A black tie ball will honour a tot who passed away in a tragic accident just one day short of four months old.
Ben Bowles, whose mum Nicole now lives in Little Sutton, sadly lost his life while Nicole was shopping near her home in Scotland where she then lived.
Understanding the gaping void in support for bereaved parents and families who lose a child suddenly his shock loss led Nicole to set out on a mission determined to fill in the gaps and ensure other grieving parents know they aren’t alone.
That led to the founding of Our Missing Peace, now a newly registered charity that provides badges to families who have lost a child at any stage, any age, regardless of circumstances.
The badge supports bereaved parents by equipping them with a signal they have lost their child. It shows a purple heart shape with a missing jigsaw piece and is a way for parents who have lost their children to unite.
Nicole and husband Dan told the Chronicle’s sister paper the Daily Record they are always happy to speak about the little boy they adored but hate the uncomfortable silence that usually follows when they say they have lost a child.
“When you tell people you have lost a child they are usually so shocked they don’t know what to say or are worried they will say the wrong thing and upset you,” she said.
“Being asked about Ben doesn’t make me sad, it’s good to talk about him. What’s difficult is the reaction you know you are likely to get when you first tell people you have a child who died.”
To celebrate the charity receiving official registered status and also the life of baby Ben, Nicole and friends have organised the black tie gala dinner for Saturday, July 14 on what should have been Ben’s sixth birthday.
The gala will take place at the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester where guests will enjoy a four-course meal, be treated to live music and have the chance to participate in raffles, auctions and so much more.
Nicole said: “We have created a badge to help all that have been affected by the death of a child. It’s a way of showing the world that we are not ashamed of our loss and it’s okay to talk about them.
“Some people choose to wear their badge all the time, others will find comfort around anniversaries, birthdays, special days and tough days. There are also people who never wear their badge who put it away in a safe place but just knowing they have that makes them feel less alone.”
Nicole says Our Missing Peace has created a movement to unify all who have been bereaved through the death of a child.
In the last year alone over 2,000 badges have been sold worldwide and, as a result, the charity has been nominated for two national awards, has presented to the Scottish Parliament and has been mentioned in the Houses of Parliament by shadow health secretary and campaign supporter, Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston.
Funds raised on the evening will help cover the costs of creating more badges for bereaved families allowing parents to know they aren’t alone in their darkest hour.
Nicole added: “It’s just overwhelming really. We are incredibly thankful for all of the support shown to us so far but we are well aware that money is needed to continue to provide this support for families.
“I cannot begin to explain our gratitude and we just really hope people get behind the gala, behind the movement and help us help others in Ben’s name.”
For more information about Our Missing Peace or to book a ticket to the gala visit www.ourmissingpeace.org.