FUNDRAISING NEWS: Why I Give - David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham and a trustee of ActionAid

When did you become involved with ActionAid?

I first became a trustee when the chief executive of ActionAid asked me shortly after I was elected as an MP in 1997. At first I wasn't keen because I had been approached by a number of organisations and felt that I only had a limited amount of time to commit. ActionAid persisted and, in the end, because of my long-standing interest in development, I agreed.

Approximately how much time do you give?

I have made a visit to Sierra Leone and while I was a backbencher I did a lot of work in the Commons concerning human rights and overseas development. In a sense, ActionAid informs much of what I do.

I continue to attend as many ActionAid meetings as my diary will allow and regard myself as a friend in Parliament.

What do you think you bring to ActionAid?

You'd have to ask them. But I think my interest in development is of assistance. My parents are from Guyana, which is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, and I also grew up in Tottenham.

Are there any other causes you support?

I work with Amnesty International and Prisoners Abroad, and also help charities in the leukaemia research and sickle cell fields.

Do you think MPs make good trustees?

I don't know if I'm best placed to answer this.

But I think that it probably depends on the MP, the organisation and the cause.

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