There are families across the country who will not be celebrating Christmas with a loved one this year because they are missing.
In Crawley there are at least two - a woman who went missing in May 1998 when she was 16 and a man who has been missing since October 2009 while on holiday in Tenerife.
The Crawley branch of the Missing People charity took part in a ‘search day’ to get people to help find them and others who are missing. More than 60 people took up their offer at a stand in BHS, County Mall on December 6 while being entertained by Sussex inChoir.
Branch organiser Barbara Robinson said: “It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been missing - for five years or 25 years - we try to support them.
“I’m convinced it’s the messages that either get to [the missing people] directly and they make contact or somebody sees them and reports that they have seen them.
“It’s a unified approach across the country.”
The Crawley branch is a newly formed group and is seeking volunteers to help them with other search days and events planned for Crawley and nearby.
Anyone who would like to find out more information about getting involved can contact Barbara on 01293 530314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The charity’s national 24-hour helpline for people with missing relatives or friends and for those who are missing is 116000.
It is anonymous and free to call from landlines and mobiles. Help can range from letting loved ones know they are safe and well to organising phone calls and meetings.