Just wanted you and your family to know I am thinking about you today. Can't believe it's been 9 years since your disappearance and we still don't know what happened to you. I hope you realise the efforts many good people have put into finding you, not least the Portuguese authorities, the UK authorities, the general public, and last but by no means least, your parents.
Now sadly that is where I will lose some people reading this letter Madeleine, because so many nasty people will now start shouting about your parents and the fact that they left you in the apartment. They will holler and shout about how it was their fault you were taken, all the while saying not a word about the abductor who took you from your room. I hate that you may see some of the terrible, dishonest things people have written about your parents and family, it would break your heart. Just a pity these people don't seem to realise how this will hurt your brother and sister in the future too. Not fair that they will have to suffer abuse, as well as your parents.
I'm sure you would be proud to know that your parents have done everything in their power to find you ( another reason some people find fault with your mum and dad ) Mad eh? Why would any parent with a missing child not do everything they could to find their child, only natural ? Apart from anything else it is your right to be found, to be considered a missing child and not a dead one, until proven otherwise. I'm sure you couldn't even comprehend that some would like your parents to forget about you, stop looking for you, and move on. I can't understand how anyone can think like that. It's sad, heartless, and totally lacking in any humanity or compassion. Be assured Madeleine they will not forget you, and neither will many others who hold you in their heart.
Did you know that your parents have done lots to help others in the same position as you? This is their way I'm sure, of trying to show you they are sorry they left you, and they are sorry Madeleine, despite what trolls might say on the internet. They have often stood alongside parents of other missing children to try to make improvements to the services for the missing, and to add their support. Families like this tend to stick together and hold one another up as they are all in the same boat. Click the pictures and you will see what I mean.
So many things have changed since you went missing, but some things have been positive in improving things for the missing. Most people of course wish you were found and back with your mum and dad, and anyone thinking anything else are not worth thinking about. Hope you know they fought hard to get the 116 000 Child Alert across Europe, and that we now have our own Child Rescue Alert here in the UK. Thankfully many have signed up and hopefully more will. Missing People along with the families of the missing, and several celebrities did a good job on that .
I don't think you would ever have imagined your mum and dad, along with their friends, running marathons, or cycling long distances to help raise money for good causes. Well they have, and joined with other families to help make Missing People what it is today, and I make no apology for mentioning it. Hard to believe some people would rather attack them for this rather than support them. Thankfully these people are in the minority in society and the majority have come up trumps in supporting them.
Could go on Madeleine but I think you get my drift. Safe to say your mum and dad are strong people and will not be cowed by the crueller elements of our society. A sad reflection of what we have become when the parents of missing children, (and your parents aren't the only ones), become a target for trolls and criminals.
Hope the trolls are not too annoyed about me posting pictures of your parents smiling Madeleine, that's not allowed in Troll World you know. Oh no, they have to live the rest of their lives without a smile on their faces. Can you imagine them expecting that from any other family in a similar position, I think not!
Going to sign off now because I could go on forever. Suffice to say I hope with all my heart that you are somewhere safe and not being hurt. If not, then your memory will live on in the hearts of good people and you will not have your voice stolen despite those who try. May you receive the justice you deserve.
Much love now and always
Poems courtesy of Deuce, a good Madeleine supporter of which there are many
What More Can You Do To Help Madeleine And Other Missing Children?
Andrew has been missing from his home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, since 14 September 2007. He was last seen on CCTV footage at King's Cross Station in London later that morning. When Andrew went missing he was 5ft 3in tall, slim with light brown hair and brown eyes. He needs strong prescription glasses. He was last seen wearing black jeans and T-shirt.
This week beginning July 7th, the Missing People organisation working in partnership with Outdoor Media, will raise awareness of Andrew's case on their billboards at stations and other public areas. This initiative is being undertaken as Andrew will be 21 years of age on July 10th. Hopefully these images will come to the attention of someone who knows something of what happened to Andrew. If you are that person, please come forward and help Andrew's family. Andrew has been missing almost 7 years now, which is 7 years too long. Please everyone, keep him and his family in your thoughts.
For more info on Andrew's case please go here http://helpustofindandrew.weebly.com/
"Sometimes It Is Better To Give"
Stephen Sutton's Story of Making the Most of Your Time
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again and though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it at all
"Stephen’s Story, my story, isn’t about a teenager with cancer.
It’s about using my time, however long or short that may be, to
have the maximum positive impact. I might not be here forever,
none of us will. Life’s about making every second count."
You certainly did that Stephen
Back again after another year to remind people that Madeleine McCann is still missing and show the efforts that have been put in by many to help solve this sad disappearance over the past 12 months. Like Madeleine, other children are still missing too so this blog is dedicated to them also. I will include links to these other cases where possible, but please refer to individual websites which you will see in the side bar.
Today is Madeleine's 11th birthday. Sad that she is not here to enjoy it with her family and siblings but she will be very much in their thoughts, as she will be in the thoughts of many thousands around the world. Hoping as always that Madeleine will be reunited with her family before her next birthday comes around.
If you are unaware of Madeleine's case this is a recent summary :-
Madeleine's case was featured on BBC Crimewatch. Here are the updates and appeal from there
"I'm encouraged by the new information that has come to light as a direct result of the appeal in March. There has been a huge public desire to assist us with our investigation and I would like to thank those who have provided us with new information." Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood
An interview with Gerry and Kate McCann coming up to the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance this year
These series of interviews were also to the highlight the new initiative which is backed by the McCanns to help when a child is abducted or in serious danger.
If your child went missing wouldn’t you want the world to stop and look for them? A Child Rescue Alert is activated when a child is known to have been abducted or their life is believed to be at immediate risk. Every second counts and your support is vital.
Please support this initiative and sign up, it could save a child's life
Life for the McCanns is much the same as any other family who has a child or a family member missing. They feel as if they are Surfing Through Life and often feel they are not getting enough help with the solving of their family member's case.
The mother who wrote this article has a son missing from Isle of Wight. Damien Nettles disappeared from Cowes, IOW on 2 Nov 1996. She writes with heartbreaking eloquence about her son's disappearance and her feelings as the mother of a missing son. Even after all these years she writes daily about her loss, not great diatribes, just how her daily life is never quite what it should have been, always something missing.
"I felt desperate and distraught. I felt totally alone. Mystified. Extremely frightened. Panic. Sorrow. Deep primal sobbing from a place I never knew existed in my very core and soul. Distraught. Lost. Very Very Confused."
Ben Needham is another child who disappeared abroad. He went missing without trace on 24th July 1991, almost 23 years ago, from Kos in Greece. Like Damien above, time has not diminished his mothers need to know what happened to him, nor the hope that one day they may be reunited.
Much has been done over the years to keep awareness going in Ben's case and his mother has continually followed any steps she could to trace Ben. Here is one recent story that helped build a bit of hope and one which must have made Ben's mum Kerry's heart almost stop. Kerry has recently become a grandmother, which is lovely and I wish her a wonderful time with her new grandchild.
Some more Ben Links :
Read some other developments or lack of them in these sad cases
International Missing Children's Day 2014
International Missing Children's Day is on 25th of May 2014. Please if you have any social media accounts sign up to this initiative and get the word out about about the 116 000 missing children's hotline.
What More Can You Do To Help Madeleine And Other Missing Children
Missing Children On 404
Thousands of children go missing every year but thanks to the Notfound.org project, websites/ blogs like this can easily help to make a difference and raise awareness of the problem. By installing their application on a website/blog a picture of a missing child automatically gets published on every ‘404 - page not found’ of the website. As shown in the example below, each time a 404 page appears it randomly displays a missing child's details.
The example below is of a well known child missing in Kos, Greece.
It is evident that the more websites that support the Notfound.org project, by donating their 404 page for this use, the more a missing child's picture and details will be displayed. Hopefully someone, somewhere, will recognise one of these children, know their whereabouts, and help the authorities to find them.
Website owners, webmasters and web designers can find out how to support the Notfound.org at http://www.notfound.org. Anyone without a website can also help by telling those who do about the project.
The picture and details of older people (adults) may also appear as they may have been missing for a long time and/or still have parents and family who are still seeking information about them. eg.
If you don't have a website but know someone who has, copy this e-mail and send it to your friend, your CEO or your company webmaster.
Thousands of children go missing every year across the Europe. Some of them run away from a situation of conflict or abuse at home or from care, some are abducted by a parent or by a third party, and some go missing after being placed in a shelter having travelled unaccompanied. But there is a way you can help: installing the Notfound application, a picture of a missing child will be posted on every 404 page of your website. This will allow Child Focus to distribute the maximum number of photos, and help all missing children find their way home.
Discover the application on www.notfound.org.
I'm sure it won't take me to tell you that the little girl (left) is Madeleine McCann, a child from Rothley, Leicester, UK, who went missing while on holiday with her family in Portugal on the 3rd of May, 2007. Madeleine has become one of the most widely recognised missing children in the world, but sadly that recognition has not yet helped to find her.
Today is Madeleine's 10th birthday so I along with many others, have decided to compose a blog to help keep awareness of her disappearance going. Hopefully sometime soon, someone somewhere will see this child and she can be reunited with her family.
You might well ask why keep going after all this time when nothing so far has turned up to say that Madeleine is alive? To that I would have to say well why not keep going as nothing has turned up to say she is not alive . Put yourself in the position of any parent of a missing child and imagine yourself giving up on your child; it just wouldn't happen would it, and why should it? Only this week 3 people who having been missing for 10 years have been found giving hope to other families with missing loved ones - read link below
Three US women missing for years rescued in Ohio
Although Madeleine went missing in Portugal it is possible that Madeleine could be anywhere in the world - Europe, USA, Russia... anywhere, therefore the need for a worldwide campaign.
Please consider putting up a poster of Madeleine in your car, school, club, anywhere that Madeleine's face can be seen and perhaps recognised. School staffrooms, doctor's surgeries, hospitals, health centres and churches are all good places to put up posters. Posters in different languages can be found HERE.
Just taking a photo of this posters code with your Smartphone could give you access to The FindMadeleine website at anytime, as long as you remember to install a QR Code reader App which is readily available free from the net, both for IPhone and Android Phones. You can also just scan the code and when it is read by your phone you will have quick access to the website, posters, info and numbers needed for reporting a possible sighting.
It is also possible to do this for posters in different languages as I have done here.
"Madeleine is a beautiful, bright, sunny and caring little girl. She is so special. Please, please, do not hurt her.
An interactive poster for Madeleine. Please share, and why not make your own for Madeleine and other missing children
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has had a profound affect on me as a person, a mother and as a grandmother. No way could I accept that a child could be taken from the sanctuary of their own bedroom, no matter where it was, and separated from their loving family. This is just not on and should not happen just as other abductions, kidnappings and disappearances shouldn't happen.
This case has opened my eyes to the problem of the missing both in this country and around the world. So many children and adults separated from their families and so desperately needing found.
Please on this day, Madeleine's birthday, help us raise awareness for her case but please also try to look out for other cases of missing children/adults as you make your way through life. They have not been forgotten, they need awareness too and it is up to us to raise it or we will all be guilty of the apathy that can surround these cases so often.
Madeleine McCann's disappearance certainly opened my eyes to the problem of missing children as I'm sure it has with many others. The families of the missing are never at peace and are often Surfing Through Life
Often out of the blue families are faced with unexpected Memories which remind them of happy times spent with their children but at the same time show them what they are missing.
What More Can You Do To Help Madeleine And Other Missing Children
As a participant in #blogging4madeleine I would like to say a big thank you to http://amummysview.com/ for inviting me to take part and for continuing to raise awareness of Madeleine's disappearance and that of other missing children. Thank you CJ
Rest in Peace Little Man
Sadly yesterday, 20th November 2012, little Caden Beggan from Cleland in Scotland, lost his difficult battle against meningococcal septicaemia which he had fought bravely for four weeks. He died in the arms of his parents in Yorkhill Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, which had looked after him so well.
His father said on Facebook: “Dear friends, Caden Riley Beggan. Born 29th September, 2006. Died 20th November, 2012…in Mummy and Daddy's arms. Thank you for all your support. Caden is alive forevermore.”
This little man now occupies a special place in my heart and in the heart of thousands of others.
May He Rest In Peace.
More about Caden's story can be found here Caden's Story
If you would like to donate to Yorkhill Hospital in remembrance of Caden, as per his family's wishes, here is the address of the foundation representing the hospital in Glasgow
"Some of you have also been asking about sending cards and flowers to David and Angela. Please feel free to send cards to the family home.
However we ask that, instead of sending flowers, people consider sending donations to Yorkhill Children's Hospital, if they prefer."
Caden's school, Ladywell Primary School in Motherwell are also trying to raise as much money as possible for meningitis research in memory of Caden. If you would like to buy their charity single costing 79p here is the link .... https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/o-holy-night-single/id581527767
The Faces of The Hungry
If anything could inspire me to write a blog it would have to be the viewing of this movie about Mary's Meals. I've just sat for the past 31 mins watching a beautifully shot film about the work of this wonderful organisation. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the inspiring work of the people who run, work and volunteer for this charity. Seeing the people they help, most of them poor hungry children with difficulties in accessing education, gives you back your faith in humanity.
So many things are threaded into this film, not least the individual stories of the children highlighted. I cried to see the wall of one of the main storytellers adorned with the picture of Victoria and David Beckham. This is no refection on the couple themselves, but the stark irony of the situations of child and couple could not be more vivid. However, it shows that no matter what situation you find yourself in you can still have dreams and idols. The Beckhams do their bit for charity, I know that.
Even more heartbreaking was the little boy struggling to keep his little backpack together in the hope that he could get to school and be fed his only meal of the day. My God how I cried when I saw his efforts go awry. So many stories though of hope, of children conquering their "barriers to learning," crossing over the scourges of poverty to be educated and fed, a right all of us should have.
Please as we come up to Christmas again, think about purchasing this film; doing so will help to feed a hungry child for one year. When you think of what your children will get in their stockings never mind presents from Santa another few pounds is surely not much to ask, especially when you might be supplying those same children with a heart full of compassion for others much more needy than themselves. We could do worse than to include this DVD in every older child's stocking this year and spread the true message of Christmas.
Alternatively the movie CHILD 31 can now be viewed here online, in it's entirety.
Another way of helping Mary's meals would be to buy the book written by Martha Payne the young schoolgirl who caused a sensation with her blog about school meals. Little did she know when she started out on her quest to improve school meals that she would be able to help Mary's meals with donations of over £120,000 from well wishers and supporters.
If you are a teacher or educator you can find out more about Mary's Meals resources here
Mary's Meals on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/Looking4U2/mary-s-meals-charity/
Now for the little film that introduced me to Mary's Meals in the first place and heartwarming it was.....
Another child worthy of our praise - Charlie Doherty
Nothing nicer than a man in uniform I always think, be it a fireman, policeman, or soldier. Don't know what it is about those clothes but they certainly maketh a man. I am in a bit of a quandary at the moment though because I really don't know what man to choose for my next little project, and I have several choices I can tell you.
Who is it to be? The fireman complete with hose and yellow helmet, or the lovely footballer from Manchester United? (no rumours on Twitter please as I have an injunction in place ) I must say I am drawn towards the policeman as polished shoes have always done it for me, especially if long-toed and Italian. Mmmm, his are a bit more booty-like so maybe not quite what I was looking for and he doesn't have a truncheon... not good.
"Every girl loves a sailor" is the old saying and this girl is no different, but come on.... bell-bottoms really when out years ago and they were bad enough first time round. Nope I am really being drawn to the man of the moment, but he is a bit too keen on working all hours for my liking and his waistline could certainly be doing with a few sessions at the gym.
Having been married to someone who worked at sea I think I will forego the chance of an adventure with a life-boatman as worrying about his safety is not something I want to be doing now, much as I admire his bravery and dedication.
Come on, you'll have to help me with this one, too many choices...
Who do you think I should choose?