Campaigners hoping to reunite missing children with their families have taken to social media today to take part in #TheBigTweet run by charity Missing People.
Taking place on International Missing Children’s Day, #TheBigTweet involves Missing People tweeting a picture and information about a different missing child every half an hour for 24 hours.
Missing People’s aim is to reach as many followers as possible who could have any information that may lead to finding a missing child, and people can get involved by retweeting the charity’s messages.
An estimated 140,000 children go missing in the UK each year, and last year the campaign received 58,000 retweets which led to two of the children featured in the appeals being found.
Celebrities to have already thrown their weight behind the campaign include Stephen Fry, Phillip Schofield and former rugby star Matt Dawson.
Mr Fry, who is a patron of the charity, said the results of last year’s campaign were “invaluable”, and that “there is simply no excuse not to get involved”.
He said: “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.”
The campaign is also encouraging people to sign up to an enhanced Child Rescue Alert system which becomes operational today.
The system is managed by Missing Children, the National Crime Agency and technology company Groupcall, and issues email and text message alerts when a child has disappeared and their life is at immediate risk.