Monday, 17 December 2018

My missing story: Rachel Pickthall

Missing is an issue that affects around a million people each year in the UK. It’s hard, when you are affected, to feel like you are being active in the search to bring them home. Family members like Rachel, whose brother is currently missing, do all that they can to raise awareness and keep the appeals of their loved one at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

In May, Rachel cycled to Paris from London and raised and incredible £3,000! As well as lots of awareness for her Brother Simon’s appeal.

"I raised £3,000 for Missing People. The ride took 4 days and started off in grueling weather down to Dover but by the time we reached Paris on the last day the sun was shining inside and out. We rode as a group, all in our Missing People t-shirts, with none of us having ever done anything similar before. It was a privilege to have everyone riding such a long way in honour of Simon, and we have now all signed up to do another fundraising ride from Paris to Geneva next year."

Recently, Rachel has become a Missing People community Ambassador and has also joined the Missing People Choir. The Choir will be performing on a special Christmas episode of Long Lost Families on the 17th of December at 9pm (ITV). 

The Long Lost Family Christmas Reunion will find out what it means to spend your first Christmas with your loved ones and reflect on how lives have changed for people since finding their relatives, with some guests meeting new family members for the very first time during the programme.

The programme will also be remembering those who are still without their loved ones. The Missing People Choir sing carols throughout the day and share the heartbreak of facing the festive season, when there is an empty space at the Christmas dinner table.

For Rachel and her family, Christmas without her brother will be difficult.  Having the opportunity to sing with the choir on TV will give her family the opportunity to get her brothers appeal in front of millions of people which will hopefully lead to him getting in contact.

"The choir has been an amazing opportunity for me, not only to enjoy the singing and guidance from our choirmaster but also to connect with other people in a similar situation and take comfort from a shared sense of ambiguous loss. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to Simon and anyone else that may know where he is too."

Hear more about Rachel’s story here:

Christmas can be especially hard for families with a missing loved one, an empty seat at the table can be a hard reminder that someone they love is away from home.

We need to ensure our helpline team are available around the clock to support more families affected by missing. Please give the gift of £15 to help us answer a call from a family member in crisis.


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Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. 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 text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.