Supporters of British charity Missing People, including Sir Trevor McDonald, Helen Baxendale and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, came together last week to urge companies to ‘sponsor’ one of the charity’s 12 phones that receive calls from desperate people each day of the year.

Missing People, which works to support, find and safeguard all those affected by the issue of “missing”, hosted the special event at the charity HQ in southwest London. Hosted by Vice Patron Sir Trevor McDonald, the evening was attended by the charity’s Honorary Friends and Ambassadors.

Sir Trevor McDonald said: "I am delighted to formally launch Missing People’s Sponsor A Phone Campaign. Each of these phones really is a life-saving piece of equipment, providing support to some of society’s most vulnerable people.

“By sponsoring a Missing People phone for £10,000, companies and individuals can help to ensure that vulnerable people can access crucial support 24 hours a day every day in 2010.”

Guest of honour was Kerry Grist, the mother of Ben Needham who disappeared more than 20 years ago from the Greek island of Kos. Kerry said: “Without the charity Missing People, there are families like mine across the country who simply would have nowhere to turn. To me they are a Godsend.”

During the evening tributes were also paid to Stephen Gately who tragically died on Saturday. Stephen had been an Ambassador for Missing People for more than four years, calling the helpline services “a vital resource”.

To find out more about the ‘Sponsor A Phone’ campaign, please visit www.missingpeople.org.uk/sponsoraphone or call 0208 392 4510.

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