Following on from its launch in February 2008, Tracesmart's Missing Person campaign has enjoyed considerable success. The campaign's principle aims – to reunite people with lost friends and relatives, and raise awareness of tracing in the media – are both being met. Over 50 families have been reunited and the methods and tools used to locate estranged individuals have been well publicised in the media.
In order to raise the profile of tracing and also reunite family and friends, the Missing Persons campaign offers individuals the opportunity to search people they are out of contact with, free of charge, by a professional tracer in return for sharing their story with the world. Heavily promoted through their flagship people search website, Tracesmart.co.uk, the campaign has prompted a multitude of people from all over the world to request assistance in their hunt for lost loved ones, the most heart-warming of which, in particular those who have been apart for most of their lives, were selected for this free tracing service.
The reunification stories have generated a lot of interest in both national and regional media, making headlines in the press, on television and online. Most notably the series Missing Live, which earlier this year was featured on BBC 1 every weekday for a month, picked up the story of Faye Jones who had been searching for her father, Ken Millard, for over 20 years. The story demonstrated perfectly how easy it is to locate a lost loved one – checking the electoral roll and conducting an address search on the Tracesmart website swiftly yielded a positive trace. Following a letter from Tracesmart, Mr. Millard immediately contacted them and they put him back in touch with his daughter.
Another father and daughter story also empathised how simple it can be to trace missing relatives and caught the attention of the press. Following their reunification after 27 years apart, Andy and Rebecca Bond were more than happy to share their story with both the Manchester Evening News and Derbyshire Telegraph. "I really didn't think anyone would be able to find my dad with that little information" Ms Bond commented in the Derbyshire Telegraph, "I had always thought about looking for my dad but never really knew how to go about it." The reunion took place just before Fathers Day, making the story particularly poignant and it featured both in print and on the web.
Lead Media Trace Researcher and one of the campaigns chief protagonists, Louise Hewlett, commented on how the campaign will be continuing, "Following 6 successful months, we are keen to keep the momentum up and assist those who visit the Tracesmart site hoping to find relatives. Initially, looking for lost relatives can seem a daunting task where in reality it needn't be. We hope that by continuing with this project we will not only be able to reunite more people, but inspire others to do it themselves."
Notes to Editors:
Tracesmart - Founded in 1999, Tracesmart has, since the launch of its website in 2004, established itself as one of the UK's leading people tracing resources available on-line today. Since its inception the site has been instrumental in reuniting thousands of long lost family members and friends.
Louise Hewlett - Louise is the head media tracer on the Missing Person project. As well as locating and reuniting those involved, she provides the detailed analysis of how the trace subjects were located. She produces and maintains the "Success Stories" section on Tracesmart.co.uk which highlights successful traces and how they were completed.
Owen Roberts – Communications Manager
2 Sovereign Quay
Tel: 02920 474 114
Photos available on request.
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