Christmas has come early for some lucky New Zealanders thanks to donations by philanthropist and businessman, Sir Owen Glenn.

Rotorua local, and dedicated suicide prevention advocate, Suzy Taylor has received a research donation to help her find proven ways to reduce youth suicide rates in New Zealand.

Taylor has been working to raise awareness of youth suicide since she lost her daughter, Georgia, in 2016. This was not her first experience with suicide, first losing her husband in 1995 and then her best friend in 2001.

To bring attention to the rising youth suicide rate, Taylor helped place 606 pairs of shoes along the Rotorua lakefront, each representing a young life lost to suicide in New Zealand every year.


Taylor was now looking to visit leading experts and those with lived experience abroad, and was planning a research trip to Iceland and Scandinavia where the suicide rate was the lowest in the world.

Sir Owen Glen. Photo / Supplied
Sir Owen Glen. Photo / Supplied

With Sir Owen's support, Taylor believed her research would help save lives in New Zealand.

"It is my hope that this research will allow New Zealanders to gain a better understanding of how suicidal thoughts can manifest within any one of us, and how we can prevent this," she said.

"This would not be possible without Sir Owen's generosity, not only will he be supporting my research, but he has helped so many others achieve a better way of being with these wonderful acts of kindness."

Sir Owen said he is fortunate to be in a position to help others, "It's wonderful to see these donations are having such a positive impact on our local community, and I wish Suzy, Lynette, and Alyssa all the best for the New Year."

"We can all do our part to support each other. This Christmas, I encourage everyone to get involved in their community in any way they can," said Sir Owen.