Devon PCSO completes abseil challenge on third anniversary of her daughter's suicide

  • Sam Blackledge reports on Debbie Hollinson's charity abseil on the anniversary of her daughter's death

A PCSO who lost her teenage daughter to suicide three years ago has completed a daring abseil challenge to raise awareness and money for a local charity.

Darcy Hollinson died in 2021, and on Sunday her mum Debbie and dad Michael joined others who have been affected by suicide to mark the anniversary and help spread a crucial message.

They abseiled 110ft down Meldon Viaduct, a bridge near Okehampton, in aid of Pete's Dragons.

Darcy Hollinson took her own life in April 2021. Credit: Debbie Hollinson

"The last three years have been incredibly difficult, it really doesn't get any easier to deal with the loss of somebody through suicide," Debbie said.

"It's heartbreaking every single day and you just relive it all the time. Suicide is such a difficult subject to talk about and that's why it's important to come out and speak about it.

"There will be people in the future who are bereaved by suicide, and that's where Pete's Dragons can step in and offer support."

Acting chief constable Jim Colwell took part in the abseil challenge. Credit: ITV News

Debbie was joined in her challenge by Darcy's dad, Michael, and Jim Colwell, acting chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police.

"It's a tragedy for Debbie and her family, a real personal tragedy," Mr Colwell said.

"The broader issue is suicide more generally in our society. Policing sees the end product of that.

"The issue of mental health, depression, anxiety, particularly among young people, I think is a real serious issue for society as a whole."

Alison Jordan, chief executive of Pete's Dragons, said: "Everyone is so brave, all of them are here for their own personal reasons. It's so moving and so important.

"Our confidence is growing around talking about suicide, it's a very scary subject but we are getting there."

You can donate to Team Darcy by clicking here.

  • When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch