The caring and highly trained staff at Missing People offer a lifeline to the 250,000 people who go missing or run away in the UK each year. With support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, they also provide a range of specialised services to ease the heartache and confusion of the families and friends of those who have disappeared. Through posting daily appeals and updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages, the charity has been successful in reuniting many families. Missing People's team also frequently organise events to further raise the profile of the charity itself.
One such event was the Missing People Cycle Challenge 2013, which saw 15 volunteers cycling 500 miles over the course of five days. Starting in Edinburgh, the volunteers passed through Newcastle, York, Nottingham and Northampton before reaching their final destination in Richmond, London. Completing this challenge depended on a very high level of cycling proficiency and physical stamina as cyclists had to battle the elements and cross over some tough terrain. A constant pace of 15mph was required to meet the deadlines put in place.
Lucy Holmes, Research Manager at Missing People, was more than ready to swap office life for a cycling adventure. Before setting off from Edinburgh Lucy said: “We're all raising money for Missing People. We've all had a target of £2,000 to raise. Quite a few of us have already hit our target and already we've raised around £25,000.”
This is the second year of the Missing People Cycle Challenge. Lucy explained that in 2012 “it was a small group and they were the guinea pigs. It went so well that we've decided to make it an annual event”. Participants received donations from family, friends and corporate organisations which help Missing People’s excellent work to continue.
"We're doing this to raise money for the charity Missing People which is where I work”, said Karen Robinson, Partnerships Manager at Missing People. “I have the great privilege of really knowing what this is for and knowing that the challenge that we're about to take on is really nothing compared to some of the challenges faced by the children and adults who go missing every year.”
All 15 volunteers successfully crossed the finish line in Richmond on 3rd July to a massive round of applause and hugs from family members and friends. The cyclists were keen to emphasise the camaraderie of the cycle and encourage other people to take part in coming years. As well as raising vital funds for Missing People, these riders got to take in some stunning British scenery and make new life-long friends.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery give fantastic support to Missing People and have raised more than £1.7 Million so far for this wonderful charity. This funding is vital as it allows Missing People's volunteers to continue their searches and relocate those who have disappeared.