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Charity re-launches on International Missing Children's Day

Original Source: MISSING PEOPLE: THURSDAY 24 MAY 2007
24th May 2007


John McCann, the uncle of missing Madeleine McCann will help the UK’s only charity dedicated to missing people to re-launch on International Missing Children’s Day (25 May). On the same day the charity will unveil its re-launched official yellow charity ribbon as well as the first ever UK direct mailing to help find missing children.

Missing People, the new name for National Missing Persons Helpline, said that an estimated 210,000 reports of missing people are made to UK police forces each year. Around two-thirds of these concern young people under the age of 18.

John McCann, Madeleine’s Uncle, will then visit staff and volunteers at the charity Head Office in London on International Missing Children's Day (25.05.2007) to show his support, from 10:30am.

Chief Executive of Missing People Paul Tuohy said: “Madeleine’s disappearance has been a wake-up call that ‘missing’ is a social issue. Our charity offers support to around 2000 families each year and directly as a result of our work we find 10 missing people every week.

The charity today also launched the first ever direct mailing appeal to find missing children. The ‘Bonus Bag’, distributed by Valassis, the biggest name in vouchers and coupons in the UK, hopes to replicate a successful scheme in America where an appeal is featured each week in 58 million postal packs.

The first to feature is Carmel Fenech, missing from Crawley aged 16 since the 23 May 1998. Her mother Deidre said: “I am delighted Carmel will be the first to be highlighted by this new scheme. I will be wearing my charity yellow ribbon with pride to highlight Carmel, Madeleine and all the others the charity hopes to help find.”

For more details of the ‘missing ribbon’ and information on Missing People, visit the charity’s new website at Missing People wishes to thank ‘Yahoo! For Good’ and ‘Friends Reunited’ for their support in making its new website and launch event possible.


Launch event (filming and photography opportunities)

25 May - International Missing Children’s day – John McCann will be in available for media interview between 10:30-11:30am at the offices of Missing People, 284 Upper Richmond Road west, East Sheen, London SW14 7JE.

24 May – supporters launch event - at 12:15 at Soho Hotel, Richmond Mews, London, W1D 3DH. Please RSVP to if you wish to attend.

Media Enquiries

Email: (pre 25 May) (post 25 May)

Consumer - t: 020 8392 4510/11/13 m: 07872600178.

Trade – t: 020 8932 4515/20 m: 07872600178

Available for your use


Case studies

Details, images and families of current missing people registered with the charity and police are available.


Missing People spokespeople are available.


New images to illustrate the issue and services provided by Missing People are available.

Notes to Editor


Bonus Bag


The Bonus Bag will be distributed quarterly with a different appeal for a missing child. Nearly two million homes are anticipated to receive the packs by next year.


Supporting Statements

Celebrity supporter of Missing People, Sir Trevor McDonald said: “I have always been greatly impressed with the scale of the charity’s work and the dedication of its staff and volunteers. I wish them every success as they enter a new era.”

Chief Executive of Missing People, Paul Tuohy said: “In addition to the charity’s core services, finding the missing, supporting young runaways and those left behind, we are also becoming a centre of knowledge and policy influence.

“Missing is a social issue and it is vital that the charity continues to evolve in order to reflect the ever-changing society it serves.”

Further Facts/Statistics

Missing People is now working with every police force in England and Wales, creating the first comprehensive database of the missing in the UK.

- Finding Missing People and Supporting Families

Missing People recorded enquiries on over 18,500 incidents of missing people in 2006. This is an increase of over 170% on the number of enquiries recorded in 2005, fuelled by an increase in enquiries received via a new protocol with police forces.

Missing People opened just over 1,800 actively managed missing people support cases in 2006 period (an increase of 6% on 2005).

44% of cases now opened by Missing People originate from the police (protocol or non-protocol); indicating the strong relationship the charity has built with police forces over time.


A dedicated team for young people missing from care received notifications of 4,500 incidents.



- Reuniting

1,550 Missing People cases were resolved in 2006. In nine out of ten cases, the missing person was found alive.

On average, 10 missing people are found every week directly through the work of Missing People.

At least one case every month is resolved directly as a result of publicity generated by the charity.



- Assisting Young Runaways and Missing People

Missing People runs two services to assist missing people directly. In 2006, the

Runaways Helpline (for young people) received over 42,000 calls; Message Home (for missing adults) received over 37,000 calls.

These calls resulted in the charity assisting nearly 3,000 users via Runaway Helpline and 2,750 users via Message Home.

This equates to offers of direct assistance to nearly 80 young people via dedicated services for the missing.

The combined total number of requests for assistance was 40% higher than the total recorded in 2005.

- Identification Services

In 2006 Missing People received nearly 1,100 enquiries relating to attempts to find unknown next of kin (for both alive and deceased people).


About Missing People

Missing People is the UK’s only charity that works with young runaways, missing and unidentified people, their families and others who care for them. As well as actively searching for missing people and supporting those who are trying to find them, the charity offers three other services; Runaway Helpline (for young runaways), Message Home (for missing adults) and Identification (helping to resolve cases of unidentified people).

The charity started from a bedroom in south-west London following the disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in 1986. The services grew rapidly and in 1993 it became a registered charity (No. 1020419), an occasion which was marked with an office visit by Diana, Princess of Wales.

The charity also came to prominence by helping to identity victims of Fred and Rosemary West in 1994. The vital role of the charity has now been formally acknowledged by authorities including police and social care services who both have working protocols with Missing People.

Other services

Runaway Helpline – 24 hour confidential Freefone service (0808 800 7070)

A 24 hour confidential helpline for runaways operated by the charity Missing People, offering help and advice to young people who have run away from home or care, or who have been forced to leave.

Message Home - 24 hour confidential Freefone service (0800 700 740)

A unique confidential service run by the charity Missing People offering help, advice and a message home service to adults who are missing.

Identification – Are you trying to identify someone? (020 8392 4509)

Identification is a specialist service offered by Missing People to support police, coroners, hospitals and social services to resolve cases of unidentified people (alive or dead).


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