Leanne Hooper from Putney, has been selected as a Global Poverty Ambassador in a groundbreaking initiative from the Global Poverty Project (GPP) and The Co-operative. The Ambassador project will increase awareness about the reality of extreme poverty and how local UK communities, such as Wandsworth, can play a part in ending it.

The Global Poverty Ambassador project was launched at the London School of Economics on 25 January, when billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates, delivered his Annual Letter to an invited audience including 70 Ambassadors.

“This is a really exciting opportunity,” Leanne said.

“It was so inspiring to listen to Bill Gates lay out his vision for ending extreme poverty. We each wrote our own annual letter for the occasion and I look forward to spending the next year putting mine into action in my local community.”

Ambassadors were chosen from hundreds of applications submitted across the country. After a rigorous interview process, one hundred and twenty applicants will be selected and attend training at the London School of Economics or in Edinburgh next month. The Ambassadors are leaders in their businesses, schools, universities, business and faith groups, representing broad cross-section appeal within the community.

"Becoming a Global Poverty Ambassador is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to get involved in raising awareness for the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, and mobilise their communities around a series of campaigns in 2012 to deliver more and better aid, trade and good governance," said Elisha London, UK Director of the Global Poverty Project.

The partnership between the GPP and The Co-operative Group will run throughout 2012, the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. Tackling global poverty is a key element of The Co-operative’s rolling three year Ethical Plan and last year, the business committed to spending £7m per annum supporting projects such as this.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group said: “Campaigning has also been at the core of the co-operative movement. The International Year of Co-operatives is the ideal opportunity for our members and customers to mobilise, join with the Global Poverty Project and help make this a fair world where everyone’s basic human rights are met and respected.

“The Co-operative’s six million customer members can be vital in the fight against global poverty. From becoming a Global Poverty Ambassador, to committing to buy Fairtrade products, to resolving to switch to a Co-operative Bank account, there is something we can all do to help.”

Experts working with the Global Poverty Project will train the Ambassadors to deliver the high impact 1.4 Billion Reasons feature presentation in London– an innovative and interactive approach to highlighting the need to end poverty that has been seen by over 100,000 people around the world, illustrating engaging real-life stories and positive examples of change.

For readers who would like to join Leanne Hooper and be a Global Poverty Ambassador go to www.globalpovertyproject.com and apply before 10 February 2012.

Ends Contacts: For further information, please contact Leanne Hooper hooper.leanne@gmail.com + 44 (0)77 7546 9734 Or Nicola Roots Global Poverty Project +44 (0)20 7921 4235 Nicola.roots@globalpovertyproject.com www.theglobalpovertyproject.com Follow us on facebook and @thegpp and #gppambassadors Based on information supplied by Leanne Hooper.