Wednesday, 29 January 2014

When it first happened

When it first happened, it was surreal.  We didn’t know what to believe.  My gut instinct told me that something bad had happened.  There was a shift in the world but I couldn’t pin point exactly how it shifted.  There was a strange quietness and a stillness, like the world had stopped spinning, we were frozen in time; it was the loss of Damien’s place in our lives.   There was emptiness where there used to be laughter and chatter.  We suffered a helpless sadness and desperation.  We could not comprehend the scope of what was happening.  We were all in a state of shock.  The hope was that he had stayed somewhere and would be home soon.  Although we had checked with all his friends, we hoped against hope that there was an answer and he would walk through the door with a guilty smile and the world would resume again. 
As time moved along, we were still rooted in the events of the day when we discovered that we had lost him somehow.  We could not move forward.  It was a bad dream that would not stop. I looked for him everywhere in the faces of the homeless and the lost and the lonely young people on the streets wondering if he had gone off on a big adventure.  If there was a news report with people walking in the background, I anxiously searched the faces in the crowd in case he was there.  When human remains were found we ceased to breathe for what seemed an eternity while we awaited news on the description, age, height, location etc.  We looked at the world differently and things would never be the same again.  Life has shifted. A feeling of quiet desperation and anguish has become our new normal. 

He has simply vanished without a trace. 

Despite recent police investigations, we are still without any answers and still no closer to understanding this painful loss.  We have suffered this for 17 years now and we will never get over it.  We won’t ever really move on, though we have learned to function at some level to maintain a job and a life, but we are broken. The emotional turmoil of a child going missing is beyond words to express and I can only express what I have known.  It goes without saying that anytime a family member mysteriously goes missing, it is unbearable for the family left behind. 

There are few resources for a family like mine; no guidance came from the police for us.  We were fortunate to stumble on Missing People, who have guided us and supported us.  The work the charity does in supporting families like mine is invaluable. Over 250,000 people go missing each year. Missing People has been working tirelessly on changing the face of the missing issue, by working with government to implement new laws.   

If you know someone who is considered missing, please suggest they contact their family or call in confidence to Missing People on 116 000.

By Val Nettles,
Mother of missing Damien Nettles

Friday, 10 January 2014

Where have all the Christmas Cards gone?

Simon Banks
It seems that at this time of year sending and receiving Christmas cards is getting less and less and this decline has been happening for some time now. The art of physically buying a card, writing a note on it, printing out a label, licking a stamp and putting it on the envelope, and then queuing at the post office to send the cards seems to have long gone.

At Tallboy we haven’t sent a physical card out for a number of years, but instead choose to produce a video and send it out online (click here to see 2012’s epic).

Well last year we decided to do something a little different, Tallboy decided to donate our company’s time and resources to a charity instead. We chose to support a local charity close to our office in South West London, Missing People. Tallboy’s donation to them was a video we produced for their ‘Home for Christmas’ appeal. Missing People offers a lifeline for the 250,000 people who run away and go missing each year. A child goes missing every 5 minutes in the UK! We are hoping this video will make a difference for the Charity and help the families of those loved ones who are absent at this time of year.


The video received over 500 views in the first few days it was uploaded.  We would like to thank all the people who watched the video and made a text donation. The video (via mediums of  Social Media and Email) had a fantastic result. It was Missing People’s single biggest generator of text donations. The value of these donations over the next year should total approximately £1000. To put this into perspective this could help Missing People give essential support to 10 families of missing people for up to a year.

Jo Youle, Missing People Chief Executive said:

“The team at Tallboy have been so helpful with our appeal this year, offering us their expertise in video production, facilities and the time of their filmmakers to really show our work from the perspective of those affected.
“This really is a fantastic result for us so thank you so much for taking on the project and doing such a fantastic job. I personally found the video very moving and powerful and can see why it evoked such a strong positive response from our supporters base.“

Tallboy is planning to produce a Christmas video for another charity in 2014. If you work for a charity or know of a qualifying organisation who would benefit from having a video produced for them please contact Clair at Tallboy.

By Simon Banks,
Tallboy Communications

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.