Nathan Priest’s kids send a message to their ‘dad in heaven’

HEARTBREAKING: This Notts family had a beautiful idea to help their kids stay connected to their dad.

News of Nathan’s death shocked the community following a week-long search and a frantic appeal by his family for the 28-year-old to come home.

Helen Darby and her children Enya and Wesley, release balloons with messages of love for their dad Nathan.

Helen Darby and her children Enya and Wesley, release balloons with messages of love for their dad Nathan.

This week his five-year-old daughter Enya and her younger brother Wesley (two) were helped by their mum, Nathan’s partner Helen Darby to send the special message from the garden of the house they all shared.

Helen said: “The children really doted on him. Our youngest doesn’t really understand. We’ve told Enya, and she’s been really grown up. She said ‘he won’t be in his shed anymore’.

“I explained that he had turned into an angel and he was going to heaven, and if she ever wants to send a message to daddy she can send a balloon up.

“So this week Enya sent her message, by attaching a drawing to a balloon which she has sent up into the sky.”

Helen Darby and her children Enya and Wesley, release balloons with messages of love for their dad Nathan.

Helen Darby and her children Enya and Wesley, release balloons with messages of love for their dad Nathan.

Nathan was well known around Warsop as a ‘joker’, Helen said, and was a huge lover of motorbikes and a keen woodworker, who could always be found in the workshop at the end of their garden.

Only 28 when he died, Nathan was a well-known and Helen said anyone who had building work done at their house would recognise him.

Paying tribute to Nathan, Helen added: “He was such a funny person and everyone knew him. He had all these sayings, like ‘are you buzzing’ - he would just say it randomly when he walked in a room.”

“We built a life together – we met at school but we didn’t actually get together until we had both left.

Warsop dad Nathan Priest was found dead on September 16. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police.

Warsop dad Nathan Priest was found dead on September 16. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police.

“I’ll always remember him as just this really funny, really happy person that everyone knew.

“He was creative, and would always come home with bits and pieces, and take them apart and make things with them.

The young dad went missing on September 9 and after a week-long search, including police and dozens of people in the community, his body was sadly found on September 16.

Helen thanks the community for their help at that frantic time, and again as they rally around to raise funds for her and the children.

Helen Darby and her children Enya and Wesley, release balloons with messages of love for their dad Nathan.

Helen Darby and her children Enya and Wesley, release balloons with messages of love for their dad Nathan.

She said: “The past few weeks have been rough, but all the support we’ve had has been amazing. All the people who have come out to help us – it’s all come out of nowhere.”

A date has not yet been set for the opening of Nathan’s inquest, although a full hearing is not expected for several months.

Family friends are organising a fundraiser Helen and the children. All are invited to a fun day at his local, the Woodend Pub in Wood Lane, from 1pm on Saturday, for children’s entertainment and raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

Supporters have already collecting more than £2,000 with a Gofundme appeal, and are now planning a number of fundraising fun day.

Leigh Chadburn, a friend of the family, is organising the event. The 39-year-old mum said: “Nathan’s brother asked if we could do a bit of a fund-raiser for his partner Helen and their two children.

So she and other friends are planning a huge fun day complete with competitions, children’s entertainment and a number of prized from local businesses to be raffled off.

Helen Darby with her chidren Enya and Wesley, and Nathan's mum Shirley, who released balloons with messages of love for their dad.

Helen Darby with her chidren Enya and Wesley, and Nathan's mum Shirley, who released balloons with messages of love for their dad.

Leigh added: “We were gob-smacked by everybody’s generosity, we’ve got just under £2,000. The donations we’ve had from people in the local area. We’ve had a meal from Java Cafe, drinks form Bargain Booze. Fatboy Ink a tattooist giving away an our of his time to be raffled at the event.”

Fellow organiser Shannon Smedley, 27, said: “I grew up with Nathan and he was really well known in the area.”

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard. Everyone thought he would show up. I helped organise the searches with his brother Aaron. People came from all over to help and that shows how well liked he was and so many people have been brilliant by donating to his family.”

To make a donation visit Gofundme page here.