Missing People’s 2022 Recap

As 2022 has come to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the year we had.

We have outlined key achievements and highlights from the year to celebrate the work of all those at the charity.


2021/2022 has been a challenging but rewarding year for our services team. They have dealt with the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the beginning of the Cost-Of-Living Crisis. The team have overcome so much in an unprecedented time, and it’s incredible to see the work they have done. Let’s take a quick look back to see what has happened in this year.

In 2021/22 we

  • helped 3,832 children and young people, 2,102 adults and 1,521 families.
  • supported 2,324 adults and children after contacting the Helpline.
  • supported 477 children and young people and 514 adults though the Online Chat.

New Campaigns 

2022 has been a year to remember. At Missing People, we have thrown ourselves into the unknown and tried a new outlook on our campaigning. Aligning with our new strategy for the next few years we are trying to emphasize the importance of the issue of missing whilst putting a strong highlight on the children/young people that suffer with missing and the families left behind.

Digital Search Heroes – We launched a new forum where you can sign up to be the eyes and ears for Missing People. It is an on the ground lookout platform to help broaden our search. Digital Search Heroes is a weekly email communication linking to the most recent missing appeals in your area. If you see a missing person, get in touch with our Helpline to report the sighting.

Find Every Child Week – The 23rd – 29th May was Find Every Child Week with Missing Children’s Day falling on 25th May. During this week we helped spread awareness of the different issues related to children going missing and their families. On 25th May we launched our newly designed, AI-generated moving missing appeals, displayed on digital boards across London. The boards featured appeals of Leah Croucher, Finn Layland-Stratfield, and Alexander Sloley, linking to our website appeals via QR code. The campaign generated over 300 articles with a combined reach of over 1 billion impressions. The coverage included national pick-up – from The BBC, ITV News, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Independent and The Daily Mail– and a fantastic spread of regional pick-up. Huge thanks to creative agency – Engine for their support and ingenuity with this project.

It’s a Penalty – During the Commonwealth Games, we partnered with It’s a Penalty for their campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse worldwide. They wanted to harness the power of sport to raise awareness of this issue and featured influential sportspeople, such as Usain Bolt and Ellie Simmonds to spread the word.

Preventative Campaign – We launched our first-ever campaign aimed at preventing people from being missing, asking them to call us for support first. This prevention campaign has been made possible by our amazing long-term partners, JCDecaux UK, The Community Channel, and creative agency The Raised Eyebrow Society. This led to C2C Rail and Stagecoach advertising the campaign in their public spaces and printing our Helpline on their tickets.

ITOK? – “Is This OK?” is an anonymous chatbot for children and young people on the edges of exploitation. It helps them develop strategies to regain control of their exploitation. They can chat anonymously and then have a Live Chat with a trained expert. During an initial six-month pilot in just two communities, the Chatbot was used 1,746 times, resulting in 344 live chats. We are excited to launch ITOK across London!

SBN – The Safeguarding Briefing Network is a network of organisations that Missing People can send missing person briefings to when there is reason to believe that staff there may come into contact with the person. The SBN aims to share information with professionals privately so they can keep an eye out for the missing person. They can then either report a sighting to the charity or speak to the missing person directly to provide support.

Fundraising Highlights Across the Board

In order to live up to our potential in terms of the services we deliver, we need those important funds. Fundraising after the Covid-19 pandemic and going into the Cost-Of-Living Crisis was never going to be easy. However, thank you to our brilliant supporters, be it our Corporate Partners, Major Donors, Trustees and those who individually donate. These are the highlights of the year:

8 Hour Challenge – The 8 Hour Cycle Challenge was set at the iconic Brands Hatch racetrack. All in aid of Missing People. The cycling challenge sat within a 12-Hour Cyclothon hosted by rugby legend, Victor Ubogu, and his events company, VU Limited. A total of 22 teams relayed for 8 hours, racing to complete the most laps and raise the most money. In total all the teams raised an incredible £41,248!

London Marathon – We had 10 runners participate in this iconic race! We had a mixture of first-timers, family members affected by missing, someone from the police, a runner dressed as wrestler John Cena, an employee from our partner Flutter and our very own colleague Alex! The team have raised over £15,000 – an incredible amount of money for us!

2022 Gala – On 3rd March, major donors, corporate partners and charity friends gathered at our first Night of Light Gala since 2019. And if not there in person, some joined us at home during our inaugural hybrid event. Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us that night, we raised £240,000 – making it our most successful Gala to date!

Golf Days’ – We were honoured to be a part of two charity golf days this year. Missing Peoples’ Leading Light and Enterprise Board Co-Chair, Karen Horton-Palmstrom, realised her dream of hosting a Golf Day in aid of the charity. Ten teams teed off at the brilliant Belton Woods Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort in Lincolnshire, raising £10,493.87. Another by our Corporate Partner, Millwood, who hosted their Golf Day in aid of the charity for the third year. Hosted by avid Missing People supporters, and Millwood owners, Matt and Clare Wood which raised £2821.88.

Policy and research 

My world was falling apart’ – We published a major piece of research exploring the nature and scale of harm experienced by missing adults. One of the first pieces of research of its kind, we found that up to 3 in 4 adults experience harm while they are missing, including physical harm, sexual harm, and harm related to suicide. This research has increased the understanding of what adults experience while missing for professionals across a range of sectors. We are using these findings to advocate for better support on return for missing adults.

Transitions from childhood to adulthood research – We know that transitioning from childhood to adulthood can be a difficult time for young people, and that there are risks around this group going missing. We conducted a survey seeking views from professionals from a range of agencies working with young people. We collected information on the challenges facing young people who repeatedly go missing as they approach adulthood, and on good practice that has been identified for responding to this group. We’re using the findings to advocate for support for young people as they reach 18 and beyond.

Message to our Supporters

Your unparalleled support and generosity were nothing short of amazing this year. This enables us to carry out our vision that every missing child, adult and family left behind find help, hope and a way to reconnect. Thank you for making our vision become a reality, time and time again, 2022 is all down to you!

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.