Actress Joanna Lumley has thrown her support behind a unique Christmas charity initiative.

The British star voices a short animation clip talking viewers through Lend With Care, a new drive by poverty-fighting charity CARE International.

Lumley speaks through the film to encourage patrons to lend money to business start-ups in deprived countries with the promise of the money being repaid once the company is up and running.

The campaign suggests volunteers give Lend With Care vouchers as Christmas gifts this year (14).

In a statement, she says, "I am absolutely delighted to support this initiative, and to lend my voice to this charming film. is such a perfect way of helping people out of poverty, on their own terms - and of course you get to see exactly where your money is going, because you choose the individual you wish to support. I will be giving vouchers to everyone I know this Christmas. I think it's wonderful."