Matthew Lewis, who starred as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film series, is to become the patron of the multi-award winning Bambisanani Partnership charity.
The charity has gained international acclaim for its pioneering work in rural South Africa by using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, global citizenship and leadership.
The charity was formed 14 years ago at Matthew’s former school, St Mary’s School, Menston and now involves the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University in delivering a range of projects and programmes in collaboration with South African partners.
David Geldart, chair and founder of the partnership said: “Matthew became involved in Bambisanani Partnership activities when he was at school and despite his busy acting schedule, he has remained in contact ever since, supporting us in a variety of ways.
“Regardless of his fame and celebrity, Matthew remains a very modest, unassuming and well-grounded young man who wants to make a difference in the world. He really understands what the charity is about and the challenges that we face in South Africa; it is absolutely fantastic to have him involved in this formal capacity as our Patron.”
Matthew added: “It’s a real honour for me to become the patron for the Bambisanani Partnership. Having attended St Mary’s School, I got to see first-hand the excellent work the partnership was doing in improving lives, not only in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa but also here in the UK. It truly is a partnership where everybody involved gains and has their lives enriched.
“To quote The Beatles, ‘the love you take is equal to the love you make’ and I believe the Bambisanani Partnership is a perfect example of that. I’ve watched David Geldart and his team pour so much passion into this project and it go from strength to strength. I now feel very lucky that, more than a decade out of school, I am able to give something back and get involved myself. ”
Over the past 14 years, the Bambisanani Partnership has worked with over 10,000 young people from South Africa and the UK, with students from St Mary’s School, the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity volunteering to deliver a host of projects in South Africa.
Following the Harry Potter series, Matthew has since gone on to appear in films including The Rise and Me Before You. He can currently be seen as the lead opposite Rose Matafeo in newly released romcom produced by Taika Waititi’s production company Baby, Done.
Television credits include award winning BBC drama Ripper Street, The Syndicate, Bluestone 42 and BAFTA award winning drama Happy Valley. He recently had a stand out role in Kay Mellor’s new series for ITV Girlfriends and can currently be seen starring in Channel 5’s new flagship drama All Creatures Great and Small, which has also had great international success on PBS Masterpiece. Stage credits include Verdict (Bill Kenwright Ltd); Our Boys (Duchess); and Unfaithful (Found111).
More at www.bambisananipartnership.org