A road to commemorate a brave 12-year-old boy who lost his life has been officially unveiled by his family and friends in Beeston.
Barratt Homes recently welcomed Nicola and Gary Jenkins, parents of the hero Owen Jenkins, to its Beeston Quarter development to open the road named after their son on the fifth anniversary of his death.
Owen Jenkins Close is a lasting legacy for Owen, who saved the lives of two girls struggling to swim in Beeston Weir back in July 2017. The naming of the road will enable those who see his name throughout the years to get to know the story of Owen’s bravery.
At the event, a ribbon was cut by Nicola and Gary to officially unveil the road alongside Martyn Parker, Sales Director at Barratt Homes North Midlands. Both the ribbon and the commemorative wristbands handed out on the day were purple, which was Owen’s favourite colour.
Nicola said: “It’s always an emotional time around Owen’s anniversary but we have great friends and family that share our grief and stories of Owen.
“To see people there for the unveiling of Owen Jenkins Close made us realise that Owen touched so many hearts. We will always be grateful for the love and support on that night and still now, from our Police Liaison Officers Paula and Simon, but also James from the Police Dive Team who found our boy and brought him back to us so we could hold him one more time.
“The team at Barratt Homes were respectful, kind and we’d like to say thank you for making the day special for us and Owen. The wristbands we were all given were a beautiful gift that made us feel so proud of our boy.”
In attendance on the day were a number of Owen’s close family and friends, in addition to the emergency services; some of which were first at the scene on the day of Owen’s heroic actions at Beeston Weir.
Owen Jenkins Close will help Owen’s memory live forever in Beeston and the road features seven houses, which Nicola noted was always her son’s number.
Nicola added: “If you ever met Owen, you would have known how amazing he was. He would go out of his way to help others and never left any of his friends out. He was the peacemaker, and an all-round loving and caring son, brother, cousin and grandson.
“Owen always said he would be famous when he was younger, he told me regularly. He thought it would be for rugby as he was just awesome, but he didn’t realise he would be famous for being a hero and saving his friends.
“Owen Jenkins’ legacy will continue, we will always share Owen’s story and educate children and adults about the dangers of open water and what to do in an emergency. Had Owen known what to do, he might still be here today to tell his story himself.”
Martyn Parker said: “It’s an absolute privilege to honour Owen’s lasting legacy at our Beeston Quarter development and it was lovely to be joined by his family, friends and the emergency services to mark the official opening of Owen Jenkins Close.
“The brave and life-saving actions of Owen will always be remembered, and we hope the road named in his honour will contribute to his story being shared in Beeston and beyond.”
Owen’s family set up the Open Water Education Network, or OWEN, in his name, which educates people about how to stay safe around water. More information can be found at https://owen7.org.uk/.
For information about Barratt Homes, visit www.barratthomes.co.uk.