Saturday 24 June 2017

Butler gives charity founder award

Actor Gerard Butler presented an award to the Scottish founder of a charity
Actor Gerard Butler presented an award to the Scottish founder of a charity

Hollywood actor Gerard Butler has presented an award to the founder of a Scottish charity for his work feeding hungry children.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow flew to LA to pick up the prize of £16,000 for the charity Mary's Meals which he founded in 1992.

The former salmon-farmer from Argyll shared the stage with the Paisley-born PS I Love You actor at a ceremony in Hollywood on Saturday.

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow was the only British nominee selected for the CNN Hollywood Heroes show, an award scheme which recognises "ordinary people having an extraordinary impact".

Butler said: "I'm proud because he's a fellow Scot. Every day Magnus lets children know that they matter, that someone thousands of miles away cares about them."

Butler described the founding of Mary's Meals, which happened when Magnus and his brother Fergus made a plan to deliver aid to Bosnia while having a drink at their local pub.

He said: "Whenever a story starts like this: 'two brothers walk into a bar', it doesn't end well but this story is different.

"Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow walked into a bar with his brother. They were having a drink and talked about the heart-wrenching images of the Bosnian war they'd just seen on the TV. So they made an extraordinary decision that most of us don't make. They decided to help."

Mary's Meals provides a school meal a day for almost 460,000 children in 16 countries. The prize money will be spent on school-feeding projects in Malawi, where the charity supports more than 12% of primary school children.

Mr Macfarlane-Barrow said: "It's wonderful to be able to receive this award on behalf of the thousands of people who are working to realise the vision we have that every child in the world will be able to receive at least one meal every day in a place of education."

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