Brooke Kinsella opened up about celebrating her son’s birthday on the anniversary of her brother’s death.
The ex-EastEnders’ brother Ben was stabbed to death in north London aged 16 in an unprovoked attack in 2008.
Speaking on Lorraine Today, the former EastEnders actress turned knife crime prevention campaigner revealed she faces a ‘roller coaster’ day as she was preparing to mark both the 15th anniversary of her brother’s death and her son’s birthday on June 29.
The activist, who founded the Ben Kinsella Trust with her family, said she believed her brother sent her a baby boy on that fateful date to make him “a little better”.
His son is named Ben after his brother.
Brooke Kinsella has opened up about celebrating her son’s birthday on the anniversary of the death of her brother Ben, who was stabbed to death in 2008 in north London.
Brooke’s son Ben, named after his late uncle, will turn one on Thursday as the family celebrates 15 years since Brooke’s brother died
Speaking about giving birth to her son on the day her brother died, Brooke said: ‘You couldn’t make it up. It took me a little while to figure it out because it will be on a Thursday, which is a huge year for the charity and my family,’
She added that the anniversary would be a “one-day roller coaster”.
“I really believe it was Big Ben who sent Little Ben to me to make a really tough day a bit better, because I can’t lie in bed or be sad anymore.” I’ll have to get up and make the day for Ben [her son] too,” Brooke said.
“I called my mom as soon as I found out he was coming on this date, and she said, ‘Brooke, that’s a sign,'” the actress shared.
“I saw my mum and dad waking up on that awful day and crying and being sad and they put their brave faces on for their other children and that’s what I will have to do now in the future,” a- she concluded.
Reflecting on the 15th anniversary of her brother’s death, Brooke told Lorraine: ‘I don’t think there would have been a reason that would have helped or made it okay, it was so pointless, the most precious life stolen for no reason.’
And she also regretted that 15 years after her brother’s death the reality of knife crime in the UK has not improved.
“I would give anything 15 years later to be sitting here saying we are in a better place and all this work from the Ben Kinsella Trust and my family and so many other families has helped but we don’t we’re not, we’re just worse than ever,” she said.
Since quitting acting, Brooke has campaigned to tackle knife crime in honor of her brother Ben, who was just 16 when he was killed (pictured)
“It’s such a complex issue, the work we do at Ben Kinsella Teust that is so important to us is early intervention.
“Simply put, kids aren’t born with a knife, it’s a learned behavior. Prevention is better than cure, it’s about “don’t wait for them to be wrong”.
“Let’s go and teach them the consequences of their choices and try to educate them and give them the tools to make the right choices, to protect themselves,” she continued.
Brooke emphasized the importance of deterrence, punishment and justice for victims and their families.
Ben was stabbed to death in June 2008 at a party with friends when he was just 16 (childhood photos)
She said her parents had ‘never slept properly’ since her brother was murdered and that, although they put on brave faces every day, ‘the light went out from their eyes on the day of his death”.
“But we just have to teach our kids, carrying a knife is not going to protect you. And that’s what the majority of them are thinking right now.
“They are scared, they hear about knife crime everywhere and they are scared. And we need to eradicate this myth,” she continued.
She also stressed the importance of more people getting involved in the national effort to end knife crime.
“It’s a collective action, we can’t do it alone, we need everyone to do their small part,” she said.
Brooke took to Instagram last year after welcoming her son on the day her brother died.
Sharing a picture of her baby, she wrote: ‘Ben Ross Boardley 6/29/22.
A perfect miracle given to us on a day when so much was taken away from us.
‘Named after the best of men. He will make them so proud, I already know that.
The 38-year-old star – who played Kelly Taylor on EastEnders for three years from 2001 to 2004 – announced last March that she and her husband Simon were to welcome a sibling into their family for their daughter Elsie, two.
The actress – who founded the Ben Kinsella Trust in her memory and was awarded an MBE for her charity work – previously admitted it was “heartbreaking” for her that her daughter Elsie never met her uncle.
She said: “It’s a double-edged sword. Being Elsie’s mom is all I ever wanted, but on the other hand, I can’t help but think of everyone who isn’t here to meet her. For me, the main missing person is Ben.
“Obviously I love Elsie more than anything and having loved Ben so much too, it’s heartbreaking to know that they will never have the chance to meet.”
In 2018, Brooke helped the team at EastEnders as they researched a knife crime storyline that saw character Shakil Kazemi (Shaheen Jafargholi) stabbed to death by a gang member.
In 2008 Ben, who was celebrating the end of his GCSEs, was walking home when he was separated from his friends and cornered by three men, who mistakenly believed he was involved in an earlier row they had been “disrespected”.
Michael Alleyne, 18, was jailed alongside fellow gang members Jade Braithwaite, 20, and Juress Kika, 19, after they stabbed Kinsella, 16, 11 times after leaving the Shillibeers Bar in Islington with friends.
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