SILVERDALE-born soap actress Emma Atkins has returned to her roots to help promote a major fundraising initiative.

Emma, who plays Charity Dingle in Emmerdale, took inspiration from her character’s name when she visited Leighton Hall to sign a giant copy of her own creation – a ‘super duck’ called Giggles – which is one of 24 to be auctioned off in the autumn to raise cash for three cancer charities.

The former Silverdale Primary School pupil said: “Initially I was daunted about coming up with a fund-raising concept, but I had an inspirational moment in the middle of the night.

“I woke up knowing that my duck had to be a super duck as the design would represent how brilliantly people cope in the face of adversity."”

All the ducks will be displayed at locations around Lancashire before being auctioned in Blackpool on October 25 for Macmillan Cancer Support, CLIC Sargent and Marie Curie Cancer Care.