This year, 20 - 26 May sees the launch of #FindEveryChild Week, to raise awareness of the 80,000 children that go missing every year in the UK.
UK charity Missing People is marking International Missing Children’s Day by highlighting stories throughout the week of some of the children who disappeared and remain missing months, years and even decades later. On Friday, celebrity supporters from TV, music, film and sport will join thousands of others sharing appeals for missing people for 12 hours on social media as part of The Big Tweet for Missing Children.
Media partner The Sun Online are supporting Find Every Child Week by featuring a different family each day, who tell them the story of a child going missing from their family. On Monday, they met with Kevin and Glenys Gosden, father of Andrew who went missing in 2007.
Glenys said “Andrew going missing has had a profound effect, as I am sure all the families in our position would say. Your life seems to be split. It is like it is on two levels. On one level, you are functioning in your everyday life. On another, it feels as if you are stuck and just can’t move on. And the sadness is always there."
Chart-topping rock band the Vamps are supporting Missing People’s Big Tweet and helping the charity reunite missing children with their families as part of Find Every Child Week, which began on Monday.
The Vamps will be joined on stage at their 02 gig in London on Saturday 25th May, which is International Missing Children’s Day, by Voices For Missing. Formerly known as the Missing People Choir, Voices For Missing reached the finals of Britain’s Got Talent 2017, and are appearing with The Vamps in support of the charity Missing People.
James McVey from the Vamps said: “We are delighted to support Missing People as part of Find Every Child Week, and highlight the plight of children and young people who go missing. This is an issue that affects so many people, like Bek Stratfield who we have been chatting to, whose son Finn Layland-Stratfield is missing. Missing People provides invaluable support for families and those missing through their free 24/7 helpline on 116 000, and their support services for young people at risk of going missing. At our concert at the 02 on Saturday we will be sharing information about those who are missing in the hope that it will jog people’s memories and bring people safely home.”
In the UK, a child or young person goes missing every two minutes, causing devastation for their families left waiting for news.
Bek, who recently met The Vamps and whose son Finn has been missing since 2017, said: “The more people we inform, the greater the chance of jogging someone’s memory or finding a missing person safe and well. If you see an appeal come up on social media, just share. The helpline is there 24/7, and that’s for people who are thinking of going missing, are missing and families like ours, who are living with someone having gone missing.”
During The Big Tweet, Missing People will tweet 24 appeals for missing children over 12 hours from Twitter HQ in London, encouraging members of the public to join in and increase the reach of the appeals to communities across the country.
Dara Nasr, Managing Director of Twitter UK, said: “The Big Tweet team will be on hand to support Missing People and we're delighted that Twitter is being used in such a positive way to help with the search to find those children and young people who are missing. We hope that the power of our engaged community can make a real difference in spreading the word, so that people know what they can do to help, and also highlight the great support that Missing People provides."
Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People, said: “By working together with our wonderful partners, we are aiming to make this a record year for The Big Tweet and Find Every Child Week. We are hoping that it will make a real difference to the lives of people who are missing and their families.”
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “The Big Tweet is a great way to let as many people as possible know to share appeals for people who are missing, and to highlight the support available at Missing People. Our players support of Missing People means the charity can be there for people in crisis whenever they are needed, including the families who are desperate for news of their missing child, or for the young people who are missing and in potential danger. Missing People, and everyone on Team Big Tweet, can help provide the vital support people need.”