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MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Thu 11-Jun-15 16:09:29

Guest post: Kate McCann - "vital time was lost in the search for Madeleine"

The Child Rescue Alert is potentially life-saving, says Kate McCann, and may protect others from the heartache and despair her family has experienced

Kate McCann

Missing People Ambassador

Posted on: Thu 11-Jun-15 16:09:29

(96 comments )

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"It is important to me that I play a role in preventing further heartache and despair for others."

This weekend, I will be embarking on a 500 mile cycle challenge from Edinburgh to London for the charity Missing People. In my third year as a voluntary ambassador for the charity, this challenge is an opportunity for me to raise funds to support the charity's vital work with missing children and adults, and the families they leave behind.

Eight years since my daughter Madeleine went missing, it is important to me that I play a role in preventing further heartache and despair for others in similar situations.

The cycle challenge also marks a year since the Child Rescue Alert was launched in the UK. It's a simple idea - a mechanism for alerting as many people as possible when a child is thought to have been abducted and in imminent danger - but potentially life-saving. It is designed to provoke a rapid and widespread public response.

The night that our little girl was taken from her bed, we mistakenly presumed that some kind of alert would have gone out immediately to the public, to get as many eyes and ears involved in the search as possible. That didn't happen. No system existed to get the message out into the public domain quickly, and thereby recruit help. Vital time was lost in the search for Madeleine. We will never know the difference this could have made.

The night that our little girl was taken from her bed, we mistakenly presumed that some kind of alert would have gone out immediately to the public. That didn't happen.


The success of the system, however, is reliant on members of the public signing up to receive free alerts when a child goes missing. In the past twelve months, over 123,000 people have done just that – but we need thousands more in order to achieve the reach we need.

So we can give ourselves the best possible chance of bringing home an abducted child quickly and safely, we need to grow our community. I hope that with every push of a pedal the Missing People cycle team makes this week, we will encourage more and more people to join us in solidarity with all of those families waiting at home, in limbo, without news of their loved one.

The journey from Edinburgh to London will be a tough one – hills and miles, and more miles and more hills – and I will be away from my twins for five whole days. But I know the team will keep each other going, and be strengthened by the knowledge that every ‘rpm’ will be contributing towards what is a lifeline when someone disappears.

The Mumsnet community is an important one, and you could make a real difference in the search for our missing children. Even if you are unable to make a donation to the charity, I'd be really grateful if you would take a moment to sign up to receive free Child Rescue Alerts via text message, email or through the app.

You can find out more about the Child Rescue Alert here, and support Kate's cycle challenge here.

By Kate McCann

Twitter: @missingpeople

Elllimam Thu 11-Jun-15 16:11:31

What a good cause. Good luck on your cycle.

LuckyLopez Thu 11-Jun-15 16:18:47

Have just signed up to receive the alerts. Good luck.

StonedGalah Thu 11-Jun-15 16:38:57

Very good cause. Hope the cycle (500 miles shock) goes well!

Littleham Thu 11-Jun-15 16:39:13

I've signed up. Wishing you all the best.

Cocolepew Thu 11-Jun-15 16:40:13

Registered, good luck.

patterkiller Thu 11-Jun-15 16:46:04

Registered here too. Good luck with the ride.

Willow33 Thu 11-Jun-15 16:51:21

Have signed up. All the best with the cycle challenge. :-)

IMurderedStampyLongnose Thu 11-Jun-15 16:55:33

Also registered,good luck on your ride.

theendoftheendoftheend Thu 11-Jun-15 16:57:28

Registered, good luck

expatinscotland Thu 11-Jun-15 17:00:14

Signed up. Best of luck on your cycle!

luckynumber7 Thu 11-Jun-15 17:08:25

Also registered, wishing you all the best.

SayThisOnlyOnce Thu 11-Jun-15 17:19:55

Signed up. Good luck.

MrsEdinburgh Thu 11-Jun-15 17:22:01

Registered and good luck with the ride.

DocHollywood Thu 11-Jun-15 17:32:52

Good luck on the ride. Registered

LiziGray Thu 11-Jun-15 17:35:18

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

littlejessie Thu 11-Jun-15 17:39:03

Revolting post LiziGray.

Shame on you.

Good luck Kate, I'll also register.

DocHollywood Thu 11-Jun-15 17:40:06

Name changed just to cause trouble I would imagine.

KeepOnTryingTilYouRunOutOfCake Thu 11-Jun-15 17:40:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

littlejessie Thu 11-Jun-15 17:40:37

Pathetic as well as revolting, then.

KeepOnTryingTilYouRunOutOfCake Thu 11-Jun-15 17:42:06

I'm not the deleted posters NC, silly.

noddyholder Thu 11-Jun-15 17:42:16

I think the missing persons alert is a great idea but donating money when 10million plus tax payers money not so much

LiziGray Thu 11-Jun-15 17:42:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

PattiODoors Thu 11-Jun-15 17:48:41

Good luck.

WhatWouldFlopDo Thu 11-Jun-15 17:54:00

Great idea, be good if it was pre loaded onto all new phones. Good luck with your cycle ride.

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