On the day Little Mix’s Sport Relief single Word Up is released (Monday 17th March), Leigh-Anne Pinnock shares her thoughts on the band’s trip to Liberia and how important the money raised through Sport Relief is, in helping to transform the lives of extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
During the trip, Leigh-Anne visited a hospital with fellow bandmate Perrie Edwards, and in a film released today they are both deeply shocked and emotional when they see children who are suffering from life threatening conditions from easily preventable diseases.
Reflecting on how the visit to Liberia has affected her perspective on her life, Leigh Anne said: “This is completely different to home. If we’re sick we go to a doctor, or we go to hospital we get treated. Whereas here – they don’t know if they are going to survive. I can’t understand what they must be feeling or what they must be going through, to know that they might not see tomorrow, to know that it could be prevented – and they don’t have to be in a hospital.
“We worry about the stupidest little things at home – and there is so much going on in the world. I just feel like we take things for granted too much and coming here has been such an eye opener.”
Comic Relief can also announce today that the UK Government will cover the costs of the VAT on the Sport Relief single sales through funding from the Department for International Development, effectively 'giving back' the VAT.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "This year’s Sport Relief will create jobs and better chances for 150,000 of the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa, giving them the means to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty. Every purchase of Little Mix’s single ‘Word Up’ will help make that goal a reality.
“By covering the cost of all VAT on sales of the single from the overseas development budget, the government is effectively ‘giving back’ the VAT to Sport Relief. So members of the public can be confident that every penny of the net proceeds from the single will go towards helping the very poorest.”
Money raised from Sport Relief will be spent helping some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and around the world.