Preston’s Andy Neale had an incredible Lotto win in 2015. Since then, he’s dedicated his time to volunteering; including launching the Podio concept under Lancashire-based Social Enterprise, Global Amigos.
The scope of work covered by the overall project include Dirrty Harry’s (underground events which cater to Lancashire’s LGBT community), After Hate (signposting website), and of course, this city-centre resource that focuses on only the good in his hometown (Podio Magazine). As of this week, the group are also responsible for planning the Lancashire Festival After Party.
Despite his pay out, he’s keen to ensure a fair playing field with respect to the Global Amigos brand. “The aim is to make the enterprise pay for itself,” he says, “to, ultimately, promote the concept that business should be used as a tool for good; and that volunteerism should be rewarding for all that do it”. He continues, “whether it’s through event ticket sales, advertising revenues across our sites or franchising Podio to social entrepreneurs in other towns, I have no doubt that income generated through [the Global Amigos brands] will continue to benefit those working with us”.
When asked what his first big spending spree was on, Andy said that he treated himself and his partner to a five star spa break in their favourite short haul destination, Lanzarote.
Immediately after this, he eloped to Latin America for nearly a year – acting as Project Leader for International Citizen Service with devlopment charity, Progressio.
Whilst here, he spent Christmas on the remote Caribbean island, Las Islas Del Maize.
He then spent NYE in Costa Rica before returning to his post. His partner also flew out to join him for the New Year celebrations. ON his return to the UK, they enjoyed a family holiday in the Canaries.
He says that’s as extravagant as he’s been; he’s since settled back in to Lancashire life where he continues to focus on Global Amigos with his core team of project co-ordinators & contributors. “I’ll need to return to work at some point, or draw a wage from a business I may yet launch but, in the meantime, I love what I do & could happily spend the rest of my life in volunteer mode”
It’s this magazine (Podio Preston) which has, this week, been shortlisted for the SelNet award for Social Enterprise of the Year. The name, Podio, means podium; the purpose being to offer a platform for community members, charity groups & creatives. No voting is required for the award but for information on the ceremony, visit their website here.
In addition to Global Amigos he voluntarily sits on the committee for Preston Pride; an annual LGBT celebratory event which saw its Chair step down last year; replaced by local activist, Debs Bradshaw. Around the same time, Preston City Council confirmed that there would be zero funding for 2017’s event and so Andy & the Board are now seeking strong & mutually beneficial business partnerships.
Clearly not one to stay settled, he’s heading to India next to volunteer at an orphanage with UK-based charity, Chennai Challenge. (Donations direct to the charity are welcome via Just Giving.)
To read more about Andy’s volunteer experiences, and personal opinions on everything from Brexit to Brighton Pride, check out his personal blog.
To get involved in any of his projects or to ‘pimp out his services’ as a writer / content creator / editor / marketer email him directly to explore ideas.
Be careful what you believe from day to day folks; Click bait & attention grabbing headlines can often be completely different to actual situations… Fake news, political propaganda and believing social media posts by every Tom, Dick and Harry on our (ever-growing) ‘friends’ lists are all serious issues…
In case you hadn’t noticed, this was published on April Fools Day. The only lottery win Andy had in 2015 was for £25 – although every other piece of information published above is technically true.
See which of your contacts are on the ball by posting this with a status saying your old mate Andy’s whisking you away on a world cruise for a year!? See what attention it attracts – before dutifully informing everyone…