Wednesday, 17 October 2012

In memory of Blake

I think I am quite lucky in many ways. For a start I was lucky enough to have my son Blake around in life my for 25 wonderful years and even though tragically he went missing, after searching intensely for two and a half years, I did eventually find some remains of his, so at least now I know he died, in fact I know he drowned and I know in which river. I have a conclusion of sorts. I may never get to know exactly what happened the night he went into river and how or why, but I know enough to be able to mourn him, to grieve for him and hopefully at some point to be able to achieve some form of closure.

Now under those circumstances you may be wondering why I consider myself lucky. Well, even though initially Blake was missing for a long period of time eventually I did get an answer. Many parents or relations of missing people are not so lucky. Their children or loved ones go missing and they may never find out what happened to them, for them every day is spent wondering about that person, are they still alive, if so where are they and why did they go missing, where do we search, if not this place then where else, how can we search, do they want to be found? Did they go missing by their own volition, or were they killed in an accident or worse, were they murdered? Did they suffer, are they suffering, are they safe, happy, sad, dead, alive? It goes around and around in circles.

It is the ‘not knowing’ that gets to you, if you know what has happened, however awful, you can deal with it, but to ‘not know and to never know’ can destroy you.

Every day, numerous times a day, unanswered questions swirl through your mind. I should know, I spent two and a half years in that state and believe me, it is not a good place to be. It is a tortuous and painful place to be, it consumes your whole life. The whole family suffers, friends, neighbours, people you hardly know but have read about the ongoing saga in the newspapers and watched it on the television; everybody needs an answer and that is why the charity Missing People was formed, to help find missing people and to support those left behind.

My Nephew Sam and his friend James are driving through Peru in memory of my son Blake. Missing People provides an invaluable service and is dependent on charitable contributions, so please support James and Sam as much as you can.

There is nothing more devastating than literally losing a child or relation and never finding out what happened to them.

By Sally Perrin,
Mother of Blake Hartley, and Auntie of Sam Beaver and James Montgomery, who are finishing their epic moto-taxi journey across Peru fundraising for Missing People.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fundraising in memory of Graham

There’s an old adage that says the world is getting smaller and up until a year ago I guess I subscribed to that belief and then my brother Graham went missing.
The family came together to come up with ideas as to where he might have gone to and as the list grew, the enormity of the search became apparent and the helplessness of the situation threatened to overwhelm us all.

What if we sent someone to search in one place or area of the country, to find out later that he’d been in another place we’d had on our list? I’m not sure how or who we first came across the wonderful folks working for Missing People, but we did. They calmly listened to our story and then simply offered their support and assistance. All we had to do was tell them where we thought Graham might have gone and they would get the message and his picture out to their contacts in the area to spread the word. Just that simple offer seemed to lift a huge weight off all our shoulders and allowed us to focus our efforts closer to home, in support of my parents who were in bits and Graham’s wife and children who were so brave throughout.

Although the eventual outcome wasn’t as we’d hoped, Graham lost his own private battle against the dark demons of depression and took his own life; the family were keen to show their appreciation to the charity for their kindness and support they’d shown to us at such a difficult time.

Like many people, I knew a little about what Missing People and I was keen to understand more and to understand how any monies we might raise would be used. I called the charity and was invited along to see first-hand for myself. I guess I drew a mental picture in my mind of what the offices might look like as I walked down from Mortlake station but if I’m honest that picture was so wrong! Modest would be a great word to describe things, but that in itself reaffirmed to me that every penny raised or donated is carefully spent. I’ve done a couple of sporting endeavours these last couple of months and raised a few pounds in the process and I know it will be spent helping others as they me and my family. I cannot tell you how much hope it gives a family to know that others are willing to help in any search and that you’re not as alone as you think.

So thank you on behalf of families like mine who you’re helped through your support of this wonderful charity in the past, and to those of you who are considering donating in the future and what to know whether your money will be carefully spent and will it make a difference to the families they support, trust me it does, it really does.

A speech by Nigel Emery,
Missing People supporter and fundraiser, speaking at the Missing People Open Evening 26 September

Around 250,000 people go missing in the UK each year. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit

Call or txt the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.