Missing People shortlisted for the Charity Governance Awards 2022

Missing People are shortlisted for the Charity Governance Awards 2022!

Our trustee board has been recognised by the Charity Governance Awards for their efforts in digitally transforming Missing People and its services. Our programme of digital transformation, called One Safe Click, was spearheaded by our trustees, who have shown continual leadership and support to staff throughout the process. We are delighted that our leadership has gained this recognition for their hard work over the past years!

Take a Look at our Nomination

Below we look a little more into our digital transformation…

Why was a digital transformation necessary?

During 2012-2015, demand for Missing People’s services had doubled, but the charity was only helping 1% (10,400) of those affected. Our trustees set an ambitious five-year strategy to double the number of people helped each year – aiming for 20,000 by 2021. Taking the lead, trustees considered how the charity could achieve this ambition. How could we increase referrals? How could we reach those who weren’t aware of our services? Moreover, how could we increase our own capacity to meet this increase?

Our leadership identified three needs:

1) Missing children wanted to access support digitally. Phone calls from children had reduced by 47% year-on-year. Children who really needed the charity’s support were just not making contact. Missing People and NSPCC’s held a consultation with young victims of exploitation (exploitation has strong links to missing), led by Dame Esther Rantzen. This highlighted that many of these young people felt ‘too old’ for support aimed at children. They also felt worried that their information would be passed to police if they accessed support. So, they wanted an anonymous digital service.

2) Similarly, missing adults wanted to access support digitally too. During 2017/18, website visits were up by more than 30% on the previous year. In addition, use of the charity’s phone services by adults also dropped by  39%. In other words, digital services were becoming an increasingly necessity.

3) Two in three families said they would like content and guidance written by people with lived experience, and a safe online space just for them. One of the charity’s key values is placing people with lived experience at the core of our work, and so this advice was taken on board immediately.

What was our digital transformation?

Missing People responded with a programme of digital transformations, called One Safe Click. The programme included:

  • Establishing Advisory Groups to help keep the charity focused and to explore digital user journeys for its support services.
  • The trustees taking the time to learn about the digital roadblocks within the charity’s infrastructure. These included an old website, ageing servers and IT services, and limited staff resources for admin tasks.
  • The charity leading a pilot of our ‘Is This OK?’ service – an anonymous chatbot service for vulnerable young people at risk of exploitation and ‘missing’, in partnership with NSPCC.
  • Expanding our online chat function for missing people of all ages.
  • Establishing a new website, to help the charity create a responsive online support platform, and connect their services more effectively to those in need.
  • Finally, establishing a new online community to provide peer-led support for family members.

How has it helped?

The aim of One Safe Click was that any missing person or loved one left behind would be ‘one safe click’ from support. Anywhere, on any device. One Safe Click was a multi-channel digital transformation that has allowed us to support more children, adults and families in need. Missing People’s services are now much more digitally accessible, and the charity’s infrastructure is scalable, responsive, integrated and effective.

The transformation has meant more people can access help, information and systems to empower them to be safe, and to link to others in the same situation to seek support. It has created the potential to sustainably scale up the charity’s reach, without the need to increase staff and costs.

Ongoing data collection and impact monitoring is leading to further improvements that mean the charity is increasingly expanding its reach, getting help to more vulnerable people on the edge of exploitation and those in crisis.


Missing People is delighted that this hard work has paid off, and that our One Safe Click programme and leadership has gained this recognition from the Charity Governance Awards. It’s also great to see so many other charities’ work celebrated, in so many different categories.

Have a Look at This Year’s Full List of Shortlisted Charities

Sign up to be a Digital Search Hero

We have launched a regular email so that you can be aware of new missing person appeals and share them far and wide! We are also calling on all Heroes to be the eyes and ears for Missing People on the ground. Your sighting of a missing person could make a difference in a crucial time.