Exmouth family raises awareness of suicide in young men in memory of Solly

PUBLISHED: 06:30 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:51 04 May 2017

Solly Betts

Solly Betts


An Arctic survival challenge in memory of teenager Solly Betts is to raise awareness and prevention of suicide in young men, writes Becca Gliddon.

Solly Betts' family; Step-dad Kevin Howe, mum, Tilly Howe and Solly's brother, Jacob BettsSolly Betts' family; Step-dad Kevin Howe, mum, Tilly Howe and Solly's brother, Jacob Betts

Solly, of Green Close, Withycombe Raleigh, was 17 when he took his own life last summer.

His family has been supported by suicide bereavement charity Pete’s Dragons, based in Exmouth, since that day.

Solly’s brother, Jacob Betts, 19, and their step-dad, Kevin Howe, 53, are gearing up for a series of gruelling Arctic challenges to raise funds for Pete’s Dragons.

They want to fund suicide prevention support in the hope of saving another family from going through loss and pain.

Accompanying them on their trip will be two photos of Solly - one will be left permanently at the Arctic as a way of including him in the challenge and because of his love of snow. Kevin, a former fitness instructor in the army, said he and Jacob hope to find ‘solace’ in the Arctic.

“We are doing this challenge because Solly took his own life last year at the young age of 17. As you can imagine, this devastated our family,” said Kevin.

“Pete’s Dragons contacted us at a time when we did not know where to turn. They have helped us and many other families like us in so many ways.

“They are also involved with suicide prevention, helping families with young people.

“Solly loved the snow and cold - his dream was to go somewhere with lots of snow again, so Jacob and I want to do this in his memory. We hope, when we are there, Solly will be with us. We will take a couple of photos with us. One we will keep with us; one we will bury in the snow.

“The money we raise will help go towards awareness and prevention of suicide in young men.

“I know we will be joined with Pete’s Dragons for the rest of our lives, raising money to help prevent as many people as possible doing what Solly did.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kevin-Howe9

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