Monday, 17 June 2013

Voice of a volunteer: Comms, events and fundraising



I couldn’t have timed joining Missing People as a volunteer any better.     

A few days in and I went along to Clapham Common to help Josie and her team with the Miles for Missing People 10k run.  The sun shone, Rock Choir sang beautifully and I was put on the cake stall – perfect.    Then not long after all the volunteers were invited to a party to celebrate National Volunteers Week.   It was at the White Hart Pub in Barnes overlooking the River on a glorious sunny evening and it reminded me why I joined Missing People.

About 18 years ago my mum, having retired from running her recruitment agency, joined the charity as a dogsbody (her words) , answering phones, making tea writing up cases etc. but she soon found her niche; organising fundraising parties and events.    There were quite a few parties over the years that she worked at Missing People.    

I remember one where we taught how to Salsa at Browns near Hammersmith Bridge, there was a sit down dinner with music  at the Old Sorting Office by the pond, and a live jazz band and dancing upstairs at the White Hart; all the venues waived their hire charges, happy to support a local charity with such a high profile.   Particularly keen to help was the landlord of the Bulls Head whose own son had disappeared for a few days a couple of years early, so it was an issue close to his heart, he hosted a great party in the jazz room with Thai food from the restaurant next door. 

Those parties were always sell out events and as well as raising much needed funds they were a chance for Janet and Mary, the staff and the volunteers to relax away from the stress and strains of the charity in those very busy and intense early years.

I was always struck by how lovely the people were; so when I found I had a few hours to spare, Missing People was the first place I looked.  I’m now working two afternoons a week as a Communications Volunteer learning the fine art of  tweeting and posting Facebook appeals and was delighted  to find the welcome  just as warm, the work just as interesting and the people just as dedicated as they were 20 years ago.   

By Sasha Badrock,
Missing People Communications Volunteer

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Around 250,000 people go missing in the UK each year. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.

Call or txt the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.