Hollywood actor calls in at Edinburgh community organisations

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Michael Sheen is visiting groups across the UK who work together to deliver a stronger social economy

25th July 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Hollywood actor Michael Sheen delighted Edinburgh community organisations with a visit as part of a national tour to find out about social economy success.

The Frost Nixon actor and his team are meeting UK social entrepreneurs, activists, policy makers and general co-operators who are working together to deliver a stronger social economy.

Earlier this year, the 48-year-old was appointed as the honorary President of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and he has spoken passionately on supporting the community.

The aim of the actor’s visit to Edinburgh was to bring good ideas back to Wales and to enable partners to learn from Scotland’s journey in working together on strategies and delivery.

Amongst the organisations he met was Our Power. Launched in 2015, and backed by the Scottish Government, Our Power is an energy supplier created by social housing providers that aims to make energy fairer for all members of society. 

During his visit, Sheen heard about the work of the group to narrow the gap in fuel inequality in the UK and met members of the team.

Alister Steele, chairman and founder of Our Power, said: “It was a real privilege to welcome Michael to Our Power and share with him our journey and plans to operate at significant scale across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Michael is a true champion of social enterprise in the UK, and we benefitted from his knowledge and enthusiasm, and hopefully we can continue to share ideas to make social enterprise an important part of a more equal economic growth.”

On Friday, the Damned United star called in at Leith Theatre, where he met members of the trust that are restoring the venue. The theatre celebrated its 80th birthday last week and has come back into use this year after lying dormant for almost three decades.

Sheen also visit community arts centre Out of the Blue, met Geoff Leask, chief executive of Young Enterprise Scotland, and thanked Spartans chief executive Douglas Samuel following a visit to the club’s academy.

He tweeted: “What a brilliant community you have there. So inspiring. Thanks so much Douglas for taking the time to share your story today.”

Alongside his voluntary role, the actor is also an ambassador for TREAT Trust Wales, and is the Welsh ambassador of Into Film, a charity which offers after-school film clubs to state primary and secondary schools in an effort to improve literacy levels. He was also recently announced as a patron of Social Enterprise UK.