The volunteers, staff, and trustees at Missing People are saddened to confirm the death of Janet Newman OBE on the 26th June 2016.
With her sister Mary, Janet founded the charity Missing People (then the National Missing Person’s Helpline) in response to the 1986 disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh. Initially operating from a bedroom in the sisters’ home, they launched a free 24/7 helpline offering support to missing people and their families.
Janet and Mary’s commitment to the cause saw them register as a charity in 1993, re-mortgaging their own home to ensure the organisation's survival. The fledgling charity was bolstered by longstanding supporters including Sir Trevor McDonald, John Stapleton and Alastair Stewart as well as a visit from Diana, Princess of Wales in 1993.
Among many honours recognising their selfless dedication, the sisters were recipients of OBEs in 1996.
Janet and Mary stepped down from their roles at Missing People in 2004 and have continued to support the charity thereafter. Janet leaves a powerful legacy – a truly unique national service for both missing children, missing adults and their families left behind.
Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People said: “Janet, along with her sister Mary, have created something truly special. When Suzy Lamplugh disappeared the sisters joined the search. That support for one missing loved one, one desperate community, led to an organisation that now helps thousands of people every year.
I was always inspired when I met Janet. She could light up the room, spoke powerfully with conviction and her tenacity and drive is something the charity continues to this day. We have lost a remarkable woman. We will hold her ethos in our hearts.”