Our editor & co-founder is preparing for a volunteer placement in India this summer & needs your help.

Andy will be representing registered UK charity, Chennai Challenge (1122261) and will be placed in a YMCA hostel & orphanage in Chennai, formerly Madras, in the South of India. He is currently ‘pimping out’ his time and services in exchange for donations & lists his skills as: writing / creating content, marketing, social media management, editor (questionable?!) – and says he’s happy to partake in any general dogsbody type work. For all the latest activity,see his JustGiving page here

The former Newman College student also plans to organise an Indian themed event in the city centre, If any individuals or any organisations wish to get involved, he’s happy to split the funds with a local charity or community group too? (Needless to say, we at Podio are happy to offer free advertising or any other support to help businesses & community members engage!)


His placement focuses on kids (generally orphans) living in the slums. The school he will be helping with is specifically for slum kids and costs approximately one pound a year, per child, to attend. His role will include a range of activities from carrying out maintenance work to engaging the kids in sports & English.


The former Avenham, Broadgate & Cubic resident has a lifelong passion for volunteerism & international development. He admits that this’ll be the shortest placement he’ll have experienced but says, ‘the idea is that people get involved and return each year’, something Andy is open to pursue.


Podio itself was launched as a result of Andy’s most recent volunteer work abroad; he’d been placed in Latin America with International Citizen Service (ICS) from September 2015 until April 2016 during which time, he’d developed the idea of building a social enterprise in his home town on his return. Our activities as a magazine technically fall under this broader enterprise, Global Amigos. A big believer in volunteerism & continuous personal development, he put his money where his mouth is & now actively encourages others to be part of Global Amigos, or to volunteer in general.


For April Fool’s Day Podio posted an article claiming that Andy had won the lottery. The Lotto win was false, but everything else is 100% accurate; the piece breakdowns some of his volunteering past. You can still read it here alternatively, check out his personal travel & opinion blog at globalamigo.co.uk (not to be confused with our project’s website, globalamigos.org.uk)


Either email andy@globalamigos.org.uk to explore the possibilities or visit his JustGiving Page

If any of our readers would care to donate a few pounds, it would be gratefully received: the easiest way is by SMS; where the amount will come off your next bill or out of your credit. Simply text the word ‘LYFE89’ followed by ‘£2’ ‘£5’ or ‘£10’ to 70070. Alternatively, there’s a golden spaceship / collection tin in the reception of Cotton Court Business Centre, Church Street (open 9-5, Monday-Friday) 

Andy’s long term aspiration with Global Amigos is to send our Preston-based supporters on eye-opening & mutually beneficial placements abroad, like with the Chennai Challenge. As well as the desire to have an impact in South India, he believes the experience will help him help others here in Preston when he returns.