'IT'S EMOTIONALLY draining but we are not giving up', said Valerie Nettles, mother of Damien, a 16-year-old boy who disappeared 22 years ago today (Friday).

In 1996, Damien was last seen at Yorkie's chip shop on Cowes High Street after a night out with friends. He has never been found.

Valerie, who has campaigned tirelessly for answers about her son's disappearance, petitioned for improved guidelines to ensure more missing people are found.

The law, known as Damien's Law, aimed to improve communication between all parties involved in a missing persons case.

Today, the petition for the law to be debated in parliament closed due to insufficient signatures.

Valerie said: "It's with sadness we are ceasing the Damien's Law petition. We failed to resonate with people and signatures are low.

"It's emotionally draining for all involved but we are not giving up on finding Damien. Thank you to all who signed and supported us."

Supporters on Twitter have sent messages of encouragement this morning.

One said: "I feel I can speak for many many people when I saw Damien will never be forgotten. As a mother, I admire your strength and determination."

Valerie has asked Islanders to light a candle in memory of Damien today.