The England rugby team wore Look for Madeleine T-shirts at their open training session in the Algarve today. I am looking forward to seeing the pictures tomorrow! We had a brief, private meeting with the RFU management team last night to thank them for this unprompted show of support which helps keep Madeleines disappearance high profile here in Portugal and at home.
We also met today with SOS Crianca, which is the main child welfare non-governmental organisation in Portugal. Similar to our meetings with child welfare groups and ministers in other countries, they feel our campaign to keep Madeleines profile high is correct. It was a very constructive meeting and they have offered to help support us in any way they can. It is likely we will travel to Lisbon at some point to meet with other agencies to see what advice they have for us and if we can help them. We hope the huge amount of goodwill that has been generated following Madeleines abduction can be translated into tangible benefits for the future and we very much want to work with the organisations trying to prevent child abduction and expoitation.
It was heartening for Kate and I to learn of the release today of Alan Johnston after almost 4 months in captivity. Although the circumstances of his kidnapping are very different to that of Madeleines, it still lifted us to see him being freed knowing he will be reunited with his family shortly. We also agree with the commentators who have stated his family have acted with tremendous dignity throughout and Alan himself appeared incredibly resilient and composed following his release. Our best wishes go to Alan and his family.