Around 250,000 people are reported missing every year in the UK. A staggering 140,000 of those are children, which means a child is reported missing, on average, every five minutes.
Missing People is the only charity supporting these children and their families left behind, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A donation from ICAP Charity Day 2010 allowed the charity to launch a new helpline, 116 000, in 2012. Contactable by phone, text and email, the free helpline continues to be a lifeline for those who are missing and their loved ones. To date 116 000 has been contacted hundreds of thousands of times.
In the spirit of ICAP Charity Day, which profiles lesser known charities, ICAP’s support of The Big Tweet has enabled Missing People to further expand this audience.
In 2016 30% more children featured in the Big Tweet campaign have been found safe and well, compared to 2015
Every year on International Missing Children’s Day, 25 May, the charity hosts “The Big Tweet for Missing Children”, a 24 hour online campaign which aims to harness the power of twitter to find missing children. From midnight to midnight, the charity shares an appeal for a different missing child every half hour. Some of these children have been missing for just days and others for a lot longer. Appeals featured during The Big Tweet are for any individual who was under 18 when they went missing. In 2016, for example, tweets appealed for Katrice Lee, who was just 2 years old when she went missing back in 1981.
In 2016, ICAP’s support of The Big Tweet helped the charity achieve nearly 37,000 retweets
One of the reasons that The Big Tweet is so successful is that it’s easy to get involved. The charity simply asks its audience to retweet, or share, their appeals. People choose how many they retweet, some twitter users say up all night and retweet! By sharing these appeals, the charity hopes that a missing child might end up being found, and end the distressing time for families who are awaiting news. Families like Katrice’s.
Those choosing to get involved with the campaign and join “Team Big Tweet” are a combination of families with missing loved ones, charity supporters, companies, police forces and celebrities with millions of followers. In 2016, well-known names joining Team Big Tweet including J.K Rowling, Simon Cowell, Simon Pegg, Alan Carr and Caitlin Moran.
In 2015, Missing People was delighted when ICAP became the first sole supporter of The Big Tweet. The charity was thrilled when ICAP offered its support again in 2016. Thanks to ICAP leading the way by officially backing this hugely successful digital campaign, the charity could encourage many more companies to get involved and join Team Big Tweet 2016.
The Big Tweet is a key date in Missing People’s calendar. It enables appeals for vulnerable missing children to be instantly seen by thousands of people who could help bring them to safety. It is an essential tool in increasing the profile of the charity and its work, as well as highlighting the issue of missing in the UK. At the time of writing, 16 of the children featured in The Big Tweet 2016 have been found safe and well.