Kate McCann 'more driven than ever' to find Madeleine
Published 01/05/2015 | 21:08
The mother of missing Madeleine McCann has said she is "more driven than ever" to continue the search for her daughter, ahead of the eighth anniversary of the girl's disappearance.
Kate McCann spoke as she announced that she will lead a 500-mile (805km) bike ride from Edinburgh to London in June to raise £10,000 for a missing persons charity.
Madeleine was three when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents, Kate and Gerry, dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.
Mrs McCann, who is fundraising for Missing People, of which she is an ambassador, said: "As the eighth anniversary of our daughter Madeleine's abduction is upon us, I'm more driven than ever to continue the search for Madeleine and to help other families who face the pain of a child being missing. All of us can play a part in helping this important charity."
Mrs McCann will lead 20 cyclists on a Cycle Challenge starting at Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh's landmark hill, on June 13. They will then take in Newcastle, York, Nottingham and Northampton before finishing at the Tower of London on June 17.
Madeleine's disappearance is one of the most famous missing persons cases of all time.
Last week her parents won a libel payout against Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, who had been on trial over claims he made in a book and a documentary that the couple were involved in Madeleine's disappearance in Praia da Luz.
In a written verdict, a Lisbon court agreed that Mr Amaral should pay Mr and Mrs McCann 250,000 euros (£179,000) each in damages and it banned further sales of his book, The Truth Of The Lie.
British police officers spent eight days searching three areas of land in Praia da Luz last June, close to where Madeleine disappeared, but found no new evidence.
The Metropolitan Police launched their own operation in 2011.
Missing People is launching a fundraising effort alongside Mrs McCann's ride. #MissforMay encourages people to give up a luxury for May and donate the money they save.
Its chief executive, Jo Youle, said: "We are hugely grateful to Kate McCann for taking on this incredible challenge to help missing people and their families across the UK."
Later, on the official Find Madeleine Campaign, her parents wrote of the pain they feel eight years after her disappearance.
They wrote: "Eight years. There's no gentle way of putting it. Whilst most days, weeks and months are fairly similar - Madeleine is missed every day - this time of year cuts deep as it's a harsh reminder of time having passed and precious years with Madeleine lost.
"Without a shadow of doubt, the love, support, help and prayers that we continue to receive from so many people, in spite of the years which have gone by, encourages us, maintains our hope and lifts our spirits.
"We are also buoyed and reassured by the unwavering commitment and continued progress being made in the investigation.
"We are really grateful to the Metropolitan Police team for their conscientiousness, patience, consideration shown to us and above all, their will to find Madeleine and determine what has happened."