Kate McCann has issued a message of hope, urging parents of missing children to ‘never give up’ in search for them.
Her daughter Madeleine was just three-years-old when she went missing from an apartment in May 2007, while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Kate’s message comes as the family prepare for their 12th Christmas without their eldest child, who would now be 15 years of age.
As reported by the Mirror, Kate was attending a carol service for the Missing People charity on Monday (December 10), alongside Bek Stratfield.
The event, which took place at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, saw both women give speeches about their missing children – as other families and friends of lost loved ones lit candles to remember them.
Bek’s son, Finnian Layland-Stratfield, disappeared approximately 18 months ago at the age of 17 from Tintagel, Cornwall, and hasn’t been seen since.
Bek gave a moving speech about Finn, stating she’ll never give up hope, and will continue to search for him, adding:
There isn’t one grain of me that will give up hope for Finn and he is in my heart and mind every day.
Kate, who’s an ambassador for the charity Missing People, also spoke to the crowd and urged them to never give up on their missing loved ones:
Just maybe tomorrow will be the day we find something to lead us back to Madeleine and to know what happened. It gives us hope. Never give up hope.
£11,600,000 has been spent on the investigation into her disappearance – Operation Grange – which was launched by Scotland Yard in 2011 after a Portuguese enquiry failed. The operation is reportedly following several lines of inquiry.
The funding was due to expire at the end of September this year, meaning the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) would be unable to continue their investigation.
As such, the Home Office confirmed earlier in the year they’d received – and were considering – a request from the MPS to extend funding until March 2019.
They confirmed the request had been approved on November 13, with Sky News reporting a spokesperson as saying:
We have confirmed that Special Grant funding of £150,000 will be provided to the Metropolitan Police Service for the six-month period to 31 March 2019.
Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley in Leicestershire, run an ‘Official Find Madeleine Campaign’ Facebook page to continue the search for Maddie and they occasionally post to it, sending messages of thanks to their followers.
Most recently, a message was posted to the page alongside a picture of the word ‘hope’ from the digital coordinator.
I know it ‘s been a while since I’ve posted. We just want to thank you for continuing to be by our side and keeping Madeleine in your heart. ~FM Digital Coordinator
Since her disappearance, Kate and Gerry have never lost hope they’ll find their eldest daughter while continuing their search for her.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).