Family bring back Ottery New Year’s Eve party to boost ‘amazing’ suicide bereavement charity that helped them after loss of much-loved Rob

A returning New Year’s Eve party 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 December 31 celebration at the town’s cricket club for the second time to raise money for Pete’s Dragons.

Last year’s inaugural event, in memory of her late brother Rob, raised nearly £1,000 for the cause.

Chef Gemma, aged 23, hopes proceeds from the night of ‘dancing, laughter and fundraising’ can give something back to the ‘incredible’ charity.

Pete’s Dragons supported Gemma’s family after Rob, aged 28, a much-loved dad, son, brother and uncle, died in March 2018.

“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 Gemma.

“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 DJ, a charity auction, a buffet and entertainment for adults and children.

Gemma added: “We are back for another brilliant night of dancing, laughter and fundraising.

“I have decided to hold another New Year’s Eve celebration as last year was such a success.

“This year I have lost another person very close to me through suicide and the numbers are rising every day.

“I want to be able to do anything I can to help this incredible charity and put a successful, but fun, night on for the local community.

“It’s not long to go now, so I hope everyone digs deep, donates and comes to enjoy the evening.”

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, mainly relies on community fundraising.

Tickets to the Ottery New Year’s Eve party (£10 for adults, £5 for children) are available from the Volunteer Inn in Ottery or by calling 01404 851187.

To find out more about Pete’s Dragons, visit

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