Focus: Fundraising - Me and my charity

Nina Wadia is an actress and comedienne who has starred in the TV shows Goodness Gracious Me and All About Me. She has supported Save the Children since last year.

How did you get involved with Save the Children?

I was invited to a presentation last year, but because I'm already patron of a couple of charities I only wanted to get involved if I could genuinely give some of my time.

When I heard about the Education for Girls campaign, I was blown away by the statistics. It's a subject that's close to my heart, because I grew up in a poor area of Mumbai where the only good schools were fee-paying. Somehow my parents found the money to send me and my brother and sister to school, for which I'm very grateful.

An education is something that most people in this country take for granted, yet there are 60 million girls in poor countries who are desperate to go to school.

How have you supported the campaign? I've been involved since it was launched in March. I attended a lunch in May to discuss the issues and signed a letter to Gordon Brown and finance ministers from the world's richest countries asking for more aid. I also spoke about the issue in front of the 220,000 people who attended the Make Poverty History demonstrations in Edinburgh - that was pretty terrifying.

Do you support any other charities? I became involved with the National Kidney Research Fund because my mum died when she didn't get a second kidney transplant. I'm now a patron. I was also approached by Harrow Mencap because I was in All About Me, which dealt with disability. I am also involved with Barnardo's.

Do you find it hard to support so many charities? I don't like to spread myself too thinly, but with a smaller charity such as Harrow Mencap, for example, you can really make a difference. I am very committed to the Education for Girls campaign because I feel so privileged that I received an education myself.

It can be hard for celebrities to combine work with supporting a charity, but it's a Catch-22 situation - we need to work to keep our profiles up, otherwise we won't be able to help.

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