Two specialist trauma counsellors from Skipton have flown out to Portugal to help the devastated parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann.

Consultants Alan Pike and Martin Alderton from the Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP), based at Broughton Hall, have been by the side of Gerry and Kate McCann since their daughter Madeleine was abducted.

The McCanns last saw their daughter, who turned four on Saturday, at their Praia Da Luz holiday apartment in Portugal 12 days ago.

The two experts were appointed by Mark Warner, the company which manages the resort, to assist Mr and Mrs McCann, both 38, on how best to deal with the stress and trauma of their terrible ordeal.

The couple, who also have two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, were dining at a nearby tapas bar when Madeleine went missing from their apartment.

Mr Pike, who is leading the team, flew over to the resort with Mark Warner managing director, David Hopkins, the day after Madeleine disappeared.

Mr Alderton, who has counselled those affected by major disasters across the country, arrived the following day.

A spokesman for Mark Warner said: "The Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) came highly recommended by industry partners and have been known to us for some time.

"Their experience in dealing with a variety of incidents is second to none."

Staff from the Skipton centre also visited Mark Warner's head office in London to offer counselling to employees last Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Skipton centre said: "We are working with Mark Warner and cannot discuss any information because of commercial confidentiality.

"We have got two trauma consultants working on the incident. Everyone all over the country has been gripped, it is a very difficult case."

Mr Pike's experience in trauma work includes domestic violence and abuse, child abuse, emergency planning and assessment, and adoption.

Since joining CCP in 2004, he has been involved in consulting with companies following road traffic accidents, personal attacks, terrorist bombings, shootings, robberies, drowning and staff bereavement.

Mr Alderton provided clinical support following the 2003 Manchester motorway minibus crash in which seven people died.

Rewards totalling £2.5 million have been offered to anyone who can help with information leading to the safe return of Madeleine, of Rothley in Leicestershire.

Businessman Sir Richard Branson, footballer Wayne Rooney and children's author JK Rowling are among those who have contributed.

Speaking at a special mass on Saturday, Kate and Gerry McCann called for people to keep looking and praying for their daughter, but also acknowledged the huge effort and resources being put into the search.

In the latest sign of solidarity, hundreds of Portuguese bikers are preparing to ride the length of the country distributing posters of the missing girl.

The official ground search for Madeleine in the Algarve has ended, but police say they still have significant leads to follow up.

They have formally interviewed a 12th person as part of their investigations.

The focus has shifted from a local search for Madeleine to an international child abduction inquiry, amid suggestions she may have been taken out of Portugal.

Detectives are also continuing to cross-check CCTV footage of several cars with witness statements in their efforts to identify a possible abductor.

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, the international number for Crime stoppers is +44 1883 731 336.