Missing People's dedicated support service for young people thinking about running away or already away from home, Runaway Helpline, is today marking the first year of its pioneering 1-2-1 chat service.
Launched in November 2016 thanks to vital funding from BBC Children in Need and The Rayne Foundation, through 1-2-1 chat our team has supported children and young people through more than 1,000 chats to date.
One of Missing People's original services since the creation of the charity, Runaway Helpline was re-branded and re-launched in autum 2015, complete with a new website thanks to support from The Lockwood Charitable Foundation. Runaway Helpline aims to enable children and young people to access a safe space where they can feel empowered, informed and share their own experiences of missing or running away. For those accessing digital Runaway Helpline support, 1-2-1 chat allows a feeling of control and distance while giving young people the opporunity to communicate at a pace and in a manner which suits them, on their own terms.
Over the last year, Runaway Helpline's 1-2-1 chat service has flourished and young people are becoming more aware of this dedicated platform. Missing People has continued to recruit for a new cohort of 1-2-1 specialised volunteers to meet demand. New figures announed today to mark the end of the first year of the service show 71% of those using 1-2-1 chat reported that they were thinking of running away.