Charity singles out 'giving areas'

Money taken out of a Scottish purseScotland's "most generous" areas have been revealed by an anti-poverty charity.

ActionAid said Lanarkshire is the country's most giving area, as 823 of its residents currently sponsor 875 children living in poverty across the world.
In Midlothian, 557 people sponsor 641 children through ActionAid in Africa, Asia and South America.

Aberdeenshire was third most generous, with 335 children sponsored by 319 of its residents. This is followed by Fife, where 217 people give to 226 children, and Ayrshire, where 201 people give to 219 children.

ActionAid said about £430,000 is raised each year in these five areas alone. The sponsorship money is said to go directly to the child and their community.

Dawn Wyatt, from the charity's child sponsorship team, said: "At a time when life is financially harder for most of us, the generosity of people in Scotland is inspiring and absolutely vital in supporting ActionAid's work.

"We want to thank all those people who are already helping us by sponsoring a child. We also want to show that there are thousands more children around the world who desperately need our help. For them December is often just another month of starvation, and not a festive season."

The figures were disclosed as the charity launched its first campaign to encourage people to sponsor a child as a Christmas gift. ActionAid said it is now possible to sponsor a child for friends and family for £15 a month.

Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster in the soap, said: "My family and I have been sponsoring children with ActionAid for over 10 years. Following a visit with my daughter Phoebe to India to meet the child we had been sponsoring for eight years, I saw for myself the real difference that child sponsorship makes to a child and their community.

"Our kids have also learnt about what life is like in a very different part of the world. This is why I think buying a gift like child sponsorship is more than just a present that fascinates for five minutes but enriches your child's life for years to come."
© 2011 Press Association
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