Special day as Beth Ottaway presents cheque in memory of her cousin

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Just three months ago her life was clouded with tragedy when her cousin Harry Ottaway took his own life at the age of 20.

Yesterday, 10-year-old Beth Ottaway showed her desire to take something positive out of the pain as she handed over a charity cheque at her school.

Beth presented £170 to Norwich Samaritans during an assembly at Hethersett Junior School, where she is in year five.

It followed a fundraiser she organised at the school on March 3, including games such as name the teddy and guess the number of sweets in a jar. There were also cakes and drinks for sale.

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She said she organised the day “to help other people, and in memory of my cousin”.

Beth said: “It was a really fun day because there were lots of people and they looked like they were enjoying themselves.”

She said she had fun running her own stall during the event and was pleased to be able to support the Samaritans.

She said: “They help people, and they don’t tell people what to do, they just listen.”

Beth’s cousin Henry Ottaway, better known as Harry, from Reepham, died in January, aged 20.

As well as accepting the cheque Ian Taylor, Samaritans Norwich deputy director of outreach, told pupils about the history of the charity and what they did.

Mr Taylor said he was thrilled with the amount Beth and her friends had raised.

He said: “It’s absolutely wonderful that they have done so much, especially at their age. Samaritans Norwich costs £50,000 to run every year, so every little bit helps.”

The Samaritans was founded in 1953 by a vicar called Chad Varah.

Its main service is a helpline, which people can call to talk about anything that is concerning them.

The Norwich branch is run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and its volunteers are contacted by someone on average every 10 minutes.

Matthew Parslow-Williams, the school’s principal, said he was proud of what Beth and her schoolmates had achieved.

Mr Parslow-Williams said the school had hosted a number of fundraisers for different causes.

He said: “We do lots of charitable work within the school.”

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■ The Samaritans’ helpline is 116 123 and email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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