Your browser or operating system is not supported

If you view our website on this device, the site will not display as intended. Some functionality may not work correctly.

We recommend you upgrade your software or view our website on an alternate device or browser.

To sign up to play or for help with your People’s Postcode Lottery account, call our Customer Experience team on 0808 109 8765 or email us at

Skip to Main Content

How To Help

How To Get Involved With A Missing People Charity

How To Get Involved With A Missing People Charity

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.  


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.  


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.  


  • 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.  

Helping Deserving Causes

If you'd like to know more about getting involved in volunteering in your community, take a look at our Local Causes page and find opportunities near you.

Last updated: 16/03/2021

Read next