‘He was lovely, a truly wonderful son. He was so precious’

Adam Elloitt. Picture submitted.
Adam Elloitt. Picture submitted.
  • Inspirational mum starts support group to help people who have lost a child suddenly
  • Debbie Newton decided to set up the group after the tragic death of her ‘precious’ teenage son Adam Elliott
  • 18-year-old university student Adam – who never showed signs of being depressed – took his own life

“When you lose a child, it’s a loss like no other.”

The heartbreaking words of Debbie Newton whose much-loved son Adam Elliott sadly passed away in March.

Adam with his pet pug Finley. Picture submitted.

Adam with his pet pug Finley. Picture submitted.

Now, three months after the 18-year-old’s tragic death, Debbie is using her personal experiences to help others.

The 50-year-old, of Chesterfield, has set up the Sudden Loss Support Group in Adam’s memory.

She said: “You always think you’re never going to lose a child.

“You always think ‘it’ll happen to someone else, not me’.

If the group helps just one person, I’ll be happy

Debbie Newton

“But when you find yourself in that horrible, heartbreaking position, it’s difficult to know how to cope.

“That’s why I decided to start the group.

“It’s a really important group – there’s nothing like it in Derbyshire.

“It aims to offer support and friendship to anyone who has lost a child suddenly and will be held in a relaxed, non-judgemental atmosphere.

Debbie Newton. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Debbie Newton. Picture by Anne Shelley.

“If it helps just one person, I’ll be happy.”

Adam was a first-year computer science student at York St John University.

During the opening of the inquest into his death, a coroner heard the popular young man had been out with friends on the evening of Tuesday, March 8.

At about 3pm the following day, a flatmate at Adam’s student accommodation in Heworth, York, became concerned so a member of security attended and forced entry into his room.

Debbie Newton, left, with her daugter Jodie Elliott, right, and sister Ali Newton, centre, and Adam's pet Pug Finley. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Debbie Newton, left, with her daugter Jodie Elliott, right, and sister Ali Newton, centre, and Adam's pet Pug Finley. Picture by Anne Shelley.

Coroner Jonathan Leach said a post-mortem examination had been conducted and its preliminary conclusion was that the cause of death was hanging.

Adam was found with a note expressing an intention to take his life, the inquest heard.

He also stated in his note that he was depressed.

Almost 400 people attended Adam’s funeral – showing just how popular he was.

Debbie said: “He was just a normal teenager who did normal things.

“He was lovely, a truly wonderful son. He was so precious.

“He loved lots of things including football, music, travelling, socialising – and his Pug Finley.

“He had a really good group of friends both in Chesterfield and York.”

Debbie added: “We had no idea he’d do what he did.

“I spoke to Adam every day and I was never concerned he was feeling like this.

“It was a shocking bolt out of the blue.

“There’s no reason for what happened – we’ll probably never know.”

Earlier this month, we reported on the issue of mental health problems among young men in Derbyshire after a 22-year-old from Wingerworth committed suicide.

During the inquest into the tragic death of Jordan Feek, who suffered in silence before deliberately walking on to railway tracks, county coroner James Newman said society’s greatest demons were ‘drugs and mental health problems’.

“Sadly, I see cases like Jordan’s time and time again,” he said.

He highlighted concerns about young men not expressing their feelings and said this could be blamed on a ‘macho culture’.

Latest Government statistics show the average suicide rate for Derbyshire men aged between 15 and 34 is much higher than figures for women.

Dr Rais Ahmed, a consultant psychiatrist in Derbyshire, said: “I want to get across this very important message – it’s OK to talk about mental health.

“A lot of people aren’t seeking help because of the stigma surrounding mental health – they’re worried about being called ‘mental’, a ‘psycho’.

“If you’re concerned about your mental health, please go and see your doctor.”

Debbie echoed those calls and called them ‘vitally important’.

• The Sudden Loss Support Group will launch at the Derbyshire Stroke Centre building at Holmewood Business Park on Chesterfield Road, Holmewood, between 4pm and 6pm on Monday, July 4. If you would like to attend, call Debbie on 07495640970 or email suddenlossderbyshire@gmail.com. People are also welcome to drop-in.