Next time you or someone you know suggests taking one of these trips remember that it is really about the fulfilment of the volunteers themselves, the companies who make a profit and not the host nations. Going on a trip like this is one of the most selfish and damaging things you can do.
Volunteering doesn't always conjure the most romantic of images. Generally it's visions of solitary trips leafleting or rattling a tin in a shopping centre. But it can and does have a massive impact on our economy and on people's wellbeing; something we at Sue Ryder know very well and want to try and celebrate this Volunteers' Week.
It's the biggest consumer decision any of us will ever make. It affects our economy, foreign policy, immigration policy, security and sovereignty. Our vote on whether the UK should leave the EU will reverberate through our lifetimes, and those of our children and grandchildren. If you've already made up your mind how to vote, good. I'm not campaigning - I don't want to change it. If you haven't, my aim is to help you ignore the spin and sales to weigh up the right decision for you, your community, our nation and the wider world too.
How do you even begin to express your feelings for a national institution that was asset-stripped and insultingly sold for just £1? My affinity with...
Europe really matters for British music. Last year, one in four albums sold across Europe was by a British artist and, for almost half of UK record labels, at least a quarter or more of the revenues they earn outside of the UK comes from trading in Europe. In fact for a fifth of labels, this figure rises to 75% or more.
When I recently told a colleague that I want the UK to leave the EU, she expressed considerable dismay that someone of my background - mixed-race, working class, comprehensive education - was lining up with far-right racists. Such a misguided view of the people who support Brexit does a disservice to the millions of Britons up and down the UK, who are now in a majority that understands why it is morally, politically and economically essential for Britain to leave the EU.
The EU is far from perfect. I haven't been afraid to criticise it before, and I won't hesitate in the future. But on balance, the risks of leaving are far greater to working people than staying in. We need to build on the protections we have, not gamble them away.
While we know more and more about our world, we are also more confused than ever. We are confused as to whether or not we have major problems on our hands, and if we do how serious they are, never mind what to do about them.
In the past few weeks, the British people have been accused not only by the EU but by their own leaders here, shockingly, of being small-minded, ignorant, economically illiterate, and even 'horrible racists' for wanting to leave the EU.
A few days ago, I listened to a radio interview with a man from Iran who had immigrated to the UK some three decades ago. He suggested that the UK was...
The Jon Cruddas report on why Labour lost in 2015 raises difficult questions for us as a party which we must be prepared to answer and do so quickly as the referendum has the potential to put rocket boosters under a number of the issues that arose in that report and propel many of our voters further away, rather than closer to us.
Every time there is any political debate, economics takes the front seat, and it's not just economics - it's the markets. We are told the markets don'...
I don't think there is anything wrong with Britain's economy that the best of Britain's entrepreneurs can't fix. They make history - by inventing the future. We need to help them - or risk falling further and further behind. And on either side of the Atlantic, bad economics will only bring a politics that's even worse.
The pro-EU lobby has brought out the big guns in their campaign to get the UK to stay in Europe. They have told us the economic sky is going to fall down if we leave the EU, and have thrown financial forecasts from the Treasury, think-tanks, and even a sitting US President in the arena. But none of the parties above can be trusted to give impartial advice: they all have vested interests in trying to provoke fear in voters' minds.
The facts show British economy is in a fragile and vulnerable state. Recent statistics have shown our construction sector shrinking, and industry in recession. Our trade deficit has reached an eight-year low. The consequence for millions of working families is slowing wage growth, fewer job opportunities, increasing insecurity.
There was nothing of substance in the Queen's Speech for Scotland, no ambitious plans to boost the economy, no big ideas to improve public services, and no major strategy to tackle the deprivation and inequality that have grown so much worse under this government.