There is nothing like a Dame (and her sister) to give your charity a boost.
Emma and Sophie Thompson are backing Mary’s Meals in a new campaign to help feed children in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Double the Love means any donations to the Argyll-based charity until the end of January will be doubled.
A group of generous but unnamed donors made the campaign possible with a cash injection of up to £1.6 million available.
As they launched the campaign, the famous acting sisters spoke about their love of Scotland and particularly Argyll.
Emma Thompson: ‘Argyll is a special place’
Long-time Mary’s Meals supporter Sophie said: “Emma and I were marvelling about how Mary’s Meals provides food at school for children living in the most desperate circumstances, encouraging them to gain an education that will, in the future, help them out of poverty.
“We are delighted to announce that donations made to this awesome charity this winter will be doubled – meaning even more little ones will receive a daily serving of Mary’s Meals.”
Mary’s Meals was founded in a shed in Argyll in 2002 and has grown from feeding 200 children in Malawi to more than two million children every school day in 19 countries around the world.
Backing Mary’s Meals has a local aspect for Emma Thompson.
Emma added: “Our mother is Scottish, and Argyll is a very special place for our family. I am overjoyed that a charity founded there is changing the lives of children in some of the world’s poorest countries. It truly is an incredible achievement.
“Double The Love presents a wonderful opportunity for us all to get behind Mary’s Meals and show children living in the world’s poorest countries that we care.”
The Thompsons’ mother is Glasgow-born actress Phyllida Law and the sisters spent many childhood holidays in Scotland. Dame Emma has a house in Argyll.
Another sister act – in Zambia
Sibongile, 13, and Sarah, 10, live in a farming village in Zambia, almost 8,000 miles away from Sophie and Emma’s homes in London.
Sibongile is outgoing and laughs a lot, and her younger sister is very quietly spoken.
They face many struggles, such as a two-hour walk to school. Sibongile only has black pumps that are too big for her and Sarah wears rubber sandals.
In November the area usually floods, making the journey even more difficult.
But both walk to school knowing that they will soon get a serving of Mary’s Meals. This will help them to concentrate on their lessons.
Sibongile says: “I eat my porridge at 11am. If there’s no leftover food from the night before that will be the first time I eat.”
Mary’s Meals: Life-changing
Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary’s Meals, said he was grateful to the Thompsons.
He added: “What a brilliant sister act they are!
“I hope people will donate so that we can access all the £1.6million match funding available to us.
“These funds really will change the lives of children facing the most difficult circumstances.”
The Double The Love campaign runs until January 31.