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Family urge support for Madeleine

Original Source:  BBC: SATURDAY MAY 12 2007
Saturday, 12 May 2007
The family of missing Madeleine McCann have urged the public to join their poster and chain email campaign.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal six days ago. She turned four on Saturday.

Her aunt, Philomena McCann, told the BBC how members of the public could help the family.

"They can join my email campaign sending my poster to everyone that they know," she said.

'Real difference'

The chain email was sent by Ms McCann and also contains a poster which can be printed out. People are urged to send the message on to their friends and contacts throughout Europe.

The text of the email reads: "As you are aware my niece is still missing and I am asking everyone I know to send this as a chain letter ie you send it to everyone you know and ask them to do the same, as the story is only being covered in Britain, Eire and Portugal.

"We don't believe that she is in Portugal anymore and need to get her picture and the story across Europe as quickly as possible. Suggestions are welcome."

An official website "Bring Madeleine Home" has been set up by family friends.

"They can just phone their MPs and ask for support, they can pray for us - it's a great sustenance to us all," said Ms McCann.

"They can just phone their MPs and ask for support, they can pray for us - it's a great sustenance to us all," said Ms McCann.

"They can do lots of things - just letting people, if they're going on holiday, take a poster of Madeleine with them. There are so many little things that people can do that make a real difference to us," she said.

She said more than 40,000 copies of the poster had been downloaded from one site.

"We've had lots of feedback from people in Lisbon and in Spain.

"I was put in touch with [SNP leader] Alex Salmond, and he told me he had seen the poster and heard about it. He said he's going to help."

She said the aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of Madeleine's plight across Europe, in countries where her disappearance has not been covered by local media.

"This is a big story in Britain because her family are a combination of Irish, Scottish and English. But outside of here and Portugal this is a lame duck. It's just not out there at all.

"The target is to get Madeleine's face seen and, if she's recognised, there's a Crimestoppers number they can ring."

Ms McCann said The Sun newspaper had provided 15,000 copies of a poster showing Madeleine which were handed out at the Celtic versus Aberdeen football match on Saturday.

"Fifteen thousand copies - it was magnificent. and they put Madeleine's image on the big screen several times. Celtic are known as the Lisbon Lions - the links with Portugal are not tenuous.

"We have had such fantastic support from the world of football, business and the general population have been stupendous.

"I've never been cuddled so much in my life as I was today."

Ms McCann said she would attend a woman's 10km run in Glasgow on Sunday, and would help hand out 200 t-shirts to runners.


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