A COUPLE who launched a worldwide search for their missing daughter visited Peeblesshire to promote a new child rescue alert system.

Kate and Gerry McCann were among a group of 30 guests and supporters of UK charity Missing People at Stobo Castle for the first Child Rescue Alert dinner in Scotland.

Their daughter Madeleine went missing on a family holiday in Portugal eight years ago.

The local event was hosted by Stobo owner Stephen Winyard who is also a patron of the Child Rescue Alert system which is managed by the charity.

The Child Rescue Alert system, which is a partnership between CEOP, a command of the National Crime Agency, the charity Missing People and Groupcall, offers vital, rapid public outreach when a child is known to have been abducted or their life is believed to be at immediate risk.

Amber Alert, a similar system in the United States, has been responsible for finding over 750 child safe and well. In the past year, more than 280,000 people have signed up to receive free Child Rescue Alerts to their phones via sms, email and an app.

The aim of the event at Stobo was to raise funds and to encourage companies to commit to registering their colleagues and employees to the system.

Child Rescue Alert has so far been made possible thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have awarded £225,000 to the project, allowing the Child Rescue Alert to launch last year. The awareness event raised an impressive £17,700 with many of those present also pledging to encourage their colleagues to sign up to the Alert system.