A SPECIAL needs teacher in Auchterarder has been selected as Scotland's Global Poverty Ambassador for 2012.

In a groundbreaking outreach initiative, Neil Shellgrove - who lives and works in the Lang Toon's Ochil Tower School - will help to share the vision in local communities about how it is possible to see an end to extreme poverty within our generation.

The programme will run for one year and Neil, along with the other ambassadors, have just completed a two-day training session with expert advisors, academics and campaigners.

They have been trained to deliver the '1.4 Billion Reasons' presentation - an interactive approach highlighting the need to end poverty, with real-life stories and positive examples of change.

Elisha London, UK Director of the Global Poverty Project, said: "1.4 Billion Reasons provides inspiring and informative insight into the progress that is being made, and how each of us can play a part in achieving an end to extreme poverty within our lifetime." Looking forward to starting the project, Neil told the Strathallan Times: "This is an exciting new project which has just been launched and I feel privileged to have been chosen to represent this project for the next 12 months.

"I am very excited to be presenting '1.4 Billion Reasons' across Perthshire and beyond in schools, universities, businesses and any community group who is interested in hearing new information about how we can see an end to extreme poverty in our lifetime." The Global Poverty Project has partnered with The Co-operative Group during the UN Year of Co-operatives to run the Ambassadors initiative.

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." For further information or to book Neil to deliver a presentation in schools, businesses or community groups contact neil@ochiltowerschool.org or phone 01764 661018.