According to leading charity Missing People, there are around 365,000 instances of someone going missing in the UK every year. Of these, 186,000 are reported, with children much more likely to be at risk.
Why Volunteer With A Missing People Charity?
In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds. There are lots of different reasons why people go missing. Mental health issues, relationship problems and dementia can be common themes among those who do. As well as helping to find people, charities in this field aim to address why people are missing or may be thinking of running away, which may include things like abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation.
If you want to make a genuine difference where it counts, volunteering for a missing people charity could be perfect for you. Whether you're reuniting worried parents with their children, or helping someone escape a distressing situation, you might find you meet lots of great people and learn new skills along the way.
How To Help Missing People Charities
BECOME A HELPLINE VOLUNTEER
Helplines are crucial to missing people charities. They provide emotional support around the clock for people who are concerned about a missing person and their safety, as well as for people who have gone missing and then decide to reach out. They also offer confidential support for people who are thinking of running away, and you'll receive high levels of training to deal with all of these situations should you offer to help.
PUT OUT POSTERS
Posters are a vital tool in trying to locate missing people. Getting as many eyes as possible on faces is crucial. Although putting up posters yourself can be helpful, major missing people charities also have partners around the country who display posters. Liaising with shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, libraries and offices, you can help to keep these partners up to date with the latest information.
SEE IF YOU RECOGNISE A FACE
There are thousands of people looking for a loved one up and down the UK at any one time. You can help them with just a click and a few minutes of your time. See if you recognise any of the faces on the Missing People website, where you can narrow the search down by your area, and report a sighting of anyone you recognise.
SPREAD THE WORD
Another way you can help in an instant is by promoting appeals and campaigns. Finding the quickest resolution possible to a missing person case can be crucial, so sharing appeals on your social media channels could make a real difference.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
- If you take up a volunteering role that requires plenty of training, such as a helpline position, you'll probably have to commit to at least three to six months before you start.
- If you can't make a commitment like that, don't be afraid to ask individual charities if there's anything you can do with the time you can spare, even if there aren't any specific roles being advertised.
Where To Get Started
If you want to get involved with an organisation of this type that does lots of wonderful work, take a look at Missing People. People's Postcode Lottery players have raised over £6 Million so far for this amazing charity, and you could be adding to that by signing up to play People's Postcode Lottery.