service on our doorstep is amazing, and deserves everyone’s support,” wrote another.

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