Today she’s just come back from South Africa, where she visited a school in Soweto as part of her role as ambassador for Save the Children. She describes the trip as “life-changing” and her work for the charity as a “calling”.
“I went to see this little boy, Tembinkosi,” she tells me. “He was so sweet and shy. He was only eight . . . He has no toys. He sleeps on the floor in a room full of dirt and he only gets one meal a day. It was terrible. But if I can raise money, that will make a difference.”
So another photogenic star uses vulnerable children in Africa for a profile boost between film projects? “Well, if cynical journalists think that, I think that’s pretty jaded and sad,” Barton retorts. “If someone takes the time to actually go, I don’t think people sitting on their bums writing articles have the right to say anything, actually.”
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For more information on Save the Children go to www.savethechildren.org.uk