The Missing People choir, which is made up of families with missing loved ones have joined forces with music stars from across the decades including Rick Astley, Chesney Hawkes, Nik Kershaw, Carol Decker, Lesley Garrett, Hayley Tamaddon, Jodie Prenger, Debra Stephenson, Kerry Ellis, Balsamo Deighton and G4 on a charity single which they are hoping the public will get behind to help reach every missing child.
The original song, ‘I Hope’ was inspired by the words of Kevin Gosden whose son Andrew went missing at the age of 14 in 2007 and highlights the heartbreak facing families with missing loved ones, and the often agonising hope of seeing them again.
Missing People Choir members performing on the single include; Nicki Durbin, for whom the song also marks the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of her son Luke on 12 May, Peter Boxell, whose son Lee went missing in 1988, Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin went missing in May 1992, Ros Hodgkiss, whose daughter Alice Gross was missing for a month before she was tragically found to have been murdered, and Denise Horvath Allan, whose son Charles went missing in 1989.
Nicki Durbin, mother of missing Luke said, “It’s a hugely emotional time for me and my family as we reach 10 years since we last saw my beautiful boy. It would be truly wonderful for families like mine if the public would put their support behind this single and show the world that Luke and all these missing children are not forgotten.”
Chesney Hawkes said, “I feel honoured to be joining the Missing People Choir on this single. The power of the lyrics really brings home the struggle faced by those families living in limbo, hoping that their child will one day come back to them.”
The single’s release has been made possible thanks to the ongoing support of Royal Mail. The company has been working with Missing People since November 2014 when it began distributing “high risk” missing people alerts - including Child Rescue Alerts – to its 123,000 postmen and women across the UK through their handheld scanners. The Missing People Choir’s performance in the music video was filmed at Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant Mail Centre, where they were joined by the company’s own Mail Voice Choir.
Gary Grange, Royal Mail Community Investment Manager said "Royal Mail is a national company with a local presence and our people are at the heart of every community in the UK. We are proud to support the charity Missing People and ultimately, the families longing for news of their loved ones. We hope that the support we provide helps raise awareness of missing people and provides greater hope for families who are going through the most unimaginable torment.
We’re thrilled that our Mail Voice choir took part in the video and would urge everyone to download the single and to help the charity find missing children and reunite families.”
“I Hope” was co-written and produced by Missing People Choir Director James Hawkins and Ash Alexander. The music video was produced by Rav Vadgama.
James Hawkins, Director of the Missing People Choir said, “This song is all about bringing people together through music. The families of missing people have come together to form a choir and share their very unique experiences together and in doing so are communicating this to the rest of the world in a way that words alone can not. As the saying goes ‚‘Where words fail, music speaks‘.“
Clare Cook, Head of Campaigns at Missing People said,“We are so very grateful to everyone who has already got behind this single - from the producers and performers to the Royal Mail, and hope that with the public’s support we can find some of the 140,000 children who go missing in the UK every year by raising vital funds and awareness.”