Calls for missing person support group

LUKE Durbin's mother is today helping to organise a march for the families of other missing children in a bid to secure funding for a support group.Nicki Durbin and Valerie Nettles, whose son Damien went missing in 1996, are organising a peaceful protest for families of the missing, which is expected to be held in London in March 2008.

LUKE Durbin's mother is today helping to organise a march for the families of other missing children in a bid to secure funding for a support group.

Nicki Durbin and Valerie Nettles, whose son Damien went missing in 1996, are organising a peaceful protest for families of the missing, which is expected to be held in London in March 2008.

As Luke's 21st birthday approaches next week, Ms Durbin is calling for government funding to set up a support group, with the ultimate aim of getting a Missing Bill passed, to ensure there is legislation in place to support, counsel and advise the families that get left behind.

Ms Durbin, 38, of Coronation Avenue, Hollesley, said: “This is about families getting together. We need to highlight the fact that there are thousands of families going through the loss of a loved one who has gone missing. We all need help and support.


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“We would like the government to address this problem as a national crisis. We don't meet the criteria of any support group out there.

“Although there are limited resources to families left behind in terms of some charities, the problem is bigger than this and it is not enough.”

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Both women are convinced something has happened to their sons as they believe running away was out of character.

Ms Durbin claimed that although Missing People do good work in publicising the disappearance of their loved ones, there is not a dedicated government-funded group to help the families cope with the emotional hangover of such an ordeal.

The mothers have also suggested creating a dedicated missing people branch within police authorities, where resources would be in place to support the families.

Luke was last seen about 4am on May 12, 2006, when he was spotted on CCTV in the Buttermarket area of Ipswich.

Anyone with information about Luke's whereabouts should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or the National Missing People Helpline on 0500 700 700.

For more information about Luke's disappearance, visit www.findluke.com.

What do you think about the idea for a Missing Bill? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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