Missing boy's father uses Facebook to find him
The devastated father of a missing teenager is using social networking websites in a new bid to find his son.
Kevin Gosden, whose son Andrew disappeared on September 14 2007, said a new charity which uses Facebook and Twitter amongst other sites to publicise lost children has helped him “through the most painful times” and “given him the will” to carry on searching for the youngster.
The teen, who will now be 17 and who had family in Chislehurst, Sidcup and Blackheath, was last seen at Kings Cross station, having boarded a train from his home in Doncaster and although there have been many reported sightings of him, none have been confirmed.
New charity Help Find My Child, which was launched last Wednesday (11) offers families online support to search for children and once a profile is added to its database the details appear on many other websites simultaneously, with live updates and chronicle of events to keep the public’s interest.
Mr Gosden, 44, who suffered a breakdown after Andrew’s disappearance, said: “Help Find My Child has let me publicise Andrew’s missing status to targeted audiences in a way that is not possible through newspapers, radio and television exposure. They have been such a supportive group to me on a personal and emotional level too. During some of the most painful times, this group has given me the will to go on and to continue searching for my son.
“Unfortunately we have no further news about Andrew. There continue to be sightings reported in but in nearly three years now, none have been confirmed as being him.”
Andrew took £200, a portable Playstation and his favourite black canvas bag which had rock and metal band badges sewn on it. Hi family are at a loss to the reasons for his disappearance - they were close and had no arguments before he left.
The co-founder of the charity Kerry Guy said idea for the charity was set up following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann after finding a lack of support for families of missing children.
She said: “Can you imagine the trauma of having one of your children missing? It’s perhaps the worst nightmare any parent can endure. It was just unacceptable to us that families were burdened with trying to master technology so their voices would be heard at the same time.”
Anyone with information on Andrew’s whereabouts can contact Missing People confidentially on 0500 700 700 or the Runaway helpline on freephone 0808 800 70 70 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.