A SONGWRITER from Wearside is aiming to bring hope to the family of a missing boy.
British toddler Ben Needham disappeared more than 20 years ago from the Greek island of Kos, aged 21 months.
His devastated family have never given up looking for him and have now enlisted the help of musician Nigel Graham.
The 42-year-old, from High Usworth, Washington, has already composed moving anthems in support of the search for Madeleine McCann and missing Canadian Jessie Foster, who disappeared from Las Vegas, aged 21.
Nigel explained how he became involved with the campaign, which led to Ben’s mum Kerry getting in touch to thank him for his support.
“A man called Steve Farthing who runs Madeleine forum asked if I could write and compose a song for Ben, because the song I did to help Madeleine has been a good success on the internet in raising awareness.
“I finished the song then sent it to Ben’s official website, which has made the official video for the song.
“Kerry has been in touch she was in tears. It’s taken 20 years for someone to come along and help. With a song for Ben, I am hoping to help raise funds with the downloads, as it’s only 99p on iTunes.
“All money raised is going towards Ben’s campaign. I would like to have some luggage labels made for Ben so when people go on there holidays to Greece the picture of Ben and information is on labels to spread the word.
“We are also asking for television and radio presenters to download the song and play it on their show.
“The public can help by sharing the official video A Song for Ben on Youtube and downloading the song on itunes.”
Kerry Needham has dedicated her life to trying to track down Ben, whose distinctive blond hair hit the headlines when he went missing in July 1991.
She said: “Nigel’s song will help gain media publicity regarding Ben’s abduction and keeping it in the public eye as much as possible, as it is so difficult to come up with ideas to keep the media interested.
“I thought the song was a wonderful idea and nothing like this has been done before for Ben; it has certainly brought Ben’s case back to light again and also using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it also reaches people that are not even aware that Ben is missing.
“I can not even begin to explain how much this means to myself and Ben’s family. Nigel is such a talented and wonderful person for doing this for us.”
A spokesman for the campaign to find Ben said: “We hope that this song will be seen around the world and raise much more needed awareness for Ben’s story, and could even reach Ben himself, and get him to ask the questions about himself he may not have thought before.
“We believe Ben is still out there somewhere and that we will find him.”
The official video can be seen at www.find.ben.co.uk.