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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Hollywood star visits Scottish charity projects

This news post is 7 months old

Scottish-born Isla Fisher returned to her roots

Hollywood actor, children’s book author and Save the Children ambassador Isla Fisher returned to Scotland last month to learn more about how the charity is working with local community groups and schools. 

The star was in Lanarkshire to ensure children get the bright future they deserve.

Born to Scottish parents, Isla spent much of her childhood in Bathgate before moving to Australia where her late father worked for Save the Children. 

Now, as a mother of three, Isla was keen to hear about how the charity’s work impacts children’s learning and supports Scottish families, particularly those facing hardship amid the cost of living crisis.

She said: “This visit is highly personal for me as Scotland is the home of my ancestral roots. Both my parents were Scottish, and relatives are still dotted around the area. It’s also the first time I’ve returned since my father passed away. 

“I know he’d be incredibly proud of my being here to support Save the Children’s vital work helping children and families who live so close to where he grew up.”

First stop was St Columbkille's Primary School in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, where Isla visited a Families Connect session, delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government, which aims to accelerate children’s social and emotional development. 

The programme encourages parents to be confident in their skills to support their child's early development at home, and offers research-based (evidence-based) techniques to try out at home.

During the session, Isla joined parents and their children for a literacy and language development workshop, before reading a passage from one of her acclaimed Marge in Charge children’s books to the children taking part.

Head teacher, Dave Adams, said: “It was a pleasure to have Isla in the school with us to celebrate the high level of parental engagement we have within St Columbkille’s. Save the Children’s Family Connect programme is a wonderful opportunity for families and children to learn and play together in a safe and nurturing environment, and we were delighted to have Isla come and join in for the day!”

Next up Isla paid a visit to Home-Start Glasgow North and North Lanarkshire, a community organisation that works closely with Save the Children to help deliver immediate cash grants to some families that are facing hardship.

Pregnant families and families with children under the age of five come to Home-Start to get both practical and emotional support. 

Home-Start helps empower families to grow in confidence and resilience and build stronger relationships within the family and in the wider community.

Karen Erskine, service manager at Home-Start Glasgow North and North Lanarkshire, said: “Today's visit with Isla and Save the Children highlighted the importance of partnership working in order to support families in Scotland. 

“It was great that so many families came along and offered to share their stories and experiences of parenting and the part that Home-Start has played in this journey.”

Isla added: “Many here are living at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis. I hear of parents earning double incomes and still struggling to cover the basics, mothers skipping meals so that their children can eat.

“I feel incredibly touched that the women here are sharing their stories with me. Motherhood can be isolating at best. Throw in financial difficulties, soaring food prices, mental health struggles, and I know I’m talking to some real fighters.”