Paddy Power have today launched a new campaign to help find missing people by filling a stand at Motherwell’s ground with blank silhouettes.
Someone is reported as missing every 90 seconds in the UK. That’s 35 for every football match you watch, including the half-time break. In total, around 186,000 people go missing every year, with 86,000 of those being children. Around 1,000,000 people a year are directly affected by disappearance.
To help tackle this, Paddy Power, the charity Missing People and Motherwell FC are joining forces to launch a campaign to help find those who have gone missing by filling the South Stand at The Well’s Fir Park home with blank silhouettes.
We’ve all seen the cardboard cutouts in stadiums that have replaced real fans with cheering recyclable versions, pets, cartoons and all manner of things as we continue to stay away from major sporting events.
But to highlight the ongoing absence of those who have gone missing from wider life as well, our cut-outs will be completely blank.
They will remain in place until supporters can return to the ground.
In addition to our 1,190 silhouettes, which have been put in place ahead of Motherwell’s first home game of the season against Dundee United on Saturday, we’ll be placing posters of missing people across our 650 stores in the locations that they were last seen to help find, or simply establish the safety of, some of those who have disappeared.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: “We all know fans are missing from football at the moment, but some are missing from wider life, too.
“We hope this campaign, and striking image, can spark conversations across the country – as the majority of our customer base are young men, the demographic that’s most at risk of going missing.”
Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People, said: “This is a highly visible and needed opportunity for families in communities across the UK to raise awareness of their missing loved one – at a time when it is so hard to search due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We will also be getting the message out via Paddy Power stores to reach a key group of people at higher risk of going missing: men aged 18-39.
“Important funding through this partnership will help more than 500 people in crisis through 24/7 support on our helpline (116 000), at a time when more people than ever are needing that support.”
There are any number of reasons why someone may go missing. It could be exploitation, addiction, neglect, abuse, dementia, debt, mental health, abduction, accidents, incidents or something altogether different.
And, with the full impact of COVID-19 yet to come, we’re highlighting this cause as we recognise the potential there is for this issue to become larger over the coming years.
- If you have been affected by this issue you can access support by visiting www.missingpeople.org.uk, or calling or texting Missing People on 116 000. It is free, confidential and is available 24/7.
ABOUT MISSING PEOPLE
Missing People supports people who are thinking about going missing, have gone, or after they return – and their loved ones. Their services give people the opportunity to talk through how to stay safe, connect them with a place of safety, and signpost them to additional local or national support services, if required.
Missing People is one of a handful of charities providing a special Helpline assigned by Ofcom to protect the wellbeing of people in great difficulty. They are the only provider working with high-risk groups affected by ‘missing’ across the UK and work in partnership with police forces, who refer vulnerable missing people and their relatives to our essential support services.