It is every parents' single worst nightmare. Something you could never imagine happening - until it actually does and on 24th July 1991, it happened to the Needham family. The family embarked upon a dream new start on the stunning island of Kos, Greece. Whilst visiting the old farmhouse, Eddie Needham (Ben's grandfather) was refurbishing as a project on behalf of a Greek local - the start of their nightmare was about to unfold. It was a normal sunny day, all was well, Ben was playing just outside the house with his toys, his grandmother was literally feet away from him when everything suddenly went quiet. Mrs Needham searched frantically and found no trace of him, Ben had vanished into thin air and has never been seen by his family since, despite a few false leads and positive sightings. This forced the family to sell every possession they owned just to get a ticket back home and start to try and come to terms with everything!!! The family resorted to desperate measures with Eddie wandering the island for days and even sleeping rough on the beach, but all in vain, every local search effort at the time drew a blank - Someone must have the vital information as to his whereabouts!
The family have never ever given up hope of being re-united with Ben (who was aged 21 months at the time). Back in 1991, they didn't have things like facebook or mobile phones so I am sure you can fully appreciate the search effort although very thorough was very limited. Twenty Three difficult and painful years later, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Ben (who would be 25 now) has still not been solved and furthermore, the family have been let down by various authorities over the years and have not recieved a single penny from the government and all of the leads/private investigators etc have had to come directly out of their pocket. Just recently, the UK Home Office have agreed to release some funding for South Yorkshire Police to form a joint investigation team to follow up the leads, whilst this is very good and will help alot, the Needham family will still have to fund everything from flights/acommodation etc. The Needhams are an ordinary working-class family with no millions in their banks. You may remember other high profile cases which have received alot of attention in both the media and by the government and more importantly have recieved a substantial amount of funding. The Needham family on the other hand have recieved no such thing and after years of struggle, the UK government have only just allowed resources to investigate. It is very humbling to think that for the record, the Needham family have never asked for any money for this nor have they wanted to be in the limelight, the only thing they really want is to solve the mystery of their missing child. One of the major issues which most people probably don't know is that for the past 23 years, every expense they have needed to follow up on a lead with regards Ben's disappearance (which involves having to take time off work AND pay for flights and accommodation in whichever country they have to be in), they have had to totally foot the bill themselves!! Yes, it is totally beyond words isn't it. We (The campaign network independant from the Needham family) have set the amount to £25,000 which is not a great deal really in comparison to what has really been spent so far and what is needed for the future - but a realistic amount to at least recoup monies spent previously and afford the Needham family some future expenses funds. It is calculated that it would take 5,000 donations of just £5.00 to make the target, that is not alot of money to give up to help a family in their quest to find their missing child. If we exceed this target then that will be amazing but primarily we would really like to hit the target before April 2015. In return for your donations, you will be one of the honoured people who will have made the massive difference to one very down to earth, loving and amazing family's lives. Please donate and lets find this "man" and re-unite him with his family where he belongs, if you are like many people, you will already remember this case and will have already taken this plight to your hearts. Let us all doing something positive and we would like to thank you very much in advance for your support xxx
Ben Needham - Missing since 1991 - Please Help Find Ben
All donations will be gratefully received, as will any information which will help with the campaign (and will be discussed in strictest of confidence).