Posted: 22 November 2017

I’ll be home for Christmas?

Gemma is one of our project workers, working with missing children. She shares why Christmas is an especially hard time for children who are forced to run away from home and often a painful reminder of the things they are missing out on.  

When children and young people run away from home, it’s because they feel like they have no choice – they believe going missing is their only way to solve the problems they’re facing.

The push and pull

Sometimes they feel like they’re being forced out of their homes by abuse, arguments or violence - we call these ‘push’ factors. But at other times they run away because they’re being manipulated by gangs, peers or ‘boyfriends’ - these are called ‘pull’ factors.

Of course, whether they’re running away because of push or pull factors, most young people don’t realise that they may well be putting themselves at even greater risk.

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Every child should feel safe this Christmas

More than 2,000 children will go missing from home this Christmas. Donate today and help us be there for young people who desperately need our support

Tis the season…

At Christmas young people often feel their problems far more acutely than at other times of the year. Television shows and adverts are full of depictions of happy families getting together, and children receiving expensive presents – these can act as a painful reminder to vulnerable children of the things they are missing out on. It can feel to them like everyone else in the world is enjoying life, while they feel unloved, unhappy and alone. More than two thousand children run away each Christmas, but fortunately we are here to listen, give hope and show them that they’re not alone.

The promise of a brighter future

When I help a young person to understand just how much danger going missing puts them in, they are often shocked. They want to do something to turn their life around, and it’s my job to help them do that.

When young people go missing, all areas of their life start to decline. Their family relationships can start breaking up, friendships with peer groups in school or outside of school start suffering – but project workers like me are here to support young people to rebuild these relationships, so they can look forward to the promise of a brighter future.

Watch our video to find out how our project workers support missing children

I’ll meet with a young person wherever they feel comfortable, and we’ll chat (usually over a cup of tea) and debate about anything and everything. We’ll discuss ways that they can stay safe, or how they can handle the difficult situations they find themselves in. It’s fantastic to see how much hard work they put in to change their lives, and I feel extremely lucky to be able to help them on that journey.

Help a missing child this Christmas

No child should feel so unsafe and alone that they feel they have no choice but to run away. That’s true at any time of year, but especially at Christmas. The festive season should be full of promise and excitement for children, but for so many of them it’s a time when things feel so bad that they go missing from home.

This Christmas, all across the country, our supporters are coming together to change thousands of children's lives. And we’d love for you to join them by making a donation to our appeal, so that we can help more children fulfil their promise.

let’s make sure no child feels alone 

By Louise Jones - Digital team
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Every child should feel safe this Christmas

More than 2,000 children will go missing from home this Christmas. Donate today and help us be there for young people who desperately need our support

more...

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