Missing youngsters campaign takes off

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THE campaign to trace missing people including Doncaster teenager Andrew Gosden took to the skies as part of a national event.

Andrew’s family and friends released more than a dozen balloons, each carrying a tag bearing the name of a missing person.

The balloon release was held to mark International Missing Children’s Day.

Dad Kevin took part in the balloon release at St James Church in Saint Sepulchre Gate West, Doncaster, with the family among the congregation. It also coincided with the launch of a campaign on the website Twitter to circulate details of youngsters, including Andrew.

Kevin said: “The main purpose of International Missing Children’s Day is to encourage everyone to remember all the children missing, not just in the UK, but worldwide.

“It is important that we send a message of solidarity at an international level to parents who do not know where their children are or what has become of them.”

After the balloons had been released, prayers were said for 26 missing people, including Andrew, who has not been seen since he set off from the family home on Littlemoor Lane, Balby, on his way to McAuley School in Cantley, four years ago.

He was aged 14 at the time. CCTV pictures showed him at Kings Cross Station in London later the same day.

His family has kept searching for him ever since, writing to every school in the country.

Prayers were also said for other youngsters, including Madeleine McCann and Ben Needham, from Sheffield.

The search for Andrew included a sonar search of the bed of the River Thames earlier this year, which showed there were no bodies in the river.

Earlier this month, a picture of Andrew’s face was among more than 10,000 images held up at a concert at Wembley to raise awareness of the tens of thousands of children who go missing every year in the UK.