Missing People offers 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, the charity has gone from strength to strength and has been successful in reuniting many families. The experts at Missing People also provide specialised services to ease the confusion and suffering of those left behind, the families and loved ones of the missing.
The charity recently marked its 20th anniversary with Miles for Missing People, a 10km run which took place on the beautiful Clapham Common in London. Hundreds of runners were keen to highlight the amazing work of Missing People and, wearing a missing person's poster on their backs, these runners further raised the profile of the charity itself. The event, which took place on 25th May, coincided with International Missing Children's Day and was also supported by many celebrity ambassadors.
Speaking at the run, Henry Shelford, Major Gifts Manager of Missing People said: "This is Missing People's flagship event for runners, supporters and families but mainly a family support day where families can get together, run the 10K but also get a great deal of support from one another."
Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People, also highlighted the importance of the event: "There are so many families here today who have someone missing and for them it's a chance to get together, to meet other families who are in the same position as they are. All of this is thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery who provide the most amazing support for our charity and we are so grateful for that support."
With music from the amazing Rock Choir and a lively Zumba class to get things warmed up, the event got off to a great start. All those who crossed the finish line received a massive round of applause and were awarded special medals. Despite the sadness felt by many in attendance, everyone was keen to emphasise the great work carried out by Missing People.
"This event really helps because firstly it's a way of meeting other families who've experienced the same as yourself and that's such a help", explained Rachel Elias, whose brother, Richey Edwards of the pop-rock band Manic Street Preachers, went missing in 1995. "Secondly", continued Rachel, "it's a way of raising awareness for the charity. Raising vital funds for them as well. They're widening their services all the time and that is why it's so important that they continue as a charity."
Peter Lawrence, whose daughter Claudia went missing in 2009, said: "The charity is just so fantastic. I didn't even realise it existed until Claudia went missing. I came down to see what they are doing and it's just totally amazing. Their helpline runs 24 hours a day, finding people, looking after families. I just can't say enough for them."
To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £1.7 Million for Missing People. This funding has enabled Missing People to continue their amazing work in finding and helping vulnerable children, young people and adults across the UK.