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Jodie’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 31 Mar 2012

Location: Carlisle, UK

MapIt's all very real now! Today the News and Star printed an article on the charity IRCS, and me and my intentions to volunteer with them in India.
Hopefully it will attract a bit of attention, whether that is in the form of donations towards (any of) my fundraising events, or, donations or voluntary interest for the charity ...

This is a copy of the article:

Last updated at 13:02, Saturday, 31 March 2012
She’s not sure if it’s as a result of spending some of her childhood in Bangladesh or just an in-built thirst for adventure.
Either way, Jodie Patterson is preparing to leave her home city – and her job and long-term boyfriend – to spend 10 months in south east India.
The 32-year-old will be the first volunteer for a new charitable organisation, the Institute for Rural Community Service (IRCS), and work in the Little Elephant pre-school near the town of Keeranur.
The charity is run by Carlisle-based Subash Chellaiah and his wife Ruth. Jodie attended a talk given by Subash at a VSO information evening in January, and it struck a chord.
“Subash seems like a nice man who cares about things and about people,” she says.
“The school will be for kids who don’t normally have access to an education and that’s something I feel strongly about.
“I’m a bit of a softie and I don’t like seeing kids not getting a fair start in life.”
Jodie has to raise almost £6,000 for the trip.
She’s sold her car and moved into her brother’s house to save up money to put towards the fund, and is counting on the generosity of friends, family and strangers.
And in a city where everyone knows everyone, calling in favours from friends has to be one of the best ways to fundraise.
Jodie, who works at Hoopers, has been making the most of Carlisle’s village-like atmosphere to organise events ahead of her trip.
On May 12 there will be a party at Carlisle Rugby Club on Warwick Road. A friend will DJ, new restaurant Rafik’s is providing a hot buffet and there will be a raffle, a Bollywood dancer and the chance to get a henna tattoo.
Another friend, in Dumfries Camera Club, is setting up an event where parents can get professional photos taken of their children.
Jodie is also mates with members of local band Kontiki Suite, who have agreed to do a charity gig.
“People are doing everything they can.
“I’ve been amazed at how generous they have been; not just close friends and family but anyone I’ve approached,” she says.
As a young child Jodie had spells living in an ex-pat community in Bangladesh – her dad was working for Norweb – and says she still feels an affinity with that part of the world.
A former pupil of Stanwix Primary and Trinity, she first got a Saturday job at Hoopers when she was 16 and went on to work in various places, including Mamma’s (now Franco’s), Swallow Hilltop Hotel and Carlisle Rugby Club.
After leaving school with just one GCSE, she did an access course and studied social sciences at university.
“I never even considered higher education when I was at school, no-one in my family had gone to university and it just wasn’t a world I knew,” she explains.
“I had had a Saturday job since I was 13 so it made sense to go straight into work.”
Now, though, it’s time for a new experience. She’s been travelling before but wanted to make sure this trip had a purpose.
Jodie says she’s more nervous about the fundraising party than the trip itself, even though she’ll be leaving everything she knows, and boyfriend of six years Richard.
“I don’t think the trip will feel real until nearer the time. It is a long way to go and I’ll miss him a lot but in a way 10 months is not that long and I’m sure when I come back nothing will have changed in Carlisle!
“I’m not leaving a career, I have no mortgage and I can always get another car so it’s not that big a deal.
“It’s a step into the unknown but I’m hoping that while being the first volunteer might be more challenging, it will also be really interesting.”
To book tickets for Jodie’s party on May 12, or for more information about her other fundraising efforts,
First published at 08:57, Saturday, 31 March 2012
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