Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross and broadcaster Michelle McManus joined forces today to launch SCIAF’s WEE BOX Lent appeal to help some of the poorest people in the world.

Ricky Ross

Ricky Ross

The appeal – backed by UK Aid Match for the second year running – raises vital funds for the charity’s life-changing work, helping families living with hunger, poverty, war and natural disasters in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Other high profile supporters backing the appeal include Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, comedian Des Clark, and boxer Charlie Flynn.

They will join thousands of supporters across Scotland who make personal sacrifices to give their money to SCIAF’s WEE BOX appeal. This year’s appeal tells the story of the charity’s work helping poor cattle herders in Ethiopia to cope with drought and climate change. Every pound given to SCIAF’s appeal before 4th May will be doubled by the UK government.

Speaking at the launch today, Ricky Ross said, “SCIAF’s WEE BOX appeal reminds me how lucky I am. So many people in the world don’t have enough food to eat or clean water to drink. SCIAF works tirelessly to change that by giving people the seeds, farm tools and training they need to grow food and feed their families.”

Michelle McManus said, “I’m supporting the WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeal to help families in Ethiopia and around the world to get the help they need and have more hope for the future. SCIAF works tirelessly to support some of the poorest people in the world with seeds, farming tools, training and small loans so they can grow more food, perhaps set up a small business and work their way out of poverty. We can all do something to help. This Lent I’m giving up chocolate. What will you do?”

SCIAF’s Director Alistair Dutton said, “Everything people give to SCIAF’s WEE BOX Lent appeal means poor families can get the help they need, like good seeds, farming tools, training and small loans, so they can grow food, earn an income, and have a better future.

“Thank you to everyone who supports our work, including high profile Scots like Ricky Ross, Michelle McManus, Libby McArthur, Gordon Strachan, Des Clarke, Charlie Flynn, Kaye Adams and the Proclaimers. Having the UK Aid Match again this year is a fantastic bonus too. It means everything you give to our WEE BOX appeal will be doubled by the UK government.”

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan is also backing the appeal. He said, “It’s a tragedy that nearly one billion people in the world live in desperate poverty and go hungry every day. But we can all do something about it. By filling up one of SCIAF’s WEE BOXES you can support the charity’s life-changing work in some of the poorest countries in the world, helping families to grow more food, earn an income and work their way to a better future. Please join me in supporting SCIAF’s WEE BOX appeal. Every penny you donate will be doubled by the UK government.”

At the launch today Ricky and Michelle shared why they’re supporting the appeal and what they’ll give up for Lent. They took part in a Q&A with young SCIAF supporters from St John’s Primary (Portobello), St Maurice’s High (Cumbernauld), Taylor High (Motherwell), St Aloysius (Glasgow) and St Luke’s High and St John’s Primary (Barrhead). The celebrities then posed for photos with giant WEE BOXES and a ‘£1 = £2’ sign highlighting that donations will be doubled by the UK government.