Hundreds of families honouring Owen Jenkins with purple ribbon campaign

The ribbons which Emma Heath has made with Tina Hayes feature Owen's name printed on them.

Hundreds of Beeston residents will tie purple ribbons to their homes to pay their respects to a ‘kind and caring’ 12-year-old boy who died after going into the River Trent.

Owen was seen going under the water near Beeston Marina a week last Monday, July 10.

He is said to have gone into the river to save a friend’s life and his body was recovered by emergency crews four hours later.

Jolene Haywood, 41, is a self-employed florist and lives near Beeston Weir, where Owen died. She knew Owen well and is a “good friend” of his mum Nicola.

Jolene says Owen’s favourite colour was purple and the waterproof ribbons she is making are similar to those commonly wrapped on wedding cars, so Beeston is a sea of purple for his funeral on Saturday, August 5, at Bramcote Crematorium.

The ribbons made by Jolene Haywood.

Another group, meanwhile, has designed small purple lapel ribbons printed with Owen’s name which people can attach to clothes.

They were made by Tina Hayes, who lives in Toton, whose son Ethan, 13, was good friends with Owen through playing rugby.

Tina printed the ribbons with Emma Heath, 40, from Chilwell, whose daughter Millie, 14, also knew Owen from school.

They have printed around 2,000 ribbons which can be collected from Nottingham Casuals Rugby Club.

The lapel ribbons are free – but donations can be made for the family.

Emma said: “It’s been a team effort between myself, my daughter Millie, Tina and her mum.

“This evening we are hoping to gather a few of the rugby mums to help us finish the last few hundred, we will have almost 2,000 ribbons, each printed with the text.”

Jolene Haywood says the Beeston community has been “really shaken” following Owen’s death and his family is “well-known in the community”.

“Nicola Jenkins is one of those people who would do anything for anyone and people just want to pay a bit of respect to show we’re all supporting her and her family and Owen who was such a great lad,” she said.

Beeston Marina. (picture: Google)

“He [Owen] was funny, kind and caring. He loved his mum to bits. They had such a special relationship.”

Jolene says she made between 400 and 500 bows last night with her daughter Chloe – which she is encouraging the community to tie around their fences, gates and fronts of their houses.

The idea is called Let’s Paint Rylands Purple and the ribbons have been delivered to a number of local shops for people to collect for free.

Jolene says she thought up the idea “a couple of days ago” and the support from the community has been “amazing”.

“I thought about making bows to put by the weir,” she said.

“I popped by to see Nicola and she said it is a great idea. My oldest daughter Amy said we should call it Let’s Paint Rylands Purple.

“Last night (July 19) my phone was going crazy with shops offering to have some of the ribbons for people to collect – many people have offered to make the bows.

Emergency services searched for Owen.

“Everybody wants to get involved in some way – even people from Chilwell and Attenborough have bows in their shops.”

A charity motorbike ride led by Owen’s brother Jordan takes place on Sunday (July 23). A group of around 500 bikers, including members of the group Nottz Bikerz, will travel to the weir before holding a minute’s silence.

Members of the group will collect donations for Owen’s family on the day.

So far £10,130 has been raised on an online fundraising page for Owen’s family, although more money has been raised in total thanks to efforts collecting money in cash.

Jolene added: “All the bows are free of charge for people to collect. As a community people can take the bows to show their love and support for the family.

“Broxtowe Borough Council said it is fine for us to decorate the bridge and shops on Wollaton Road, so the route is purple for Owen’s funeral.”

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