7:48am Monday 5th May 2014
A GROUP of Maesycwmmer residents held a charity disco in memory of a 16-year-old from the village who died shortly before Christmas.
Joshua Kyle Woodyatt, 16, died suddenly on a night out with friends a few days before Christmas last year.
More than 120 people bought tickets and went along to the disco on Saturday April 26 at Maesycwmmer Community Centre. The evening features music and an auction and raffle, and raised £1,411.
Josh tragically collapsed while attending a Christmas party at a friend's house on December 22. He had been complaining of feeling hot before collapsing to the ground in Cefn Hengoed at around 7pm. Josh, who was asthmatic, had been taking his inhaler constantly that night.
A post-mortem examination showed there was nothing suspicious surrounding his death, but confirmed it was asthma-related, his family said.
Cllr Robin Woodyatt, Josh’s grandfather and cabinet member for social services on Caerphilly council, said Josh was “very outgoing, full of life, sporty, and loved his music”.
His parents, Andrew and Sian Woodyatt, attended the fundraiser, and were ‘overwhelmed’ by the generosity of the people who attended.
One of the organisers, Alison Davies, said: “It was very emotional, but the evening went extremely well. We were pleased to raise so much money, which will go to Josh’s parents choice of charities, and they have chosen the NSPCC and the village school.
“Josh’s parents also came along and it was lovely to see them.They were both so grateful and kept hugging and thanking us all, which was lovely. They were really appreciative, it was very emotional for everyone.
“The amount of people who came along and showed their support was overwhelming, and just goes to show how the community comes together in hard times."
Speaking shortly after his death, Chris Parry, the headteacher of Lewis School Pengam, which Josh attended, described Josh as "a likeable and popular student with a large group of friends, he was a larger than life character and the type of boy who would never walk by without a smile and a hello."
A memorial site in Josh's memory on Facebook has 750 members and friends and family have set up a tribute website page in Josh's memory on the NSPCC website. The page allows people to add comments and pictures and also donate to the charity in Josh's memory. To donate, visit www.nspcc.tributefunds.com/JoshWoodyatt.
© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group