A SERVICE has been planned in Glasgow to give the families of Scotland's long-term missing people a chance to come together.

Missing Persons UK and Beyond will host the service at Glasgow City Free Church on 265 St Vincent Street on Thursday, April 9.

The organisation started off as a Facebook page to raise awareness of missing people with communities online and now has charity status.

Glaswegian woman Joan Grant, who started off as an administrator for the group and is now chairwoman of the charity, said: "We want to do this to bring the families together.

"The families are all over Scotland and the only contact they have with each other is on social media or the telephone.

"The families are all going through the same thing and this gives them an opportunity to speak to people in a similar situation.

"The only person who can understand what they are going through is someone going through the same thing."

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Glasgow Times:

Some of the families attending the event include Ann Margaret Allan, the sister of Samuel Townsley who vanished in Glasgow city centre on October 19, 2016.

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Glasgow Times:

Police Scotland launched a major search operation for Samuel who was last seen by officers who were carrying out a routine check on Union Street on the day he went missing.

A barber working in the city centre street alerted the police to Samuel because he looked vulnerable. From that point, he has never been found or in touch with his family again.

Samuel, who was 28 when he vanished, is well-known in Scotland's traveller community. He often slept rough and has no fixed address although he had been living in Clydebank before he disappeared.

Ann Margaret will also be joined by other families searching for their loved ones.

Glasgow Times:

Marion McFarlane, whose sister Mary Duncan disappeared on March 19, 1976, will also attend the event.

Mum-of-one Mary was just 17 when she vanished after leaving her home in Alexandria.

Mary had become pregnant at the age of 15 and gave birth to a baby girl, Laura Duncan, on February 17, 1975. She did not take her daughter with her when she disappeared and baby Laura died of natural causes on October 25, 1976.

Detective Superintendent Calum Young previously said: "Mary left home with no money and she has never claimed benefits, paid tax or national insurance. Her family strongly doubt that she would have had the means or life skills to start a new life and live independently."

Joan, who was born in the Gorbals but now lives in Fife, said: "We are here to support the families mentally, financially if we can or any other way, even if it is just to listen to them."

The charity, who is run by volunteers and has reunited over 200 families, is planning similar events in the future and you can find them on Facebook.