Malaria survivor from Newton to live on £1 a day this week ‑ day 1

Mandy George has lived below the line for Malaria No More UK.
Mandy George has lived below the line for Malaria No More UK.
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After surviving the most deadly strain of malaria, 34-year-old Mandy George from Newton is challenging herself to live on just £1 a day in order to raise money for the charity Malaria No More UK.

This limited budget is to reflect the daily reality of the 1.2 billion people around the world who live below the poverty line, with Mandy seeing if she can afford all her food and drink from March 31 to April 4 on only £1 a day.

It was fifteen months ago that Mandy contracted malaria falciparum while working as part of the earthquake recovery effort in Haiti, and when it led to an onset of jaundice and pneumonia the doctors did not expect her to survive.

She said: “The parasite attacked all my organs. My body went into septic shock ‑ lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach ‑ you name it, it failed.”

After four weeks in intensive care and six months of recovery, Mandy now wants to use her story to raise awareness and funds in order to help save lives from malaria.

Mandy’s personal challenge previews the national Live Below the Line week taking place between April 28 and May 2, and she hopes that by trying it out and documenting her experiences with a daily diary, she will prove that anyone can do it and encourage others to have a go themselves.

Day 1 of her week living on £1 a day is below, with more daily updates to come on the Journal website.

You can also follow her challenge via Twitter @MandyGeorge and sponsor Mandy by going to

For further information about the Live Below the Line campaign, or to sign up to the challenge yourself, please visit

Mandy George ‑ Live Below the Line food diary

Day 1: 31/03/14

The challenge kicked off today! The 1st shock was the lack of caffeine - I’ve opted for nutrition over stimulants. My budget only stretches to 3 carefully planned meals per day, no snacks, no drinks but water and no eating or drinking out!

I started with a bowl of water based porridge made honey and diced apple. Not too bad. Lunch was quite tasty: an invented rice and lentil dish with onion, carrot and frozen spinach. I budgeted for 1tbs of oil daily and a sprinkle of mixed spice – that + the ½ vegetable stock cube gave good flavour!

I’m now battling with afternoon hunger pangs by sipping water. I was tempted to snack on a carrot but if I diminish my small supply then it will be plain boiled rice by the end of the week. So I’m sitting tight until dinner which is leftovers from lunch. I’m starting to realise just how much unnecessary food I eat every day!