2018 Shortlist | Missing People
Winner – Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk
What they do
Missing People offers a lifeline for the 250,000 people who run away and go missing each year and provides support for family and friends.
What they’ve achieved
When the Missing People Choir was invited to appear on Britain’s Got Talent, trustees quickly realised it was an unmissable opportunity.
Putting the national spotlight on a choir made up of missing people’s loved ones would put the charity’s cause front and centre in millions of homes. This had the potential to create the kind of buzz money can’t buy.
But the board understood there were major risks involved too. The show might bring intense media scrutiny on members and their families. Additionally, there were complex contracts to manage with ITV, not to mention the pressure of singing live on prime-time television.
Why they are a winner
The dedicated choir members all wanted to make it happen. The board responded with positive steps to put the right help and advice in place for everyone involved. The process kicked off with an extensive risk report, with trustees identifying how best to manage any issues.
Trustees agreed the most important move was to offer practical support at every stage of the competition – for both choir members and their families.
Judges praised Missing People’s board for providing the kind of adaptable, flexible leadership that helped the choir find its voice. With trustees’ whole-hearted support, the choir reached the Britain’s Got Talent final, where it got its message out to a combined audience of 20 million viewers.
The choir’s emotional performance also trended on Twitter and generated thousands of spontaneous donations from viewers at home. Best of all, it raised brand awareness for the charity by 8%, and its appearance directly led to the discovery of two previously missing people.
What the judges said
“Although it carried risk to the organisation, and those involved, the board recognised the opportunity to use the power of popular culture to create greater social awareness.”