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Former deputy head shortlisted for award for Malawi volunteering

Barry Brindley.
Barry Brindley.

A retired deputy head teacher is in the running for a volunteer award after dedicating more than 30 years to helping some of the poorest people in Africa.

Barry Brindley, 66, of Sandal, has been nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category of the Yorkshire Choice Awards, which take place next month.

Mr Brindley, who formerly worked at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), has spent three decades supporting projects in Malawi, after living there for several years with his family.

He said: “I feel honoured to be shortlisted for the award. I don’t do this for myself and the advantage of being shortlisted for something like this is that it raises the profile of the work we do and that’s all I’m interested in. It helps to highlight the plight of people in Malawi and how we can make a massive difference.”

Mr Brindley’s work has included collecting 450 tonnes of educational, medical and relief items to distribute in the country, building libraries, classrooms and science labs at primary and secondary schools there and providing clothes, books, toys and food for the elderly, orphans and people living with HIV and AIDS. He has also encouraged and enabled hundreds of Yorkshire school pupils to become involved in voluntary work in Malawi.

And since retiring from GSAL, he has founded the Zikomo Trust charity. Zikomo means ‘thank you’ in the Chicewa language spoken in Malawi and Mr Brindley feels the charity work he has done is his way of thanking and giving back to the community he once lived in