New march for missing Luke

THE mother of missing teenager Luke Durbin is to join up to 100 relatives and friends of other missing people for a march highlighting the lack of support available to them.

THE mother of missing teenager Luke Durbin is to join up to 100 relatives and friends of other missing people for a march highlighting the lack of support available to them.

Nicki Durbin will march through London today to raise awareness of the plight of missing people across the UK and to call upon the Government to fund a support network for their relatives.

Luke Durbin, 19, of Coronation Avenue in Hollesley, near Woodbridge, went missing after becoming separated from his friends on a night out in Zest nightclub in Ipswich on Thursday, May 11 2006.

CCTV footage showed that, after leaving Zest, Mr Durbin made his way to the Hawk taxi rank in the town's Old Foundry Road where he tried to get a taxi at about 3.40am.

The former Farlingaye High School student was last seen walking in the direction of Major's Corner and was also seen earlier at Ipswich station.

Today's march has been organised by Ms Durbin and Valerie Nettles, whose 16-year-old son Damien Nettles disappeared in November 1996 on a night out on the Isle of Wight.

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Both mothers, like many families of missing people, have experienced a lack of support since the disappearance of their loved ones.

Ms Durbin said: “Initially we would like the march to acknowledge we are left with no support. There is the missing person's charity, Missing People, but they don't have the resources to counsel us.

“The Government needs to acknowledge what a massive problem there is in the UK with missing people and secondly to put some money into funding a support group that can be facilitated by a charity like Missing People.

“What happens in the beginning when someone goes missing is you're in a state of shock. No family is prepared for this. Initially you do have the police who are there to help but are not there to support you.

“When things slow down you're really on your own. There needs to be some sort of support group that could give coping strategies and offer counselling services and also just more practical support as not everyone has access to the internet or knows how to build a website.”

The March for the Missing starts at 10am at the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial, opposite Great Cumberland Place, in London and will finish in Trafalgar Square.

During the event, the names of the missing will be read out and a single daffodil thrown to the ground to represent each person.

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