Wednesday, 3 April 2019

A new Missing People online family community

Families are leading the way in the planning for a new Missing People online family community. Last November we tested a Facebook live session as a way to get more families involved.

There have been over 1000 views of the session and if you haven’t yet seen it do take a look to find out why it’s so popular.  A huge thank you to the family members of missing people who made the session happen by sharing their priorities for their new online community and inviting others to do the same by completing a survey. It was a new experience for them (and for me) and using Facebook to encourage families to help shape a new service was a first for Missing People too.

A short survey was launched on Facebook on the day of the live session; the aim of the survey was to give more family members an opportunity to say what their priorities were for a new online community.  By the time the survey closed in February 2019 it had been completed by people with a wide range of experiences of missing, including people affected by someone they care about being missing and people working with missing people and their families. 

The overwhelming majority of people who completed a survey thought it would be important for families to feel supported when using their online community and prioritised a community that provided easily accessible, up to date, practical information and advice related to missing. A majority of survey respondents thought it was important for families using their online community to feel safe, heard, understood and connected, and there was a common theme relating to the need for a non judgemental space that enables families to connect with those in similar  situations , as well as to professionals. 

A quarter of survey respondents said they’d like to know more about Missing People services and hear about opportunities to have a say in their development, which is great!                                                                 
I think the Facebook session will have helped raise awareness of the experiences of people with a missing loved one, as well as spread the word about the development of a new online family community.  What has been learned from the survey, when put together with other feedback from families, is incredibly valuable and will help shape the next stages of development of the community.                                      
I’ll be back in a Facebook video a little later in the year and will be asking family members if they’d like to join me to update you on how the development of the new online family community is shaping up and how, as a family member, you could chose to be a part of that. So watch this space!
If you are affected by someone you care about being missing then another of the ways to get news about how families can play a part in deciding what family services should be is to e-mail me and say you’d like to be on an e mail contact list to occasionally hear about any family engagement opportunities coming up. There will never be any obligation to take up engagement opportunities and I’d be delighted to hear from you 

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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.