This week is my one year anniversary as a volunteer at Missing People, it’s been a fantastic year and I feel that I have achieved so much and made an impact, even in my small way.
Last April I signed up to become a volunteer Archivist for Missing People. My day job doesn’t really have many clean cut starts and ends, work is always ongoing. I liked the idea of volunteering my time on something that is completely different to what I do every day. Archiving gives me a sense of satisfaction when after my four-hour shift I have a pile of cases that have been completed and I can now shred. Job done!
Who are Missing People?
Missing People offers a lifeline for the 250,000 people who are missing each year. For those left behind, they provide specialised support to ease the heartache and confusion and help search for their missing loved ones. They provide free 24-hour confidential support, help and advice by phone, email, text and online, including the opportunity to reconnect.
What does an Archivist Volunteer do?
Missing People have thousands of missing people cases still on paper files that need to be checked, summarised and logged onto their electronic database. They’re about 25% of the way through the case load, but they always need more Archivists to help complete this enormous task.
My role is to check the work of the Junior Archivists, categorise the files and then the delightful task of shredding them at the end of my shift.
“Ergh dull” you might think, but there is something immensely satisfying seeing a pile of 30 cases at the end of your four-hour shift that can now be shredded.
I know that at the end of my shift that the chances are I’m the last person to see that case and know about that missing person, puts your life into perspective.
I recently received my Pink Star Award from Missing People for volunteer over 100 hours for Missing People. If on average I do 30 cases in a four-hour shift, I’ve now archived around 787 cases already this year!
I’m looking forward to another year of volunteering with Missing People, spending my Wednesday evenings with their amazing volunteers and friendly staff.
I would recommend you do too!
Child Rescue Alert
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.
If there’s just one thing you do from reading this, please let it be to sign up for the Child Rescue Alerts (it’s easy and free and you’ll only get a message if a child goes missing in your area).
Other volunteer opportunities
There are so many ways you can volunteer your time with Missing People, from Archiving, helpline volunteer, poster publicity research, lost contact or a community champion – to name but a few. More information can be found here on their website.