Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Floating 'Everything Stops for Tea' Party

Every year we take our narrowboat, Kingfisher, to the Rickmansworth Canal Festival. It’s a wonderful event and hundreds of narrowboats attend. Our friends love coming up to see the beautifully decorated boats, the historic working boats, the boat tug-of-war and the many bands and artists that perform on the various stages.

Because so many people love to visit us over the weekend, I thought it would be the ideal time to test out my baking skills (!) and raise a bit of money for Missing People.

I got my preparations done on Friday – hanging up bunting, blowing up balloons and baking loads of tasty treats. I don’t usually bake anything, ever, so I was a little bit nervous that not everything would work. I hit my first hurdle when I couldn’t find the measuring jug anywhere. Luckily boaters are a friendly bunch so a quick visit to a neighbouring boat sorted that one out. (I made sure to thank them with some of the resultant cake!)

I must have chosen particularly reliable recipes, because everything turned out brilliantly. We had pistachio and cardamom brownies, rocky road, banana and blueberry muffins, brownie muffins, peach, apricot and almond muffins and a tea loaf. I also coated some strawberries with chocolate, and coated some frozen bananas with chocolate and flaked almonds.

People started arriving at 11.30. A mixture of other boaters, friends and family turned up. Even one of the local fuel boaters stopped for tea and rocky road in the middle of delivering gas and diesel to the boats moored two and three abreast up the towpath. There isn’t a huge amount of space on the boat, but people crammed in where they could – on the roof, in the bow deck, on the neighbours’ boat, on the towpath… 

All the guests were keen to learn more about the work of the charity. I was able to tell them about the range of circumstances in which people go missing, the variety of reasons, the work we do to support families left behind, the campaigns and lobbying we do to influence change, the 24 hour help we can provide to young people who’ve run away and the things we can do to help people reconnect. Some of our guests had their own experiences of missing – either they knew someone who had been missing, or they’d run away themselves in the past.

I had been a little nervous about asking people for money; after all it’s not what you normally do when you have a friend round for tea. I shouldn’t have worried though – everyone was enthusiastic and generous in their giving. At the end of the event I was thrilled to find out that we’d raised over £90 in total.

I really enjoyed hosting my Everything Stops for Tea party, and would really recommend other people try it too. It’s a lovely excuse to spend some time with friends and not only does it raise money, but it also helps to spread the word about Missing People. Hopefully my guests will stay involved in future, and help to spread missing person appeals as far as they can.

You can register to host an Everything Stops for Teaparty by visiting the Missing People website – you’ll be able to download bunting, posters, invitations, recipes and more. I hope you really enjoy hosting your party. 

Penned by Lucy Holmes
Research Manager at Missing People

Monday, 19 May 2014

Stephen Fry Gets Behind The Big Tweet for Missing Children and Child Rescue Alerts

The Big Tweet for Missing Children is now in its fourth year, and here at Missing People, we are hoping to make 2014’s campaign our most successful to date. 25 May marks International Missing Children’s Day and the launch of the Child Rescue Alert system - a nationwide initiative that will help to locate the most vulnerable missing children when there is a fear of imminent danger or death. 

The CRA will rely on the public to sign up so that they can be alerted when a vulnerable child is missing in their area, increasing the chances of that child being found. Stephen Fry, a long-term supporter and Benefactor of Missing People explains why the Big Tweet for Missing Children and the Child Rescue Alert system are so important:

“Do you know what you are going to be doing on Sunday 25 May? I do. I am going to be throwing my weight behind the charity Missing People’s ‘Big Tweet for Missing Children’ for the fourth year running.

“It is a very simple concept and there is simply no excuse not to get involved. Every half hour for 24 hours throughout International Missing Children’s Day, the charity will be posting Twitter appeals with the aim of finding missing children. By retweeting these appeals, we can all help extend the platform that might bring those children home. Circulating the details of these children through the social media site is such a simple, yet incredibly effective way to give the appeals as much coverage as possible. I was so impressed by how the world of Twitter responded last year – an incredible 58,000 retweets in one day. The result? Two missing children were found. Invaluable.

“This year, it is even more important than ever that we all get behind this initiative as The Big Tweet for Missing Children will provide a launch pad for a new Child Rescue Alert system (funded by the EU and the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery) which will facilitate nation-wide searches for abducted children within minutes.

“It is impossible to imagine the sheer panic and turmoil of realising your child is missing, but it is possible to perceive how desperately important it is that campaigns like those by Missing People have the furthest reach possible.  I hope that by doing my bit on this important day, I will encourage others to become a part of the campaign, making it more likely that these children will be found. I would urge you to do the same!”

If you would like to get involved in the Big Tweet, you can sign up for reminders on the day on our website, or simply follow us on twitter and look out for our appeals on 25 May! We would also urge you to sign up to the CRA system to be a part of this drastic step forward in locating vulnerable children in the UK.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Private jet to Paris in aid of Missing People thanks to Jetlogic

As regular readers of our blog will have seen, the charity auction winners from our 20th Anniversary Gala last November have been reaping the benefits of their generosity recently. Richard Youle – co-head of the EMEA private equity team at leading law firm White & Case – placed the winning bid on a prize donated by Jetlogic.

Youle recently took to the skies with his wife and friends on their luxury weekend trip to Paris. Jetlogic, along with Air Charter Scotland and luxury tour operator Carrier, had donated the return private jet flight to Paris, as well as a two-night stay in the luxury Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Hotel, to help raise funds for the Charity at its winter gala.

Other fundraising auction prizes included contemporary art from Strarta Art Fair, and a week for two on Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island, to name a few.

The prize winner, Richard Youle said of the trip: “We loved it, top service all the way.”

Jetlogic are pleased to be a corporate partner of Missing People, helping them to continue to offer a lifeline for the 250,000 people who go missing in the UK each year. For those left behind, they also provide specialised support to ease the heartache and confusion, and help search for their missing loved ones. The company have most recently shown their continuing support for Missing People by supporting the Big Tweet for Missing Children, which will take place on 25 May.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Acting Masterclass with Monica Dolan

You may have already read about one of our amazing experiences donated at last year's 20th Anniversary Gala auction- meeting Chesney Hawkes. Here, another lucky winner, Grace Kennedy, writes about her masterclass with 'W1A' mocumentary star and Missing People Benefactor Monica Dolan. Grace's father and John Kennedy is a long-term supporter of the charity and placed the winning bid for the prize.  

"My parents recently bid for an auction prize at Missing People’s Gala dinner to have an acting lesson with Monica Dolan. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to meet and act with Monica.

We met on a Saturday morning and I had 2 hours acting with Monica. I learnt some new drama techniques, which has helped me project my voice which I can now use for my GCSE drama.

 I was really worried that I would feel intimidated by Monica, but when we met that morning she was incredibly welcoming and made me feel relaxed straight away.

We then had a wonderful lunch together which was delicious, and had a lovely chat which I felt helped us bond.

I feel incredibly lucky  to have had this opportunity and cannot thank her enough for giving up her precious time for such a great cause."

Penned by Alice Attlee and Grace Kennedy.

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

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.