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63 New Donors Register at Bone Marrow Recruitment Drive
63 New Donors Register at Bone Marrow Recruitment Drive
BAPS Charities, in collaboration with Delete Blood Cancer UK, hosted a campaign at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir to register members of the South Asian community onto the National Bone Marrow Donation Register.

 



 

DID YOU KNOW? Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK every 18 minutes. Every 10 minutes, blood cancer takes a life somewhere in the world.

 

 

Bone marrow and stem cell donation allows the treatment of multiple blood cancers and conditions. There is a significant lack of Asian donors on the National Bone Marrow Register. As a result, a suitable donor to treat Asians is often not available, leading to life-threatening situations.

 

BAPS Charities has recognised this need and held numerous drives and initiatives over the years to raise awareness and to encourage Asians to join the register.

 

This latest drive, held on Saturday 28 September 2013, involved a team of volunteers from both charities. The team’s enthusiasm and vibrant stall in the foyer of the Mandir helped attract attention, raise awareness of the issue, and sign up new potential donors.

 

The day proved a great success with 63 new registrants signing up for the National Bone Marrow Register and many more being educated about the need for South Asian donors. The visiting team also enjoyed the day and expressed their “amazing experience of the drive at the Mandir.”

 

This initiative follows a similar drive last year by BAPS Charities, this time with The Anthony Nolan Trust, which raised 82 new potential bone marrow donors. This followed the funds and awareness raised for blood cancer treatment when BAPS Charities partnered with The Anthony Nolan Trust for the BAPS Family Walk & Fun Run in 2009.

 

To find out more about Delete Blood Cancer UK, visit their website at deletebloodcancer.org.uk. Or click here to learn about bone marrow donation.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Provides Emergency Life Support Training
BAPS Charities Provides Emergency Life Support Training
Volunteers from BAPS Charities UK, who have been trained and accredited by Malcolm Ritchie, a Community Resuscitation Training Officer from the London Ambulance Service, provided Emergency Life Support Training to members of Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation at the Oxhey Wood Primary School, Watford on Saturday 10 August 2013. This training was provided through Heartstart, an initiative by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) that teaches basic life support skills to save lives in a life-threatening emergency.
 
A total of 16 trainees attended and were given individual practical training and feedback on their skills. They were also provided with useful booklets from the BHF summarising the skills covered in the training. The course was found to be extremely valuable for those who attended. A newly trained ELS responder shared, “The course was very useful. I now know exactly what to do if someone collapses and needs emergency help.”
 
The Emergency Life Support (ELS) course covered not only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training but also other vital skills such as recognising a heart attack, dealing with a person who is choking, bleeding heavily, unconscious or experiencing a cardiac arrest.
 
The course, which follows current Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines, will, in association with the BHF, continue to be provided by BAPS Charities volunteers to other local communities to raise awareness and increase provision of ELS skills.
 
For further information about ELS and the training provision by BAPS Charities, please contact healthcare.team@mandir.org.
 
To learn more about the British Heart Foundation’sHeartstart initiative and the London Ambulance Service, please follow the respective links.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

BAPS Charities presents £20,000 cheque to KIDS
BAPS Charities presents £20,000 cheque to KIDS
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BAPS Charities UK presented a cheque for £20,000 to KIDS at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 31 August 2013. This followed from the funds raised by more than 3,000 participants from across the UK during the BAPS Charities Annual 10K Challenge in April of this year.

Chris Stefani (Treasurer and Trustee) and Warren Koehler (London Director) had arrived to receive the cheque on behalf of KIDS – one of the leading charities in the UK for disabled children.

In his address, Mr Stefani said, “We are most grateful to BAPS Charities for this fantastic sum of money. It will go a long way in helping us help children with disabilities and their families.”

The funds will help to support a number of projects and initiatives for the charity, including:

  • Drop-in sessions for children with disabilities and their families from the local community to raise awareness about services available, including healthcare, social services, benefits and will support agencies, education and care packages
  • Home learning (portage) services for very young disabled children
  • Development of specialist nurseries and crèches
  • Development of adventure playgrounds for children with disabilities, such as Aldenham Park in Hertfordshire
  • Support services for parents of children with disabilities

Dr Sejal Saglani, a lead volunteer for BAPS Charities, shared, “Children are very important to BAPS Charities and we are very pleased to be able to help children who are so sadly disadvantaged. We hope that the funds will help bring some joy to them and make a real difference in their lives.”

To read a full report of the Annual 10K Challenge, please click here.

To learn more about the great work of KIDS, please visit www.kids.org.uk.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Uttarakhand Flood Relief Fund
BAPS Charities Uttarakhand Flood Relief Fund

More than 1,000 people are believed to have died and thousands of others remain missing or stranded in remote areas. Over 100,000 people have been evacuated so far.

Times like these call for compassion and support. BAPS Charities has provided needy assistance in times of such calamities. 

Past international relief efforts:               
Japan Earthquake Relief Efforts 2011                   
Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts 2010
Hurricane Ike Relief Efforts 2008
Hurricane Katrina Relief 2005
Tsunami Relief and Rehab 2004
Gujarat Earthquake Relief and Rehab 2001


Making a Gift of Life Possible: Organ Donation Awareness Event
Making a Gift of Life Possible: Organ Donation Awareness Event

BAPS Charities, the National Kidney Federation and the Leicester Kidney Patients Association worked in collaboration to organise an Organ Donation Awareness Event for Hindus in Leicestershire. It was hosted at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Leicester on Sunday 16 June 2013.

 

 
 

DID YOU KNOW: 25% of all patients awaiting an organ transplant in the UK are of Asian origin. Yet only 3% of people registered on the UK Organ Donation Register are from an Asian background.

 
 

The likelihood of finding a matching organ is significantly greater if from the same ethnic background.

 

This inordinate discrepancy in the number of Asians registered, compared to numbers needing an organ, led to the three organisations coming together to initiate an awareness event of the importance of signing up to the organ donation register.

 

Chief Guest and popular actress Nina Wadia spoke of her own experience with her mother’s kidney failure. She explained how grateful her family was that someone had kindly agreed to donate a kidney to her mother to give the family so many extra years with her.

 

Margaret Ince, from the Leicester Kidney Patients Association, chaired a session that heard of heartfelt testimonies from Hindu patients who are still awaiting transplants, and how the anguish and desperation affect their lives and loved ones. For example:

Jayshreeben had recently been informed that a kidney may have been found for her. She shared how difficult her life had become not knowing whether she would get an organ in time, especially as she had a young family.

Pushpaben was joined by her husband Jayantibhai to whom she had donated a kidney some six years ago. Jayantibhai recounted how his life had been transformed by the gift of a kidney from his wife.

 

Specialist speakers included Dr Rakesh Patel, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer, and Dr Sunil Daga, Research Fellow in Renal Transplantation. Dr Patel spoke from experience of his father’s kidney failure many years ago and the confusion and doubts that faced his young mother. He went onto say that today there are a lot more support services available. Dr Daga spoke from a Hindu perspective and explained that the Hindu scriptures speak of Dharma being underpinned by three principles, namely: daan (donation), seva (service), and karma (action). He went on to explain the different types of organs that can be donated, and that each person signing up to the register may be able to save nine other lives.

 

Kirit Modi, Chair of the National Kidney Federation, led a session which gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions related to organ donation.

 

To conclude the event, Professor Nigel Brunskill, Professor of Renal Medicine and Head of Renal and Transplantation Services – University Hospitals Leicester, spoke of how pleased he was that the event had been organised. He asked the audience to go and visit a local dialysis unit to see how patients with kidney failure were coping but, more importantly, to see that the majority were of Asian origin. He went on to commend the event and hoped that continued similar efforts would result in more Asians donating their kidneys resulting in more transplants being carried out in the future.

Approximately 350 people from the local area attended, and all left having learnt a huge amount about the importance of organ donation and, importantly, considering to sign up to the organ donation register.

 

The campaign to raise awareness about organ donation amongst Hindus in Leicestershire will continue over the coming year, with the three organisations working in collaboration to reach as many of the 40,000 Asian residents in the region as possible.

 

This initiative follows three similar drives by BAPS Charities hosted at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London to raise organ donation awareness nationally. The first was in 2010 with an Organ Donation Roadshow, and then twice in 2011 when working with Kidney Research UK as part of the BAPS Charities Annual 10K Challenge and again with the National Kidney Federation for another awareness event.

 

To learn more about the National Kidney Federation and the Leicester Kidney Patients Association, please follow the respective links.

For further images from the event please click here.

 
Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. 
National Diabetes Week Seminar
National Diabetes Week Seminar
As part of National Diabetes Week, BAPS Charities organised a seminar with Diabetes UK to highlight the importance of diabetes research amongst Asians. It was hosted at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 9 June 2013.
 
Diabetes UK has been making breakthroughs in research for more than 75 years. This seminar was arranged to give South Asians an opportunity to learn more about the types of research being undertaken, with special addresses by Professor Peter Whincup and Dr Devi Nair.
 
The seminar began with an introductory talk from Dr Devi Nair, Consultant Lipidologist at The Royal Free Hospital. Dr Nair works in collaboration with BAPS Charities and has recently set up a joint diabetes screening clinic that takes place quarterly at the Mandir in London.
 
Dr Nair explained how common diabetes is among people of South Asian origin, and some of the underlying reasons, other than genetic susceptibility, that contribute to such a high level of prevalence.
 
This was followed by a talk from Dr Rankin, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, who explained the role and importance of research in the present day management of diabetes by the NHS. He pointed out that five times more is spent on research for arthritis, the British Heart Foundation spends ten times more, and Cancer Research UK is able to spend twenty times more on research than Diabetes UK. He thus highlighted the need to generate funds for more diabetes research to allow optimal management of the condition, which is so common amongst those of South Asian origin.
 
Professor Peter Whincup gave a summary of his current research project called “CHASE”, The Child Heart and Health Study in England, and highlighted numerous factors which cause Asian children to be significantly more prone to develop Type II diabetes.
 
Surjeet Soin, a diabetic patient, shared an insightful account of his personal experiences with diabetes and how he has managed his condition over the years.
 
The seminar was attended by 65 people, and proved to be highly beneficial and informative for all those present.
 
The seminar comes as part of BAPS Charities’ Diabetes Care Programme launched last September and an on-going initiative to raise awareness about diabetes and help people with the condition. In 2008, BAPS promoted and raised funds for Diabetes UK through its Family Walk & Fun Run, while in recent years, BAPS Charities has organised regular health screening sessions in which people are screened for conditions such as diabetes and offered important lifestyle advice.
 
To learn more about the work of Diabetes UK and about National Diabetes Week, please follow the respective links.
 
Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 

Over 3,000 walk, jog and run for needy children
Over 3,000 walk, jog and run for needy children
April & May 2013
 

More than 3,000 people across the UK participated in the BAPS Charities Annual 10K Challenge to raise funds for KIDS as well as various other charities and good causes.

 

In London, the Challenge took place on Sunday 28 April 2013 amidst glorious spring sunshine. Children from as young as three through to elderly participants in their nineties gathered at 9am in the courtyard of the ‘Neasden Temple’ (BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden), sporting their event shirts during the opening ceremony. Members of the British Army were also present as part of the ceremonial proceedings and began the event with the playing of bagpipes.

 

Participants and organisers were also joined by distinguished guests, including Warren Koehler (London Regional Director of KIDS), Cllr Mohammed Butt, Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, Cllr Reg Colwill, Cllr Paul Lorber, Cllr Harbhajan Singh, Cllr Suresh Kansagra, Cllr Bhikhu Patel, Cllr Ketan Sheth, Cllr Krupa Sheth, and Cllr Vina Mithani. Also present were Mr Bhupendra Singh, Managing Director and Mr I N Dhar, Branch Manager of the Punjab National Bank (International) Limited.

 

The nationwide event brings together more than 3,000 people each year of all ages and backgrounds. The Challenge is a chance to have fun, do something healthy, and most importantly, raise valuable funds for a variety of worthy causes. This year the Annual Challenge will raise funds for BAPS Charities and its national beneficiary partner, KIDSKIDS is a national charity working with disabled children, young people and their families across England.

 

The Challenge offered an opportunity for participants to run, jog or walk 10 kilometres and built upon 19 years of sponsored events that have been organised by BAPS. Previous national partners have included Macmillan Cancer Research, Barnardo’s, The Anthony Nolan Trust, Diabetes UK, The British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Care, and Age UK.

 

BAPS Charities volunteer Dr Sejal Saglani shared, “We are delighted to partner with KIDS this year and hope that the Challenge can help to really further the great work they are already doing.”

 

In his address, Warren Koehler expressed his gratitude to BAPS Charities for organising this event. “I would just like to say that KIDS is really pleased and excited by the support it is receiving from this. The support that you are providing for us will enable us to support children doing things like you are doing today – walking, having fun, being with their peers and growing and developing their skills and attitudes. Thank you very much for all that you are doing today.”

 

Cllr Butt added: “I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to BAPS Charities for organising this event. BAPS Charities has been working for a very long time with the community. I do hope that everyone supports the charities and digs deep to help.”

 

Participants moved along the route from the Mandir towards the picturesque King Edward VII Park in Wembley where participants completed two circuits before returning to the Mandir. The route was well marshalled by stewards and plenty of refreshments were available. The last to complete the route was a batch of volunteers who were also clearing up any traces of litter.

 

Priya Patel, aged 16, stopped by to share her thoughts during her 10 kilometre jog: “It’s a really nice day and good to see so many people take part and also the local residents waving and smiling us along. It really is very rewarding to know that you are doing something good to help children and families not as fortunate as you.”

 



The Challenge also took place at several other centres around the UK in support of various local charities.

 
Birmingham, Sunday 14 April: Action for Children
 
 
To learn more about the great work of KIDS, please visit www.kids.org.uk and their page here about their partnership with BAPS Charities.
 
For photos from the event please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Recycles Clothes for Climate Week
BAPS Charities Recycles Clothes for Climate Week
BAPS Charities organised a special clothes recycling drive at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 9 March 2013 as part of its observance of Climate Week.
 

Climate Week is ‘Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future.’ This year, the initiative was observed between 4 and 10 March and was Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion, attended by more than half a million people across more than 3,400 events.

 

The event at the temple coincided with the International Women’s Day conference titled ‘Celebrating Women: Above and Beyond’, which aimed to highlight the achievements of women and inspire delegates to make a positive contribution to society. Chief Guest and Keynote speaker at the conference was Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP.

 

In keeping with the theme of going ‘above and beyond’, delegates were encouraged to recycle old and/or unwanted clothes, inspiring positive environmental action and increasing environmental awareness. The day was attended by more than 500 delegates and everyone was invited to bring their unwanted clothes with them. These clothes were collected and will be donated to the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

 

Children and the environment are important to BAPS Charities. Volunteers from the Charity recently teamed up with Thames 21 to clean the Brent Feeder Canal and BAPS Charities also raised funds for Barnardo’s during its Annual Challenge in 2010.

 

The day was attended by Casey Calista, Campaign Coordinator for Climate Week, as well as several representatives from Barnardo’s. Casey praised the “tireless volunteering efforts” and said that such efforts “prove what great change can be made if we all act together.” Casey also offered her congratulations for the International Women’s Day celebrations, calling it an “inspiring event”, and the clothing collection drive which she said “highlights another way to reuse our old items for good instead of adding to landfills.”

 

To learn more about Climate Week and Barnardo's, please follow the respective links.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Presents Conference on ‘Living With Cancer’
BAPS Charities Presents Conference on ‘Living With Cancer’
BAPS Charities partnered with Macmillan Cancer Support and St Luke’s Hospice to hold a conference on 'Living with Cancer' at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London on Saturday 5 January 2013.
 

The event, which was open for anyone with questions and concerns or interested in learning more about cancer, was attended by approximately 60 delegates including youths as well as the elderly. The programme followed the ‘Welfare for the Elderly’ seminar hosted by BAPS Charities in conjunction with St Luke’s in November 2012.

 

The conference included discussions from patients who have been affected by cancer, sharing the importance of having a positive attitude, being open and honest about the diagnosis with family and friends, and making sure all treatments offered by the medical services are accepted.

 

Tracy Neill, a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Lead Information and Support Specialist from Macmillan Cancer Support, explained the main signs and symptoms of cancer, emphasising the importance seeking medical help if any unusual symptoms persist for longer than three weeks.

 

The role of the hospice was covered by David Smith, a palliative care nurse from St Luke’s Hospice in Brent. He emphasised that the hospice is not just for cancer patients but for any chronic illnesses that cannot be cured. The role of support at home and respite care was discussed, as well as the day case and in-patient facilities. Mr Smith reiterated that all services are provided free of charge.

 

Finally, Karime Gangji, Information and Support Specialist from Macmillan spoke about early detection and the importance of taking up screening for cancer, which significantly increases the likelihood of a cure.

 

The talks were followed by workshops which included sound therapy and relaxation demonstrations to help deal with stress and foster a positive mental attitude. A workshop educating attendees on the help available for family, carers and friends – both financial and emotional – was well received. Information stands with leaflets and specialists were open throughout the event for all to browse and ask questions.

 

All delegates said they benefitted hugely from the day. One lady expressed that “hearing from the cancer patients was really helpful” and had changed her own approach and attitude, especially to friends and family.

 

To learn more about the work of St Luke’s Hospice, please click here.

 

To learn more about Macmillan Cancer Support, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


‘Welfare for the Elderly’ Seminar for St Luke’s Hospice
‘Welfare for the Elderly’ Seminar for St Luke’s Hospice
BAPS Charities organised a seminar entitled ‘Welfare for the Elderly’ at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 25 November 2012 where St Luke’s Hospice, the local hospice for the boroughs of Harrow and Brent, provided information about the services that it offers for the elderly.
 

Care for the elderly is an important focus for BAPS Charities, who partnered with Age UK in 2011 to raise money for the national charity and, more recently, invited residents from Birchwood Grange Nursing Home for a special event at the Mandir in October.

 

Chandni Shah, a volunteer community ambassador from St Luke’s Hospice explained how a hospice helps patients with cancer. Specific services offered at St Luke’s, which are all free of charge, were outlined in detail, including the way in which the hospice cares for people whose illnesses are no longer curable, enabling them to achieve the best possible quality of life during the final stages of their illness. 

 

Ms Shah outlined that patients are looked after in the In-Patient Unit, Out-Patient Clinic, and Day Care Unit, as well as in their own homes through the Hospice at Home and Community Palliative Care Teams.

 

The session provided some important information and answered a number of questions about the hospice. Delegates commented on how “useful and informative” the session was, and expressed that they were “very pleased to learn about the extent of care offered by a hospice.”

 

To learn more about the work of St Luke’s Hospice, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Collects Funds for Children in Need
BAPS Charities Collects Funds for Children in Need

Children from BAPS Charities collected funds for the BBC’s Children in Need campaign at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Tuesday 13 November and Wednesday 14 November 2012.

 

Children in Need is the BBC’s national charity and has raised over £600 million to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. The 2012 appeal will take place on 16 November.

 

Young volunteers, aged between 5 and 14 years of age, met devotees, guests and local residents during the two-day festivities where tens of thousands of people visited the Mandir to celebrate Diwali and the Hindu New Year.

 

The enthusiastic children spoke of the various children’s activities held at the Mandir and encouraged visitors to donate generously.

 

One of the young volunteers, Pooja Patel, aged 11, said, “Every year I watch the Children in Need programme and feel sad for children who are suffering. It makes me feel good to do something to help another child like me.”

 

The BAPS Children’s Forum plays an active role in various initiatives organised by BAPS Charities. Equally, children’s welfare has been a recurring focus of BAPS Charities’ events over the years, most notably in 2010 when it’s Annual Challenge raised £25,000 for Barnardo’s, the country’s leading charity working for children.

 

To learn more about the BBC Children in Need campaign, please click here.

 
Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. 
BAPS Charities Donates £25,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support
BAPS Charities Donates £25,000 to  Macmillan Cancer Support
BAPS Charities UK  presented a cheque for £25,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support during the Diwali celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Tuesday 13 November 2012.
 

Stephen Richards (Director for England) and Rachel Kingston (London Area Fundraising Manager) were on hand to receive the cheque on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support, one of the largest cancer charities in the country.

 

The money had been raised in April 2012 when over 3,400 people participated in the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge. The participants had walked, jogged or run 10 kilometres, or cycled 30 kilometres, to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and various other worthy causes.

 

The money raised will be used to pay for four travelling cancer service units which will operate across England and Wales. Specialists from the charity will visit town centres, workplaces, places of worship and community venues such as football grounds and shopping centres to bring cancer information to people who might not seek it out by visiting their doctor.

 

In his address during the presentation ceremony at the Mandir, Mr Richards expressed his gratitude for “the tremendous support” of BAPS Charities and shared more about how the money will be used. He said: “Your extremely generous donation will pay for the mobile information support centres to carry out more than 40 visits across England and Wales reaching over 3,000 people. Everyone that took part [in the Challenge] or sponsored those that did has helped to make an enormous difference to the lives of those affected by cancer.”

 

Kamlesh Patel, lead volunteer for BAPS Charities, remarked: “We are delighted to be able to partner with such a worthy charity and hope that the funds can help to continue their great work and provide some comfort and hope to those who are suffering from cancer.”

 
To learn more about Macmillan Cancer Support, please click here.
 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Observes Sewa Day across the UK
BAPS Charities Observes Sewa Day across the UK

 

As part of the ‘Sewa Day’ initiative for the international day of volunteering, BAPS Charities arranged for 14 residents from the Birchwood Grange Nursing Home to visit BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London on Sunday 7 October 2012.

The guests were welcomed by young volunteers at the Mandir and guided around the sanctum sanctorum and adjoining cultural complex. The visit also incorporated a cultural programme including music and a delicious meal. The visitors were offered a souvenir before departing.

 

Later that day, BAPS Charities also organised a party for 45 residents of Kenbrook Care Home, Seva Care Group, Asian People’s Disability Alliance and Birchwood Grange Residential Care Home. Ten young volunteers from Ashiana, a charity providing refuge and outreach services for women, were also on hand to help.

 

The programme included a sing-along and young girls from the Mandir presented a colourful folk dance. The guests were further entertained by a comedy act bringing hearty smiles and laughter to all. The visitors were once again treated to a delicious meal and presented with a souvenir before departing.

 

Kirit Wadia, lead volunteer of the event, explained, “Bringing joy to others is at the heart of what we do at BAPS day in, day out. We’ve always been taught ‘In the joy of others lies our own’, and it really was uplifting to see so many smiles today. That’s why so many of us are motivated to perform sewa regularly, knowing that we are able to bring a little joy to people less fortunate than us.”

 

Mary Nolan of Kenbrook expressed her heartfelt thanks by saying, “The staff and residents would like to extend their special thanks to you and all the volunteers.”

 

Herby Dubey, Activities Coordinator at Birchwood Grange, also expressed her gratitude for “a wonderfully organised event”, adding that the residents were especially touched to receive their photo mementos.

 

Another initiative coinciding with Sewa Day was a drive to help the homeless. Teams of volunteers from London, Leicester, Birmingham and Greater Manchester collected unwanted clothes and shoes. More than 3,000 items of clothing were collected for the following homeless charities in their respective cities: The Passage (London), YMCA (Leicester), The Bridge (Birmingham), and The Mustard Tree (Manchester).

 

Roger Clark of The Passage later remarked, “Thank you very much for the donations. We have been overwhelmed by the volume.”

                                                                                                                        

To learn more about Sewa Day and the “universal concept” of “performing acts of kindness without expectation of reward”, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

 


BAPS Charities teams up with Thames21 to clean Brent Feeder Canal
BAPS Charities teams up with Thames21 to clean Brent Feeder Canal
Volunteers from BAPS Charities teamed up with Thames21, one of the country’s leading waterway charities, to clean the Brent Feeder Canal on Saturday 13 October 2012.
 

The Brent Feeder Canal began to channel water into The Grand Union Canal in 1811 to meet the increasing demand for water and runs from the River Brent, near where the Brent Reservoir is now, to the main canal in Park Royal at Waxlow Road. According to Thames21, some of London’s waterways are the most polluted in Britain.

 

Volunteers began by removing an array of litter from the canal, including chairs, waste timber, bottles, tins, tree branches, polythene bags, footballs, old shoes and plastic pipes. The banks of the canal were also cleaned; amongst various items found was an old television set.

 

Bhavik Shah, 17, one of the volunteers from BAPS Charities and a former pupil at the nearby Swaminarayan School, said, “It was a really great opportunity to do something I had been concerned about throughout my time at the school. It was great fun and I would be keen to help out in similar projects in the future.”

 

Vicky D’Souza, Brent Waterways Officer at Thames21, expressed, “It’s great to have the support of youths from BAPS Charities in helping us improve the Brent Feeder Canal for wildlife. We hope that by working together with local groups, we can encourage more people to look after their local river, and get the most out of this vital green space. Volunteers from BAPS Charities worked very hard at the event and the Canal looks so much better.”

 

To learn more about the work of Thames21, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Supports Deafblind Charity
BAPS Charities Supports Deafblind Charity

 

BAPS Charities invited Sense – the UK’s charity for people who are both deaf and blind – to address the evening assembly at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 29 September 2012.

 

The work of Sense is wide-reaching,  from providing practical and emotional help to parents whose newborn baby has been diagnosed as deaf and blind, to supporting the growing number of people who lose their sight and hearing in older age so that they can continue to lead independent lives.

 

Sunil Sheth, Chairman of Sense International, presented a video about the charity’s work in India before making a presentation about Sense’s holiday programme in the UK. Each year, Sense organises vacations for 100 deafblind children and adults who have an opportunity to enjoy a range of activities just like other boys and girls which they ordinarily would not be able to experience. These short breaks adapt to the needs of the deafblind person.

 

The charity relies on volunteers from all walks of life and without them these holidays would not be possible. Each volunteer is paired with a child to support them and to ensure they have a superb holiday. Testimonies from volunteers can be seen here.

 

Rakesh, a volunteer last year, shared, “It is funny to think how apprehensive I was about signing up to it. My Sense holiday was a fantastic experience! I’ve never worked so hard but I loved every second.”

 

During the presentation, Sense also encouraged those who are able to work well in a team and have ‘stamina and a sense of humour’ to volunteer in the summer of 2013.

 

To find out more about volunteering on a Sense holiday, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

 


Diabetes Care Programme Launched
Diabetes Care Programme Launched
The programme incorporates multi-disciplinary clinics for diabetic patients with the aims of controlling diabetes, screening for complications, and providing information about medication and diet.

Dr Vinod Patel, a consultant in Diabetes Care from the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire was invited to speak about the disease at the launch. His expertise and specialist area of research is the prevention of diabetes complications, upon which he has published widely. His team has also developed a strategy which has been taught across the UK and presented in 32 countries to significantly improve the quality of patients’ lives by preventing complications of diabetes and other health conditions.

Dr Patel presented enlightening facts about diabetes to the audience including an insight into the cause of the condition. He also emphasised the prominence of diabetes in the South Asian population and highlighted the warning symptoms. Also on offer was advice for diabetics to reduce their risk of complications.

Information leaflets were also available after the presentation outlining the key points that were delivered.

Dr Devi Nair, a consultant lipidologist from the Royal Free Hospital in London and members of her team, Dr Anjly Jain and Mr Persaud, were also present.

BAPS Diabetes Care clinics are due to start in January 2013, and are part of an on-going initiative to raise awareness of diabetes and help people with the condition. In 2008, BAPS promoted and raised funds for Diabetes UK through its Family Walk & Fun Run, while in recent years, BAPS Charities has organised regular health screening sessions in which people are screened for conditions such as diabetes and offered important lifestyle advice.

Stroke Awareness Lecture
Stroke Awareness Lecture
BAPS Charities UK hosted a Stroke Awareness lecture at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Wellingborough, Northants on Saturday 21 July 2012.


Dr Jaydeep Joshi from the Confederation of Indian Organisations (CIO) Stroke Project was invited to speak about the symptoms, risk factors and prevention of a stroke, particularly among people of South Asian origin.


Dr Joshi presented the audience with a number of eye-opening facts. He firstly explained what it was to have a stroke and the biological factors causing this ‘brain attack’. He then went on to explain how these and associated risk factors could be prevented. Finally, he showed the audience how to detect the signs of someone who could be having a stroke and how to mitigate long-term damage. At the end of the presentation, Dr Joshi took the time to take questions from the audience and address any additional concerns.


The lecture comes as part of an on-going community health awareness drive held by BAPS Charities at the Northants mandir. Apart from supporting national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Care, Diabetes UK and the British Hearth Foundation with the BAPS Charities Annual Challenge, other initiatives have included a local blood donation drive which has seen a tremendous response with a year-on-year increase in donors. Other planned events in Wellingborough for 2012 include breast cancer screening, healthy heart and healthy diet advice, and diabetes testing.


To learn more about the CIO Stroke Project, please visit
www.ciostrokeproject.co.uk.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Asthma and Breathing Difficulties Seminar
Asthma and Breathing Difficulties Seminar
As part of its ongoing health awareness drive for the elderly, BAPS Charities teamed up with the British Lung Foundation’s Breathe Easy programme in Brent to deliver a seminar on asthma and breathing difficulties at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 17 June 2012. 
 

The event was attended by more than 40 people, many of whom were sufferers of asthma and pulmonary fibrosis.

 

Dr Hana Patel, a GP and volunteer for BAPS Charities, delivered a presentation focussing on the symptoms and treatment of asthma. This was followed by a discussion led by experts from Breathe Easy, a self-help group for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Both talks were very well received, providing vital information for those who had not heard of or knew very little about COPD and other lung conditions.

 

The seminar also helped raise awareness about the support available for COPD-sufferers from the British Lung Foundation and its Breathe Easy support group at Central Middlesex Hospital in north-west London.

 

To learn more about Breathe Easy Brent and the British Lung Foundation, please follow the respective links.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Mother and Baby Welfare Seminars
Mother and Baby Welfare Seminars
‘There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.’
 

BAPS Charities organised a series of seminars for young parents to raise awareness about and provide guidance on the welfare of new mothers and babies.

 

Held on the first three Saturdays of June at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, the sessions were led by guest speaker Dr Shreelata Datta, a senior registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

 

The seminars covered four main areas:

 
  • Signs of Labour
  • Active Birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Baby and Beyond
 

The series was specifically aimed at providing expectant couples personal medical advice in a familiar and friendly environment. They were encouraged to interact with each other as well as with the medical experts in asking questions.

 

The lectures were very well received by all the couples, who said they found them informative, helpful and reassuring.


BAPS Charities Teams Up for ‘Big Tidy Up’ in Brent
BAPS Charities Teams Up for ‘Big Tidy Up’ in Brent
In keeping with its ongoing commitment to the local community in Brent, BAPS Charities jointly coordinated a ‘Big Tidy Up’ project with neighbouring organisations Tesco and McDonald’s to clean the roads, alleyways and green areas in the vicinity. 
 
Several staff and senior management from both organisations joined volunteers from BAPS Charities on Wednesday 30 May as they embarked on a route from St Raphael’s Way, up to the Harrow Road-North Circular Road junction, then along Brentfield Road, before ending at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
 
The team separated recyclable products from general waste, significantly improving the appearance in the area while also helping foster environmental awareness. The efforts and community spirit of the team were warmly applauded by the local mayor, Cllr Michael Adeyeye. 
 
This latest initiative stands in continuation of a number of community-driven projects led by Tesco and BAPS Charities in working together with and for local communities.
 
The day ended with a group photograph outside the Mandir and the team enjoying a delicious vegetarian Indian meal at the Mandir in the presence of the Mayor.
 
‘The Big Tidy Up’ campaign is a nationwide effort “to clear our country of clutter.” To learn more, please click here.
 
Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Over 3,400 brave the rain to raise funds...
Over 3,400 brave the rain to raise funds...
More than 3,400 people around the country braved blistery April showers for the BAPS Charities Annual Challenge to raise funds for  Macmillan Cancer Support and other worthy causes.
 

BAPS Charities UK held this year’s event in London on Sunday 29 April 2012 in conjunction with the renowned national charity as well as several smaller charities around the country. It brought together members of the community from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages – ranging from three to 97 – to walk, jog or run a distance of 10 kilometres. More than 40 participants took the more challenging option of cycling 30 kilometres in Leicester a week earlier, on Saturday 21 April 2012.

 

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the UK’s leading cancer charities, providing “practical, medical and financial support to push for better cancer care.”

 
 

DID YOU KNOW: One in three of us will get cancer. And it’s the toughest thing most of us will ever face.

 
 

In London, the wet weather could hardly dampen the participants’ enthusiasm as the Challenge kicked off from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden – the ‘Neasden Temple’ – in the presence of distinguished guests, including Michelle Martin (Head of Regional Fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support) and the Mayor of Brent, Cllr Aslam Choudry. Also present at the opening ceremony were Mr Tara Chand, First Secretary Indian High Commission, Cllr Muhammed Butt, Cllr Ketan Sheth, Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala, and Cllr Krupa Sheth.

 

Michelle Martin emphasised the importance of the partnership with BAPS Charities by remarking: “We are really excited to be working with BAPS Charities, not only on this fantastic event but at providing specific services to address the challenges facing the South Asian community during their cancer journey. We are looking forward to the year ahead and making this partnership a success.”

 

Kamlesh Patel, lead BAPS Charities volunteer added, “We are delighted to partner with Macmillan Cancer Support this year and hope that the Challenge can help to further their great work.”
 

One of the participants, Kirtan, aged 19 from West London, spoke of his positive experiences from the day. “Despite the rain, it was a great event. To be honest, the weather didn’t bother us, because knowing that we are making a real difference to those less fortunate than us is very very rewarding in itself.”

The BAPS Charities Annual Challenge was also completed over various April weekends in a total of 16 centres around the UK, many supporting charities at the local level as well. Below is a list of the venues, dates and local charities that were also supported:

Birmingham – Sunday 22 April, also supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Bristol – Sunday 22 April

Cambridge – Sunday 22 April
 

Coventry – Sunday 22 April, also supporting University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire

Edinburgh – Saturday 21 April, also supporting The Sick Kids Friends Foundation

Glasgow – Sunday 15 April, also supporting Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Organisation

Havant – Sunday 22 April, also supporting Down Syndrome Educational Trust

Leicester – Sunday 22 April, also supporting Hope Against Cancer

Loughborough – Sunday 22 April, also supporting LOROS – Hospice Care for Leicestershire & Rutland

Luton – Sunday 22 April

Manchester (Ashton-under-Lyne) – Sunday 22 April, also supporting Our Kids Eyes

Milton Keynes – Sunday 22 April, also supporting Little Lives Appeal

Nottingham – Sunday 29 April, also supporting Maggies Cancer Care Centre, Nottingham

Preston – Sunday 22 April

Southend-on-Sea – Sunday 22 April

Wellingborough – Sunday 29 April

To learn more about the inspiring work of Macmillan Cancer Support, please click here.

For photographs of the events please click here.
 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Supports Health Awareness Drive for Rotary Club
BAPS Charities Supports Health Awareness Drive for Rotary Club
BAPS Charities was requested by the Rotary Club of Edgware and Stanmore to support a health awareness drive at the Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Edgware, London to coincide with National Stroke Awareness Day.
 
The health screening included measurements of blood pressure, body mass index and blood glucose levels. Dr Pujan Patel, Dr Jigar Dave, Dr Divya Nirmal and Dr Lalit Nirmal – all volunteers at BAPS Charities – offered their services for the event along with medical equipment. 
 
During the five-hour screening session, the doctors examined 23 males and 37 females from a variety of ethnic groups and spanning an age range of 15 to 85 years. The findings of the day included an elevated body mass index in 14 subjects and an elevated systolic blood pressure in 16 participants. The event also helped raise awareness among the public about potential health risks and motivation for a leading a healthy lifestyle.
 
The Mayor of Brent, Cllr Aslam Chaudry, attended the event to see firsthand the service being offered in the borough. Both he and the Lady Mayoress were very pleased and appreciative of the voluntary work offered by BAPS Charities for members of the local community.
 
Following the event, a group of Rotarians led by the President of the Rotary Club of Edgware and Stanmore visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 26 May 2012 to thank the volunteers personally.

BAPS Charities Cancer Awareness Seminars
BAPS Charities Cancer Awareness Seminars
The seminars were attended by approximately 100 people from the local South Asian community. A summary of the sessions is detailed below:
 
1. Breast cancer awareness

The first seminar was conducted by Ms Sudeshi Bedi, Cancer Awareness Project Manager of Brent and Harrow PCT, with clinical advice being offered by a consultant breast surgeon, Mr Sanjay Baldota from Mount Vernon Hospital.

 

The key messages included facts about the likelihood of developing breast cancer with increasing age, with the overall lifetime risk being 1 in 8. However, specifically at age 50 years, the chances are 1 in 50, and by 70 years this increases significantly to 1 in 15. 

 

In addition, the 5 Point Code for Breast Awareness was explained, including

  1. Know what is normal
  2. Know what changes to look and feel for
  3. Look and feel
  4. Report any changes without delay
  5. Attend routinely for screening if aged 50 years and over
 
2. Prostate cancer awareness
 

This session was conducted by Suresh Rambaran from The Prostate Cancer Charity. The size of the problem and the aims and mission of the charity were also explained. 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK, and 10,000 die of the condition each year. The risk factors, including age (highest diagnosis between ages of 70-74 years), ethnicity and family history were highlighted. Common signs and symptoms were explained, and details of how to obtain specialist support and a confidential telephone helpline (0800 074 8383) were given.

 
3. Bowel cancer awareness
 

The third seminar was related to bowel cancer awareness, and was conducted jointly by Ms Sudeshi Bedi and Mr Abhay Chopada, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Ealing Hospital. It was explained that bowel cancer is the third most common cancer, with approximately 38,000 cases being diagnosed annually in the UK. The risk of diagnosis increases with age – 8 out of 10 people diagnosed are over the age of 60 years. Other important risk factors mentioned included lifestyle and diet.

 

Key signs and symptoms as follows were explained:

 
  1. Persistent change in bowel habit
  2. Blood in stools
  3. Severe stomach pains
  4. Lump in abdomen that can be felt by a doctor
 

Details of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme were provided, which is directed to men and women between the ages of 60-74 years. The screening test is performed at home, with kits being delivered directly. Details of how to perform the test, and its importance were given. Any additional information relating to the screening test can be obtained at: www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities UK is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities Cardiovascular Screening
BAPS Charities Cardiovascular Screening

The session was aimed for those between 30 and 60 years. Appointments had been pre-booked. In total, 33 people were screened with the following tests undertaken:

 
  • Measurement of height and weight with calculation of body mass index
  • Measurement of abdominal circumference (waistline)
  • Blood pressure check
  • Blood glucose and cholesterol checks
  • Assessment of arterial stiffness
  • Carotid Doppler assessment
  • Audiology assessment (of hearing)
  • Dietician’s advice on a healthy vegetarian diet
  • Advice and counselling from trained medical practitioners with the results
 

The average age of people screened was 45 years. Some of the findings included 18 people with an elevated body mass index, 22 people with an elevated blood glucose and 9 people with an elevated blood cholesterol. In addition, 7 out of 30 people screened were found to have hearing abnormalities.

 

The results highlighted once again that there are many young Asians in the community unaware that they may be at risk of developing either diabetes or heart-related disease. These tests and the service provided were extremely positively received and all screened patients were very grateful, praising the hard work performed by the team.

 
For previous screening session reports please click;

BAPS Charities UK Participates in Oshwal Health Awareness Day
Free Health Screening in Birmingham
Cardiovascular Health Screening Session 2011
Cardiovascular Health Screening Session 2010 


BAPS Charities – Celebrating Your Support of Barnardo's
BAPS Charities – Celebrating Your Support of Barnardo's

Following the BAPS Charities 10K Challenge and 30-mile bike ride in 2010, BAPS Charities raised £25,000 for Barnardo’s to help vulnerable children throughout the UK. In commemoration of this project, Barnardo’s recently published a book to express their gratitude to everyone who participated and as a celebration of the success and fun of the challenge itself.

 

Mr Jez Alcock, Special Advisor to Barnardo’s, was present on the evening of Saturday 10 March 2012 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, to inaugurate this souvenir book. In his address, he said: “I have been at Barnardo’s for 23 years and I have to say, you are the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met. I am here tonight to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of you for your efforts to raise a magnificent £25,000 to fund our critical work at Carefree in Leicester, The Arch Service in Birmingham, and Heshima in Croydon.

 

“Our CEO [Marie Currie] can’t be here tonight but she asked me to say these words: ‘The donation raised through your challenge events has helped us to continue to care for some of the most vulnerable young people in the UK. I am extremely grateful for your inspirational efforts.’”

 

Jez proceeded to describe one of the beneficiaries of the money raised by BAPS Charities: “One young person called Matthew, whose mother suffers from severe mental illness, had become a young carer. The donations raised by BAPS Charities helped to fund a group for such young carers in Leicester – enabling the hire of a community hall, pay for transport for children to attend groups for advice and support, and recreational activities that children in these circumstances would otherwise not be able to experience.”

 

He continued by narrating Matthew’s words: “Imagine a fishing net that can catch the big fish but not the little ones. Barnardo’s is like a blanket that covers the holes, that stops the little fish like me slipping through.”

 

Jez concluded, “Because of your wonderful generosity, Barnado’s has been able to make that blanket just a little bit larger. Thank you all so much.”

 

A full, online copy of the book can be viewed here (after clicking ‘PREVIEW BOOK!’).

 

To learn more about the important work of Barnardo’s, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external sites.


BAPS Charities presents £25,000 cheque to Age UK
BAPS Charities presents £25,000 cheque to Age UK
BAPS Charities, UK presented a cheque for £25,000 to Age UK at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 3 March 2012. Mr Paul Farthing, Director of Fundraising for the Charity had arrived to receive the cheque on behalf of Age UK – one of the country’s leading charities for people in later life.
 

The money had been raised over two Sundays in April 2011 when over 3,500 people participated in the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge. The participants had walked, jogged or run 10 kilometres, or cycled 30 kilometres, to raise funds for children and various other worthy causes.

Some of the funds that were raised have already been put to good use with the creation of a booklet in Gujarati on managing finances for the elderly – published by Age UK with the help of BAPS Charities.

In his address during the special cheque presentation ceremony at the Mandir, Mr Farthing expressed his gratitude for “the tremendous support” of BAPS Charities and commented on how he was “inspired by the spirit of service and volunteerism at the Mandir, and also how the elderly are looked after here [at the Mandir].” He also touched on the common principles that the Charity shares with the Mandir – namely to ensure that the elderly are not forgotten.

Kamlesh Patel, lead volunteer for BAPS Charities, remarked: “The elderly are an important part of the community and we are delighted to be able to help an organisation who values them like we do.”

 
To read a report about the BAPS Charities Annual Challenge on the Age UK site, please click here.

To learn more about Age UK and their work for the elderly, please click here

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. 

 

 


Health and Vitality Day for Mothers and Children
Health and Vitality Day for Mothers and Children
In continuation of its multifarious health awareness initiatives, volunteers from BAPS Charities organised a day of fun and fitness at Harrow Leisure Centre on Sunday 18 March 2012.
 

Being Mother’s Day, the event was specifically designed for children and mothers to participate together and invest some quality time in improving their physical wellbeing.

 

Over 115 women and 70 children enjoyed an array of healthy, fun-filled activities, including swimming, zumba, yoga and table tennis. The children also enjoyed a soft play area in addition to various other games and recreational activities.

 

The day also incorporated classes led by professional instructors and two health awareness presentations – the first on cancer awareness in women, and the second on reducing and managing stress. The informal, interactive sessions proved to be highly informative and popular.

 
The day turned out to be a perfect opportunity for mothers and children to not only learn about the importance of their health, but also take useful steps towards improving it.
BAPS Charities 10K Annual Challenge Launch
BAPS Charities 10K Annual Challenge Launch

The BAPS Charities 10K Annual Challenge for 2012 was launched on the evening of Saturday 25 February 2012 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London. The official partner for BAPS Charities this year is Macmillan Cancer Support, which provides “practical, medical and financial support to push for better cancer care.”

The Challenge will offer an opportunity for participants to run, jog or walk 10 kilometres, and will take place in London and cities across the UK in April. A ‘30K Bike Challenge’ will also form part of this year’s Challenge, and will take place in Leicester.

The event will bring together people from a variety of ages and backgrounds as well as join local communities from across the country to support the various good causes of BAPS Charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support. The nationwide event will also provide many local charities with essential funds to continue their good work.

This year’s Challenge builds on 18 years of sponsored events being organised by BAPS. Previous national partners have included Barnardo’s, The Anthony Nolan Trust, Diabetes UK, The British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Care and Age UK.

Steven Wibberley, Head of Information and Financial Support at Macmillan, joined BAPS Charities at the Mandir in London for the official launch. In his address to the assembly, he shared: “Macmillan Cancer Support is very grateful to BAPS Charities for selecting us as their partner for this year’s Challenge. At Macmillan, we not only work with cancer patients, but look to provide support for their families, and your support will be very welcome.”

BAPS Charities volunteer Kamlesh Patel added, “We are delighted to partner with Macmillan Cancer Support this year and hope that the Challenge can help to further their great work.”

To learn more about Macmillan Cancer Support, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

 


Health Awareness Seminar for the Elderly
Health Awareness Seminar for the Elderly
The seminar was conducted by Dr Kalpesh Besherdas, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust.
 

The seminar covered the following areas:

 
  • Recognition of alarming symptoms that might be suggestive of cancer
  • Symptoms suggestive of heartburn, indigestion and reflux
  • Symptoms of stomach ulcers
  • Symptoms of gall stones or gallbladder problems
  • Recognition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Actions to take for changing bowel habits or stomach bloating
 

The seminar was attended by approximately 50 people, all of whom found it very informative and helpful, and had numerous questions answered.

Please click here for slides from the presentation meant only as a guide.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for medical advice.

 

Forthcoming Event: Health Screening Sessions 2012
Forthcoming Event: Health Screening Sessions 2012

 



Saturday 24 March 2012
Saturday 26 May 2012
Sunday 15 July 2012
Sunday 30 September 2012

The criteria are:
1. You are between the age of 30 and 60.
2. You do not already suffer from diabetes.
3. You do not have a known diagnosis of high blood pressure.
4. You have not had the screening tests done with us before.

 


82 New Donors Register at Bone Marrow Recruitment Drive
82 New Donors Register at Bone Marrow Recruitment Drive
As part of its continuing partnership with The Anthony Nolan Trust, BAPS Charities UK organised a recruitment drive for bone marrow donors on the evening of Saturday 28 January 2012 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. This follows the funds and awareness raised for the UK blood cancer charity in 2009 from BAPS’s Family Walk & Fun Run.


There is a specific shortage of young male donors between the ages of 18 and 30, and this event helped to address this gap. For example, a 24-year-old temple-goer of Indian origin has recently been diagnosed with leukaemia and urgently requires a bone marrow transplant. A match had not been found from the current register of bone marrow donors, and this drive will help many like him find a life-saving match, especially as the likelihood of a match increases with donors from the same ethnic background.

As part of the drive, a total of 22 volunteers from BAPS Charities were also trained in recruiting bone marrow donors. Lynsey Dickson, Regional Recruitment Manager for Anthony Nolan, suggested that volunteers from the charity would be taken with the Anthony Nolan team to other recruitment events in the local community in the future.

The campaign proved to be a notable success as 82 new donors registered. A young male that had registered to be a donor at a previous drive with BAPS Charities spoke of his experience of being a bone marrow donor, and his privilege of saving a life. This helped to encourage many more young people to register.

For more information about joining the Bone Marrow Register and the important work of The Anthony Nolan Trust, please follow the respective links.


Disclaimer: BAPS Charities UK is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
Emergency Life Support Training
Emergency Life Support Training
BAPS Charities UK has teamed up with the London Ambulance Service to provide Emergency Life Support training through Heartstart, an important initiative by the British Heart Foundation teaching basic skills that save lives in a life-threatening emergency.





DID YOU KNOW: A person in the UK has a heart attack every 2 minutes. In 30% of cases, the patient dies before he or she reaches the hospital.

Chances for survival can be more than doubled if symptoms are identified early and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation are performed before paramedics arrive at the scene.


The Emergency Life Support (ELS) course covers not only CPR training but also teaches other vital skills such as recognising a heart attack, dealing with choking and serious bleeding, assessing an unconscious casualty, and helping during cardiac arrest.

During November and December 2011, Malcolm Ritchie, a Community Resuscitation Training Officer from the London Ambulance Service, led an ELS programme which trained six BAPS Charities volunteers to become Heartstart instructors. These trained volunteers have gone on to conduct the course on five occasions and already taught ELS to a further 58 volunteers at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London.


Divyabala Patel, a newly trained ELS responder, shared, “It’s so reassuring to know that you can be of vital help to someone in the community and can make the difference between, literally, life and death. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to help.”


The course, which follows current
Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines, will continue to run at the Mandir to raise awareness about ELS and train additional volunteers and members of the community. BAPS Charities’ ongoing partnership with the British Heart Foundation has led the BHF to also provide complimentary training equipment for the course.


To learn more about the
British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart initiative and the London Ambulance Service, please follow the respective links.


Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities UK Participates in Oshwal Health Awareness Day
BAPS Charities UK Participates in Oshwal Health Awareness Day
Volunteers from BAPS Charities UK were invited to provide their expertise at a Health Awareness Day organised by The Oshwal Centre in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire on Sunday 13 November 2011.
 

The Oshwal Health Awareness Day was an educational and interactive event, designed to provide basic health screening, health information, and guidance on leading a healthy lifestyle. Through various talks, workshops and therapies, the event raised awareness of various health issues, including diabetes, ischemic heart disease, raised cholesterol, dementia and cancer.

 

BAPS Charities UK, in association with The Royal Free Hospital, played an important part on the day by organising cardiovascular risk assessment for the community.

 

The attendees were offered the following investigations:

  • Height and waist measurement
  • Body mass assessment
  • Blood analysis for diabetes and raised cholesterol
  • Blood sampling for further analysis at the hospital laboratory
 

From the initial findings, those who were at a higher risk were additionally offered a carotid Doppler scan to assess any narrowing in the arteries supplying the brain or arterial stiffness to determine resistance in the major arteries.

 

Following the above assessments, all attendees were offered consultation with a doctor who discussed the results and offered advice on ways of improving their lifestyles and reducing the risks of major cardiovascular illness.

 

BAPS Charities UK was able to contribute through its special team of volunteers who have been trained by The Royal Free Hospital in carrying out such medical screening.

 

Other supporters of the event included Asthma UK, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, Kidney Research UK, Macmillan, MIND, Sig-mobility, and The Stroke Association.

 

The event proved to be a great success with feedback from the attendees being very encouraging.

 
Disclaimer: BAPS Charities UK is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
Dental Health Seminar
Dental Health Seminar

BAPS Charities, UK organised a Dental Health Seminar at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 13 November 2011. It was attended by more than 200 people, for whom 18 dentists and dental students offered their professional expertise.

 




The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness about the:

        benefits and importance of caring for one’s dental and oral health

        availability of NHS dental services

        importance of visiting your dentist regularly

        availability of various treatment options

 

As part of the seminar, seven stations were set up, each dealing with an important topic of dental health care. They offered a plethora of information in the form of leaflets, posters, models, demonstrations and interactive presentations with small group discussions. The topics covered were:

 
  • Effective Oral Hygiene
 
  • Diet and Dental Health Education
 
  • Dry Mouth and Oral Cancer and Precancerous Lesions
 
  • Crowns, Bridges, Implants and Temporo-Mandibular Joint Diseases
 
  • NHS Dentistry
 
  • Orthodontics for Children and Youngsters
 
  • Denture Care for the Elderly
 

Senior dentists were also on hand to answer any further questions using their experience, expertise and, if necessary, Gujarati-speaking skills to simplify dental jargon.

 

The seminar proved to be an important and useful learning experience for all who attended.


BAPS Charities Funds Cord Blood Collector at Leicester General
BAPS Charities Funds Cord Blood Collector at Leicester General

This was in appreciation for the money raised by BAPS Charities which helped fund the life-saving programme.

 

BAPS Charities funded one of the collectors’ posts for a year by raising £22,000 during its Annual Challenge in 2009 when it partnered with Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity.

 

The cord blood collection programme, run by Anthony Nolan, allows mothers to donate their cord blood for use in stem cell transplants as an alternative to finding a matching adult donor. The service was expanded in October 2011 to allow 24/7 collection, meaning mothers can donate their cord whatever time they give birth. (To find out more about how cord blood saves lives, please click here.)

 

On his visit to the centre on 15 October 2011, Dr Mayank Shah of BAPS Charities UK expressed, “We’re really excited to see firsthand how the money we have raised has helped the cord collection programme. The programme is very important to us, as it’s much harder to find matching donors for South Asian and other black and ethnic minority patients. Having more cord blood units available will speed this process up.”

 

A report of the visit can also be found on the Anthony Nolan website here. A certificate to thank BAPS Charities UK from the Anthony Nolan Trust can be found here.

 

Anthony Nolan has four cord blood collection centres in NHS hospitals: King’s College Hospital London, Royal Free Hampstead, Leicester Royal Infirmary, and LeicesterGeneralHospital, with plans to open more. NHS Blood and Transplant has five cord blood collection centres: Barnet General, Watford General, NorthwickPark, Luton and Dunstable, and St George’sHospitals

 

To learn more about the Anthony Nolan charity and its work for blood cancer patients, please click here.

 

To see various news reports and photos of BAPS working with the Anthony Nolan Trust as its national charity partner in 2009, please click here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. 
Free Health Screening in Birmingham
Free Health Screening in Birmingham
BAPS Charities UK, in collaboration with The Royal Free Hospital, conducted a day of cardiovascular screening at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Birmingham on Sunday 7 August 2011.

After performing some basic risk assessment checks – related to height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose – attendees were advised on a healthy lifestyle based on their results. In total, 36 people aged between 30 and 60 years were screened.
 
In addition, a free dental check was also performed for all who attended.
 
All the participants were very satisfied with the service provided, and feedback included the following comment: “Agreat service for the community. Really good work. Well done. Much appreciated.”

Doubling organ donation figures for Asians on cards
Doubling organ donation figures for Asians on cards

 

Awareness of the crippling situation regarding organ donations within the Hindu community has taken bite. A packed conference on the matter has successfully raised the profile of the problem, and the drive to move for a nationwide campaign is firmly on the cards. Drawing comfort from the successful campaign launch at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Saturday 9 July 2011, the Hindu Forum of Britain, Hindu Healthcare Society and BAPS Charities, are already drawing up a tailored strategy to push for a doubling of current donor figures.
Chief Guest, Baroness Sandip Verma of Leicester said: “This really is a crucial conference today. And I hope that when each one of you leaves, you will take the message to at least five other people. Because we are a fantastic community for doing community work, the difficulty we have, is that there are things that are so taboo to us, we find difficult to talk and express about. And, organ donation is, I am afraid, one of those areas."
Professor of Diversity in Public Health at the University of Bedfordshire, Professor Gurch Randhawa, Cardiothoracic Transplant Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Dr Majid Mukadam, and Senior Nurse- Modern Matron at Harefield Hospital, London, Sherrie Panther answered questions from delegates. The conference also heard from the Saminis of the Jain tradition about the Jain perspective to organ donation as well as from Hindu spiritual leaders. Heartfelt testimonies from Hindu patients who are still awaiting transplants, and how the anguish and desperation affect their lives and families were highlighted.
After a number of seminars and public debate, Hindu Forum of Britain president, Arjan Vekaria, identified communication and apathy as the two greatest challenges that would determine the success of the campaign, and the key to giving the gift of life to those on transplantation waiting lists. “The three organizations pushing for this campaign are all focused on this life and death issue, and we are convinced that we will double the donor list figures,” he said.
Representing Hindu Healthcare Society, Dr Diviash Thakrar showed that although over 1 on 10 on the waiting list for an organ were Asian in origin, only 1.3% on the donor list were Asians. This related primarily to a high demand for kidney transplants due to an increased incidence of heart disease and diabetes in the Asian community. The lack of Hindus on the list is thought to be related mainly to apathy and the fear of thinking about the issue of death. However in contrast, in our survey of the community opinions, up to 72% would accept and organ if needed an 66% would be willing to donate their organs. With this in mind the society would like to work with the other organisations in the team to convert this willingness into action and increase the numbers of Hindus joining the organ donor list. The society plans to help contacts at the University level (to target the younger generation) and run an awareness campaign at different community sites.
Representing BAPS Charities, Dr Sejal Saglani was concerned with the 77% figure and the fact that the ultimate decision to donate organs rested with next of kin. “The wishes of the deceased may not be met by the family, even if they had agreed to donate their organs. This is why it is important that the subject of organ donation is discussed within the family. It is not just important to double organ donor numbers, but equally vital to ensure that when a person agrees to register, their relatives also understand the importance of the matter and respect their wishes,” she said. She believed that youngsters were the greatest ambassadors to push the issue to the fore and to spark discussions in family circles. Dr Saglani intends to mobilise 40 BAPS national centres to drive the message across the country.
Vice-chair of the National Kidney Federation, and kidney transplant recipient, Kirit Modi, explained how the medical, as well as the procedural process for live kidney donors, is less intrusive now than what most people think  largely due to the use of keyhole surgery. There are specialized and dedicated medical staff to provide support and advice to family members throughout the process of removing organs from a deceased donor. In Spain, organ donation and transplantation is the norm and we need to learn from their good practice. He reminded the audience that every day, three people die as a result of organ shortages, and it is unacceptable that in our day and age, we have not been able to find effective ways of dealing with this. Transplantation can save resources and it is estimated the NHS can save £500 million per year if we can improve the rates of donation and transplantation. "Donating is not simply giving, it is the highest charity that any individual can give,” he said.
Secretary-general of Hindu Forum of Britain, Bharti Tailor, intends to mobilize 50 organisations that fall under the HFB. She said that a strong communication drive, increased donor-recipient groups and improved chaplaincy services would help increase the donor figures. “We must engage on this issue at all levels. It is important that the youth also understand this problem and the HFB intends to work with the National Hindu Student Forum) to support this. Armed with the data and responses from the conference, we will develop a strong platform to promote this campaign."
Over a hundred people representing different community groups attended the conference and left with plenty of food for thought. At the end of the day, more than half of the attendees pledged to register for organ donation and expressed their concern at how little knowledge they possessed on the subject prior to the conference, and how afterwards when they understood the issue, they wanted to give the gift of life.

 

For more photos click here

For further information on Organ Donation please visit the NHSBT website by clicking here

To download a leaflet regarding Organ Donation click here
 



Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

 


Tuberculosis: Is it a Health or Housing Issue?
Tuberculosis: Is it a Health or Housing Issue?

BAPS Charities hosted a multi-professional educational event on the 23 June 2011 to raise the awareness of Tuberculosis (TB). The event titled “Tuberculosis: Is it a Health or Housing Issue?” was chaired by Dr Bharat Patel and was attended by General Practitioners, Consultants and Allied Health Professionals from the London Boroughs of Brent and Harrow.

 

The purpose of this event was to raise the profile of TB management including the commissioning aspects of TB services in North-West London, the impact on acute services providing the care to TB patients, the role of new diagnostics and treatment referral pathways. The current approach to managing TB is not working and TB cases are on an increase by about 50%.

 

BAPS Charities invited eminent experts such as Dr Laurence John, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Acute Medicine, Northwick Park Hospital, Dr William Lynn, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ealing Hospital NHS Trust and Ms Lynn Altass, Project Lead – North Central London TB Network Manager to deliver their vision and share their expertise with the delegates.

 

All three experts addressed the key challenges for London and urged the audience to feedback their views on the proposed London TB Plan, whose aim is to reduce London TB rates by 50% over the next few years.

 

By improving the understanding of TB management among health professionals the aim is to promote early detection, improve the effectiveness of treatments and reduce the risk of transmissions.

 

Councillor Ann John OBE, Leader/Lead Member for Corporate Strategy and Policy Co-ordination, Brent Council also attended the event and gave an extremely valuable insight into how TB affects people and the work Brent Council is promoting in terms of housing issues. Councillor Ann’s perception of how families suffer the social stigma in the society resonated very well with the experiences heard and seen by many of the delegates.

 

Mr William Gemegah, Director of the Community Health Action Trust commented that the event will most certainly help in hitting hard to the core issues at stake in TB prevention in Brent and Harrow. 
Elderly Welfare Seminar
Elderly Welfare Seminar

Ms Minal Patel, a pharmacist and manager at Boots Chemist, conducted the session which was attended by 50 people.

Through her presentation and interactive discussion, Ms Patel covered various topics, including medicine for diabetes and heart disease, pain killers, antibiotics, common side-effects of medication, and where to seek health care and related advice.

The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness about the benefits and importance of taking medicines in the correct manner that they are prescribed. Ms Patel emphasised that medicines are patient-specific and should not be shared or distributed to others. She also addressed some common myths surrounding many medicines.

The participants were educated about the vast amount of research that is conducted for the appropriate use and benefits of medicines before they are prescribed and informed that medicines will only be effective if they are taken as advised.

The seminar proved to be an important and useful learning experience for all who attended.


Over 3,500 take part in the ‘BAPS Charities Annual Challenge’
Over 3,500 take part in the ‘BAPS Charities Annual Challenge’

BAPS Charities, UK held this year’s event in conjunction with the UK’s leading charity for people in later life, Age UK (formed by the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged) as well as several smaller charities around the country. It brought together members of the community from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages – ranging from three to 97 – to walk, jog or run a distance of 10 kilometres. Over 50 participants took the more challenging option of cycling 30 kilometres around the picturesque setting of King Edward Park in north-west London.

 

In London, the Charities Challenge kicked off amid glorious spring sunshine from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden – the ‘Neasden Temple’ – in the presence of distinguished guests, including Paul Farthing (Fundraising Director of Age UK) and the Mayor of Brent, Cllr Harbhajan Singh. Also present at the opening ceremony were Sarah Teather MP, Cllr Harshad Patel, Cllr Mohammed Butt, Cllr Zafar Van Kalwala, Cllr Vina Mithani, Cllr Ketan Sheth and Cllr Yogesh Telli.

 

In his address, Mr Farthing emphasised the importance of the partnership with BAPS Charities, “We are delighted to have been selected as the partner charity for the BAPS Charities Annual Challenge, and this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet! Ensuring that older people can make the most of life lies at the heart of Age UK’s work, and it’s wonderful to see so many people today going the extra mile to support people in later life.”

 

Kamlesh Patel, lead BAPS Charities volunteer added, “We are delighted to be working with Age UK. Older people are such a valuable part of our society, but are sadly so often forgotten and neglected. We hope that this has helped raise some awareness and vital funds for them.”

 

The Mayor, Harbhajan Singh also addressed the opening ceremony and said, “I am grateful that BAPS Charities have included my charities along with Age UK.”

 

Sarah Teather added a few words to conclude the opening ceremony, “I always find it really inspirational to see every generation take part – from the eldest – it is amazing that a man of 97 is about to do a 10k walk, and I understand some of the smallest children are going to be walking around the Temple. It is fantastic that this place will bring all generations together to better Brent and society as a whole. Thank you for everything

you do to make Brent a better place”
 

One of the participants, Nisha, aged 17 from South London, spoke of how valuable her day had been. She said, “It was a fantastic day out – fun, healthy, and extremely gratifying with the knowledge that we’re bringing joy and meaning to the lives of so many older people.”

For more photos from the event please click here.

BAPS Charities Annual Challenge will be completed in a total of 16 centres around the UK, many supporting charities at the local level as well. These will also include: Ashton-Under-Lyne, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Havant, Leicester, Loughborough, Luton, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Preston, Southend-on-Sea, and Wellingborough. The local charities supported through events at these centres included:


Ashton-under-Lyne:
The Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund

Birmingham: The Macmillan Cancer Fund

Coventry: The Extracare Charitable Trust

Edinburgh: The Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre

Glasgow: The Glasgow Old People's Welfare Association

Havant: Naomi House 
 

Leicester: The Leicestershire and Rutland Organisation for the Relief of Suffering

Loughborough: The Mayor’s Appeal 2010/11

Milton Keynes: The Milton Keynes Community Cardiac Group

Nottingham: The Indian Community Centre Association

Preston: Space: The Multi Sensory Centre

Wellingborough: The Pravasi Mandal

To read a report about the BAPS Charities Annual Challenge on the Age UK site, please click here.

To learn more about Age UK and their work for the elderly, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

 


Awareness of Organ Donation and Kidney Research
Awareness of Organ Donation and Kidney Research
As part of its ongoing multifarious health and community activities, BAPS Charities teamed up with members of Kidney Research UK at the BAPS 10K Challenge on 10 April 2011. Kidney Research attended as part of Kidney Research UK’s project ABLE - A Better Life through Learning and Empowerment. The aim of the project is to raise awareness especially in the South Asian Community about Kidney Disease and the need for people to join the NHS Organ Donor's register.

 

Many South Asians have high Blood Pressure or Diabetes, the two main causes for kidney failure, and it is now recognised that an Asian person with diabetes is 10 times more likely to develop kidney failure than a Caucasian person with diabetes. Overall, although Asians are 3-5 times more likely to need an organ transplant, only 1% of the Asian community is on the Organ Donation register (out of 17 million people). This means it takes a lot longer for members of the South Asian community to get an appropriately matched organ.

 

Members of Kidney Research UK that attended the BAPS 10K Challenge conveyed this message to all those taking part in the challenge.

 

The team spoke to approximately one thousand people, and 94 people joined the organ donation the register on the day. Some people had already signed up to the register, and many were undecided, but were made aware of the issues faced by the South Asian community, given important information and were able to go away and think about the importance of organ donation and transplantation.


Health Care Seminar for the Elderly
Health Care Seminar for the Elderly
 BAPS Charities organised a special seminar to address arthritis, back pain and osteoporosis at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 27 March 2011. Dr Binita Jani, Consultant Physician, Medicine for the Elderly at Hammersmith Hospital provided the expert advise and guidance.

More than 80 attendees benefitted from the expert advice that was provided through discussion, supported by relevant presentations. The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness of these conditions and to promote well being within the community.

 
Detailed below is a summary of the sessions:
Osteoarthritis
  • Most common form of joint disease;
  • A degenerative joint disease which rarely starts before the age of 40. Women are affected more than men;
  • Hips, knees, small joints of hands, neck, big toes and lower back are commonly affected and shoulder, ankle, wrists joints are less affected;
  • Pain is the main symptom which is worse on exercise and at the end of the day. Possible change in shape of the joint due to bone and joint swelling;
  • There is thinning of the muscle due to reduced use
  • Many of these changes lead to restricted movements. This makes the joint unstable, legs “gives way” and leads to falls
Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Different from osteoarthritis – usually starts slowly and varies from one person to another. Initially tends to affect wrist and small joints in hands and feet;
  • Pain and swelling in the joints are early symptoms. People also feel tired, depressed or irritable, even with mild arthritis; anaemia is very common;
  • Women are more affected than men and starts between ages of 40 and 50;
  • Diagnosed by symptoms, examination and blood tests. Sometimes x-rays or special scans such as ultrasounds are performed early;
  • Your GP may refer you to a specialist early as this is more serious than osteoarthritis;
  • Painkillers are used for pain but this type of arthritis requires special treatment to slow the disease. These drugs are prescribed by a rheumatologist because of careful monitoring and these medications may have serious side effects. Sometimes steroid tablets are used as part of treatment.
Back pain
  • Very common complaint in all age groups;
  • 80-90% adults will have backache at some point in their lives;
  • 95% of back pain will be due to mechanical reasons;
  • Common back pain (mechanical) is usually worse in the morning, improves with activity and varies with posture. This pain is dull in nature, poorly localised, usually felt in lower lumbar area but can move to buttocks and thighs;
  • Worrying features or serious causes of back pain include:

-          constant, progressive pain with no relief;

-          pain with severe morning stiffness;

-          presence of fever and weight loss;

-          past history of cancer or TB;

-          difficulty walking, passing urine and opening bowels.

If any of these symptoms are present, one must see a doctor as soon as possible or sometimes may need to go to A+E department.

For common back pain, regular pain killers would help and it is important to remain active. Back pain will resolve within a few weeks. It is important to look at posture, regular exercise and good footwear. For serious causes of back pain, you will need special tests in hospital and sometimes special treatment (antibiotics, surgery, etc)

Osteoporosis
  • 3 million people suffer with osteoporosis in the UK;
  • In osteoporosis, the bone becomes very thin and breaks easily;
  • Hip, spine and wrist joints commonly fracture with osteoporosis;
  • 50 % of women and 20% of men at risk of fracture after age 50;
  • Risk factors associated with developing osteoporosis include being a female, lack of exercise, low Vitamin D and calcium, heavy smoking and family history;
  • No specific symptoms develop until you break a bone. Sometimes people notice loss of height due to increased curvature of spine;
  • Main treatment is regular calcium with vitamin D and special osteoporosis treatment;
  • Specific treatment can be taken as once weekly tablets; injections may be necessary if side effects from tablets;
  • For fractures, one would need a joint replacement or plates to join the bones;
  • Osteoporosis can be prevented to a great extent by building strong bones in childhood and adolescence, a balanced diet rich in calcium, and Vitamin D, and regular weight bearing exercises.
 

For all types of arthritis, back pain and disability from fracture, it is important to get appropriate assessment from physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers. You may be eligible for disability or carer allowance.

Further information can be obtained from GP surgeries, local libraries and local AGE UK branches.


 


Smiley Check Ups – Dental Health Checks for Children
Smiley Check Ups – Dental Health Checks for Children
In each examination, the dentist checked for general hygiene, identifying any decayed or crooked teeth, and any underlying oral diseases such as gum disease. The dentists provided the children and their parents/guardians with feedback from their assessment and notified them if they required further treatment from their local dentist. As well as providing them with advice on effective cleaning of teeth, and the importance of a healthy diet which is low in sugar content, they also offered the children a dental goody bag which contained stickers and a tooth timer for brushing.


The consultations were open for children aged between 6 months to 18 years. Over the two days, approximately 300 children were seen. The feedback was very positive, as one parent shared: “We’re very grateful to BAPS Charities for organising an event like this. Visiting the dentist is one of those dreaded things for children, but they have made it fun and educational.”

For useful guidance about dental health, visit the NHS’s website here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Stroke and High Blood Pressure
Stroke and High Blood Pressure

BAPS Charities, UK organised a seminar on Sunday 13 February 2011 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London to raise awareness about stroke and high blood pressure among the elderly.

 

The session was led by Dr Babalal Depala, an Associate Specialist in Elderly Medicine and Stroke at Newham General Hospital, London. Dr Depala was supported by Mr Alpesh Prajapati, a physiotherapist.

 

The session began with information about the causes and risk factors for the development of a stroke. This was followed by details of hospital treatment for stroke patients – the hospital in-patient team and the stroke pathway of care. Helpful ideas about how a stroke can be prevented were also discussed.

 

Mr Prajapati talked about post-stroke rehabilitation and offered a practical demonstration of the appropriate exercises that can be performed at home in order to aid the process.

 

An open forum of questions and answers concluded the seminar, which all attendees found very useful. 


BAPS Charities Launches Annual Challenge with Age UK
BAPS Charities Launches Annual Challenge with Age UK

The BAPS Charities Annual Challenge for 2011 was launched on the evening of Saturday 12 February 2011 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London (popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’). The official partner for BAPS Charities this year is Age UK (formed by the combining of Age Concern and Help the Aged), one of the country’s leading charities working for the elderly. The Challenge will see participants run, jog or walk 10 kilometres, and will take place on 10 April in London and 17 April in other cities across the UK. For the more adventurous, there will also be the ‘30k Bike Challenge’ taking place in London on 10 April.

The event will bring together people from a variety of ages and backgrounds as well as join local communities from across the country to support the various good causes of BAPS Charities, including Age UK which helps over 5 million people in the UK each year. The nationwide event will also provide many local charities with essential funds to continue their good work.

This year’s Challenge continues to build on 17 years of sponsored events being organised by BAPS. Previous national partners have included Barnardo’s, The Anthony Nolan Trust, Diabetes UK, The British Heart Foundation, and Breast Cancer Care. Paul Farthing, Fundraising Director of Age UK, joined BAPS Charities at the Mandir in London for the official launch. In his address to the assembly, Paul offered his gratitude to BAPS Charities on partnering with Age UK, saying: “Age UK is very honoured and privileged to be a partner with BAPS Charities UK.”

BAPS Charities volunteer Kamlesh Patel added, “We are very pleased to be working with Age UK. The elderly are such a valuable part of our society but are sadly so often forgotten and neglected. We hope that as many people as possible can join us in supporting this worthy cause and participate in what promises to be a wonderful, fun-filled event.”

To learn more about Age UK and their activities, please visit their website at www.ageuk.org.uk.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.



Cardiovascular Health Screening Session
Cardiovascular Health Screening Session
As part of its ongoing commitment to multifarious healthcare and community initiatives, BAPS Charities UK held a Cardiovascular Health Screening Session at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 29 January 2011. The session was organised to assess cardiovascular risk factors among those aged between 30 and 60 years.

The event brought together volunteers of BAPS Charities – doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses and healthcare students – in conjunction with the Department of Lipidology at The Royal Free Hospital. It forms part of an ongoing collaboration between BAPS Charities, The Royal Free Hospital and Heart UK, the nation’s ‘cholesterol charity’. The session also came just before the beginning of February’s National Heart Month organised by the British Heart Foundation.

The screening was open to all individuals aged between 30 and 60 years who did not have a known diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. All attendees had their height, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol assessed, with lifestyle factors such as smoking status and alcohol consumption also being addressed. These results were used to counsel attendees about their lifestyle and to alert them and their GP about any abnormal results. Each assessment lasted about 45 minutes.

A total of 30 people were screened in this latest session with participants commenting that they found the event very informative and helpful.

To learn more about National Heart Month and supporting the British Heart Foundation, please click on the respective links.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Blood Donation Day
Blood Donation Day
As part of its on-going community outreach initiatives, BAPS Charities, UK held its second Blood Donation Day at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Wellingborough, on Saturday 5 February 2011 in conjunction with the National Blood Service.


Drawing on the successes of 2010, the aim of the event was to further raise awareness of the importance of donating blood. Donors from Asian communities have been in short supply and it was hoped that donations received on this day would address this need. The event was open to all local residents.

Despite the blustery weather, donors arrived throughout day – some with appointments, others just dropping in. Volunteers from BAPS Charities offered a warm and professional welcome and guided donors throughout the blood-giving process to ensure maximum comfort.  With a range of generous donors from across the town, the event was a resounding success.  

Among the visitors were The Mayor and Consort, Councillor Lora Lawman and Councillor Graham Lawman. Sharing her thoughts on the event, The Mayor said, “It was lovely to see the beautiful new premises, which seem very suitable for offering community events such as these. It was great to see so many young people coming forward to donate blood as they did today. As a regular donor myself for the past 25 years, I have come to appreciate the importance of involving the younger generation to forming such habits of regular donation. BAPS Charities are doing some excellent work here and I look forward to coming again.’

Pam Prescott, spokesperson from the National Blood Service, offered her thanks in saying, “We are very grateful to members of the BAPSSwaminarayanTemple in Wellingborough for the work they have done to encourage blood donation amongst the Hindu community. It was wonderful to see so many new blood donors at previous sessions, most of those from minority ethnic backgrounds. With these donors only representing three per cent of the blood donor population, it really does highlight the importance of their support and encourages others to follow their example.”

The recently completed Mandir (Hindu temple) in Wellingborough hopes to continue its outreach initiatives to help provide the local community with similar much-needed services. The blood donation session held at the Mandir is the first in a series of planned health awareness days for 2011.


 

Dr Hiten Patel, lead volunteer for BAPS Charities in Wellingborough, added: “For the second year running, the response has been excellent from the local community with many new donors coming forward. Giving blood is something money cannot buy and it is a chance to be someone’s hero and save multiple lives. There can be no greater gift than that.” 

To learn more about giving blood, please visit the National Blood Service website here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

 

 

 

 


Cardiovascular Health Screening Session
Cardiovascular Health Screening Session
BAPS Charities UK held a Cardiovascular Health Screening Session at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 21 November 2010. The session aimed to assess cardiovascular risk factors among the elderly, forming a part of the ongoing BAPS Welfare of the Elderly Programme and the special National Sewa Day initiative.


The event was organised by BAPS volunteers – doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses and healthcare students – in conjunction with the Department of Lipidology at The Royal Free Hospital.

The screening was open to anyone who did not have a known diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. All attendees had their height, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol assessed, with lifestyle factors such as smoking status and alcohol consumption also being addressed. These results were then used to counsel attendees about their lifestyle and to alert them and their GP about any abnormal results. Each assessment lasted about 45 minutes.

Dr Mayank Shah, senior BAPS Charities volunteer, commented: “It’s so important to pick up these tell-tale signs early. It really can make the difference between a wholesome life and a premature tragedy.” He further added, “The response from all those who have attended over the last year has been very positive indeed, which is just so encouraging for all us volunteers to keep on making that crucial difference.”

A total of 35 people were screened in this latest session with participants all sharing that they found the event very informative and helpful.

The previous series of health awareness and screening sessions coincided with National Cholesterol Week.

To learn more about National Sewa Day, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Health Awareness and Screening at Community Open Days
Health Awareness and Screening at Community Open Days

BAPS Charities participated in the Community Open Days at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden on 11 and 12 September. BAPS Charities helped by providing information and screening free of charge for all guests and visitors. Included in the display stands was useful material and guidance from many charities that BAPS has worked with in recent years – the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, National Blood Transfusion, Breast Cancer Care, Barnardo’s and The Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research.

This event continued the regular medical screenings and talks that are organised by BAPS Charities where charities and trained medical professionals have provided their expertise. Medical screening was provided by The Royal Free Hospital where 120 people were tested and responded with positive feedback on the organisation and value of the programme. As part of National Cholesterol Week commencing on 13 September 2010, blood cholesterol screening was also performed with appropriate advice provided to those with high risk factors for heart disease.

Shilpa Patel of the NHS Blood Transfusion Service expressed her gratitude for enabling new donors to register. “I am pleased to inform you that we enrolled 53 new donors. These donors will be invited to sessions that are close to their home address in order that they may begin donating as soon as possible.”

The event provided BAPS Charities with an opportunity to continue its health awareness initiatives as well as to support various local and national charities. 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Letter from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, President Barnardo's
Letter from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, President Barnardo's
 
BAPS Charities raises funds for Barnardo’s with 30-Mile Challenge
BAPS Charities raises funds for Barnardo’s with 30-Mile Challenge
Over 100 enthusiastic cyclists took the BAPS Charities 30-Mile Cycle Challenge on Sunday 15 August 2010 to raise money for Barnardo’s and various other local charities. Tagged ‘Get on Your Bike’, the event ran across Red Ways around the picturesque setting of WillenLake in Milton Keynes, providing a wonderful opportunity for the community to get together and make a difference.

The event was a continuation of the support BAPS Charities has provided to Barnardo’s over the year. Earlier, in April, they raised £25,000 for Barnardo’s when 3,500 runners and walkers from around the country took the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge. The money raised will go towards helping disadvantaged children with learning disabilities and other worthy causes.

The Cycle Challenge was open to everyone over the age of 14, with a £20 registration fee covering both bike and helmet hire as well.

Divya Patel, 28, from Southend-on-Sea, shared: “It was a fantastic day out – fun, healthy, and extremely gratifying with the knowledge that we were helping children and young people less fortunate than us.”

Barnardo’s Director of Fundraising, Liz Cox, said: “Barnardo’s is delighted and proud to be working with BAPS Charities once again and their support is invaluable in helping the charity continue its work with children, young people and their families through its projects in communities across the UK.”

BAPS Charities volunteer Kamlesh Patel added, “BAPS Charities shares Barnardo’s vision of believing in children and this is just a great way of helping ensure that our country’s children get all the opportunities they deserve – especially the very needy ones.”

For photos from the event please click here

Barnardo's is BAPS Charities 30 Mile Bike Challenge Beneficiary
Barnardo's is BAPS Charities 30 Mile Bike Challenge Beneficiary

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has been nominated as this year’s official partner and main beneficiary of the BAPS Charities 30 Mile Bike Challenge.  This year’s sponsored bike ride will take place in Milton Keynes, with the event beginning at the picturesque setting of Willen Lake on Sunday 15 August 2010.


BAPS Charities is the social services arm of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, one of the largest and most active Hindu organisations among the Indian diaspora in the UK. Recognised internationally for its humanitarian services, the work has year after year raised substantial amounts of money for charities in the UK. In April, they raised £25,000 for Barnardo’s when 3,500 runners and walkers from around the country took the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge.


Participants in the 2010 Bike Ride will cycle through the red ways system of Milton Keynes and is the perfect summer event for fans of fitness and outdoor sports who like an adventure.  


The challenge is open to everyone over the age of 14, and the £20 registration fee includes bike and helmet hire.


Barnardo’s Director of Fundraising, Liz Cox, said: “The event is a fantastic opportunity for people to get active as well as having fun whilst raising vital funds for disadvantaged children and young people.


“Barnardo’s is delighted and proud to be working with BAPS Charities once again and their support is invaluable in helping the charity continue its work with children, young people and their families through its projects in communities across the UK”.


BAPS Charities volunteer Kamlesh Patel added, “BAPS Charities shares Barnardo’s vision of believing in children and this is just a great way of helping ensure that our country’s children get all the opportunities they deserve – especially the very needy ones.”


BAPS Charities Presents £25,000 Cheque to Barnardo’s
BAPS Charities Presents £25,000 Cheque to Barnardo’s
BAPS Charities, UK presented a cheque for £25,000 to Barnardo’s at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 31 July 2010.

Mr Geoffrey Barnett, OBE (Chair of Council) and Mr Errol John (Head of Operations – London and East of England) were on hand to receive the cheque on behalf of Barnardo’s – one of the UK’s leading children’s charities.


The money had been raised over two Sundays in April when over 3,500 people at 15 BAPS centres around the UK took the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge. The participants had walked, jogged or ran 10 kilometres to raise funds for children and various other worthy causes.

In his address during the special cheque presentation ceremony at the Mandir, Mr Barnett expressed his gratitude for “the wonderful generosity and support” of BAPS Charities and remarked how he was “full of inspiring impressions of so much that happens here.” In particular, he noted how much both Barnardo’s and BAPS owe to their dedicated volunteer force, and that “we share a common vision; we believe in children.”

Mr Barnett went on to explain that the money raised by BAPS Charities would go towards helping support children with severe learning and educational difficulties. He said: “What you have done for us this year, through the 10k Challenge, is to enable us in this next 12 months to support and work with 139 disabled children that we would not otherwise been able to help, and I am really grateful to you all.”

Kamlesh Patel, lead volunteer for BAPS Charities, remarked: “It’s so gratifying and humbling to know that we have been able to help so many needy children who can go on to lead fuller, more meaningful lives.”

For a full report and photos of the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge, please click here.

To lean more about  Barnardo’s work for disadvantaged children, visit their website here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities, UK is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Over 3,500 take part in the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge
Over 3,500 take part in the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge
More than 3,500 people around the country took to the streets and parks on Sunday 18 April 2010 for the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge to raise funds for children and other worthy causes.

 

BAPS Charities, UK held this year’s event in conjunction with the UK’s leading children’s charity Barnardo’s as well as several smaller charities around the country. It brought together members of the community from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages – ranging from three to over 90 – to walk, jog or run a distance of 10 kilometres. Some of the younger participants dressed as clowns and teamed up with partners to complete the distance three-legged, while others attended in fancy dress.

 

In London, the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge kicked off amid glorious spring sunshine from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden in the presence of distinguished guests, including the CEO of Barnardo’s Martin Narey and Barnardo’s ambassador and popular TV actress Nina Wadia. Also present at the opening ceremony were Mayor of the London Borough of Brent Cllr Jim O’Sullivan, Deputy Mayoress of the London Borough of Brent Mrs O’Sullivan, Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Harrow Cllr Chris Motes, Deputy Mayoress of the London Borough of Harrow Cllr Janet Mote, PPC Sarah Teather, PPC Dawn Butler, PPC Barry Gardiner, PPC Tony McNulty, PPC Harshad Patel, Cllr Anjana Patel, Cllr Mohammed Butt, Cllr Kanta Mistry, Cllr Harbhajan Singh, Cllr Yogesh Teli, Cllr Zafar Van Kalwala, and Ajay Patel of Goldshield, the major sponsor of the event. 

 

In his address, Mr Narey emphasised the importance of the partnership with BAPS Charities, saying, “The support from you and this partnership is absolutely essential to our work. I really look forward to this partnership being one of the most important in the history of Barnardo’s.”

 

Tony McNulty added, “Children are at the heart of what BAPS Charities does and this makes an ideal link with Barnardo’s.”

  

Noting the great sense of community spirit in the participants, Sarah Teather said, “BAPS Charities is a fantastic organisation, and what is so amazing today is to see the range of ages of people setting off to walk and run. It is a fantastic example to the rest of

Britain to see what is happening here at the Mandir today.”

 

Dawn Butler further added, “I have seen how BAPS Charities approach what they do and how organised they are. When you see the smiles on the faces of young children, they know what they are doing. They are not just going on a walk, but they know why they are going on the walk and what it means.”

 

Barry Gardiner also commended the charity arm of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, saying, “The key thing is vision and BAPS Charities has that in abundance. With BAPS Charities, you have the volunteering base to make sure always that there is maximum value for the financial resources that are put in.”


Having evolved from the annual ‘Sponsored Family Walk & Fun Run’ to the ‘10k Challenge’, one of the younger participants, Maya Patel (15) of 
Birmingham, spoke of how enjoyable her day had been. She said, “We always have fun, but this year gave us the chance to be adventurous. We were able to dress up and have our faces painted, which also helped us to raise even more for charity. And with the sun shining, we couldn’t have hoped for a better day.”

 

The Challenge commenced in London from the Mandir and included two circuits of the scenic King Edward VII Park in Wembley, where bouncy castles had also been set up for the children. It became a fun-filled day for all the family, with refreshments and snacks available throughout the stewarded route.

 

The BAPS Charities 10k Challenge was completed in a total of 15 centres around the UK (to view pictures click here), many supporting charities at the local level as well. These included:

 

Ashton-Under-Lyne: Tameside Blind Association (Charity No: 504603)


Birmingham
: Birmingham Children's Hospital c/o Red Balloon Appeal (Charity No: 1074850)

Coventry: Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre (Charity No: 1095737)

Edinburgh: Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (Charity No: SC017954)

Glasgow: Yorkhill Children's Foundation (Charity No: SC007856)

Havant: The Elizabeth Foundation (Charity No: 293835)

Leicester: Leicester Hospitals Charity 'Children's Oncology Department (Ward 27, Leicester Royal Infirmary)' (Charity No: 1056804)


LoughboroughThe Mayor's Appeal (Wishes 4 Kids & Warning Zone)

Luton
Keech Hospice Care (Charity No: 1035089)

Milton KeynesMilton Keynes Hospital – Little Lives Appeal (Charity No: 1048297)

Nottingham: Crocus Fields

PrestonThe Mayor of Preston’s Charity of the Year – Northwest Air Ambulance (Charity No: 1075641)

Southend-on-Sea: Southend Hospital  Neptune Ward for Children (Charity No: 1057266)

WellingboroughKettering General Hospital (Charity No: 1052467)

 

To learn more about Barnardo’s and their great work, please visit their site here.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Blood Donation Awareness Presentation
Blood Donation Awareness Presentation

A special presentation was organised on the evening of Saturday 3 April 2010 by BAPS Charities at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London to raise awareness for blood donation within the Asian community.

 

Statistics from the NHS confirm that only 1.6% of all donors are of South Asian origin – and yet 7,000 units per day are needed to meet hospital demand. The event was thus targeted at the South Asian community to improve this figure and help those in urgent need of blood.

BAPS Charities volunteer Dr Mayank Shah explained how blood donation is an important component of BAPS’s healthcare focus and also shared his personal experience from 2006 when he required 17 units of blood following a gastro-intestinal haemorrhage.

 

Zeeshan Asghar, Media & PR Officer of the NHS Blood and Transplant unit, provided some background to the blood donation programme, describing the people who benefit from blood and the importance of involving more Asians as donors.

 

Personal testimonies of blood donation from this community were also narrated, including that of Chandrakant Patel (51) who has made an impressive 75 donations over the last 35 years.

 

Head Sadhu of the Mandir, Sadhu Yogvivekdas, concluded the presentation with a short address. He emphasised the importance of giving blood as a charitable and humanitarian activity, and urged all eligible individuals to participate in this noble cause.

 

To learn more about donating blood, visit the NHS’s Give Blood website here.

To book an appointment, call the new ‘Donor Line’ on 0300 123 23 23.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Organ Donation Roadshow
Organ Donation Roadshow

The Hindu Organ Donation Faith Roadshow was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – popularly known as the Neasden Temple – on Saturday 13 March 2010 with the help of BAPS Charities. The roadshow was organised by the NHS Blood and Transplant unit (NHSBT) as part of a nationwide campaign aimed at raising awareness about the lack of people on the national Organ Donor Register and encouraging them to sign up.

 

The Roadshow forms a part of a series of events being held by NHSBT at churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and gurudwaras to reach out to various faith-based and other communities.

 

Approximately 300 attendees attended the event at the Mandir (Hindu temple). From these, 113 signed onto the register with many others considering signing up in the near future.

 

Dr Mayank Shah, Head of BAPS Health Services in the UK, shared: “Feedback from the roadshow was very positive with many Hindus rightly observing that signing the Organ Donor Register was indeed a good deed. The information that was distributed was also very useful and we hope people will use this to start a conversation about organ donation with loved ones.” 


  • On average, 3 people who need a transplant die every day in the UK waiting for a suitable match.
  • The need for a transplant in the South Asian community is 3 times higher than that of the general population.
  • Yet only 1% of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register are from the South Asian community.


For more information about organ donation or to register, please call the donor line on 0300 123 23 23, text REGISTER to 84880, or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

 

For specific information about the NHS’s South Asian organ donation campaign and Faith Roadshows, please use the respective links.

 

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

 


Schoolchildren Raise Over £3,100 for Haiti Earthquake Victims
Schoolchildren Raise Over £3,100 for Haiti Earthquake Victims
Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, BAPS Charities, in partnership with The Swaminarayan School, collected over £3,100 for the relief efforts in the region. The school community mobilised itself to collect donations from pupils and staff, with the Lower Sixth Form students presenting a special assembly to the Senior School on 22 January to highlight the scale of the suffering endured by the Haitians. 


Teachers from the Preparatory School also discussed the impact of this disaster with their students, urging all members of the community to support the efforts in raising as much money as possible.

Through the collective efforts of the School, £3,132 was collected, a cheque for which was submitted on 24 February 2010 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), the umbrella organisation coordinating British efforts in response to disasters overseas.

If you would like to help victims of the Haiti Earthquake, please use DEC’s online secured donation service here. Please give generously!

To learn more about The Swaminarayan School’s previous charity work, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


BAPS Charities 10k Challenge Launched
BAPS Charities 10k Challenge Launched


The BAPS Charities 10k Challenge was launched on the evening of Saturday 20 February 2010 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir,
London. The official partner for the event this year is Barnardo’s, the children’s charity that “believes in the potential of every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through.”

The 10k Challenge, taking place in April 2010, will bring together people from a variety of different ages and backgrounds as well as join local communities from across the country to support the various good causes of BAPS Charities, including Barnardo’s, one the leading children’s charities in the UK. This year’s event will allow participants to complete the 10 kilometre distance with the style, creativity and physical challenge of their choice. Whether participants run the distance, complete the route with a light jog, or just take a brisk walk – the event will provide many of the local charities and Barnardo’s with essential funds to continue their good work.

Martin Field, UK Director of Fundraising at Barnardo’s and Mary Gaunt, from their Challenge events team, joined BAPS Charities at the Mandir in London for the official launch. Also with them were Paramjit Panesar and Bandana Sabherwal, service managers from the Spectrum foster care project, and Brij Thakrar, a long-term foster carer.

In his address to the assembly, Martin offered his praise and gratitude to BAPS Charities on organising the 10k Challenge and their great work in the community. He said: “We are honoured to be partnering with an organisation that has won a Queen’s Award for its work with children. You certainly take children seriously and are well recognised for that. We’re honoured to be a part of that and honoured to be a beneficiary of the BAPS Challenge event. Every step you take on the Challenge will be a step we are able to make a difference with to a young person or a child that we work with at Barnardo’s.”

BAPS Charities volunteer Kamlesh Patel added, “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Barnardo’s. Children have always been a big priority for us and we hope that as many people as possible can join us and contribute to what promises to be a wonderful, fun-filled event.”

For more details about the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge, please click here.

To learn more about Barnardo’s and their great work, please visit their site here.

For more details about Spectrum Foster Care Services, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Charities is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Blood Donation Day - Wellingborough
Blood Donation Day - Wellingborough

As part of its ongoing community outreach initiatives, BAPS Charities, UK in conjunction with the National Blood Service, held its first Blood Donation Day at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Wellingborough, on Saturday 9 January 2010.

 
The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the importance of donating blood. Donors from Asian communities have been in short supply and it was hoped that donations received on this day would address this need. The event was open to all local residents.
 
Donors arrived throughout day despite the bitterly cold weather – some with appointments, others just dropping in hoping to extend their generosity to give blood. A warm and professional welcome guided donors throughout the process, ensuring absolute comfort while giving their valuable blood. With a range of donors from across the town, the event was a resounding success.
 
Pam Prescott, spokesperson from the National Blood Service, expressed her gratitude by saying: “The National Blood Service is working hard to boost the number of donors from ethnic minority backgrounds, so it is great that BAPS are getting on board and encouraging people to sign up and donate blood. We collect around 8,000 units of donated blood every day across the country, but just over 200 of these are from people from ethnic minority backgrounds. It's vital that more Asian people come forward to donate to help people who need blood to cope with a long-term illness or even to save their life.”
 
BAPS Charities volunteer Dr Hiten Patel added, “This was the first such event for the Asian community in Northamptonshire, and we received a very good response. We look forward now to working with the Blood Donation Service in future and indeed on a regular basis.”

“Keeping the Elderly Healthy” Health Fair
“Keeping the Elderly Healthy” Health Fair
"Older people are the main users of health and social care services…. We are fully supportive of all preventative measures which result in better health in old age.”

Alex Mair, Chief Executive British Geriatrics Society

A health fair was hosted on Sunday 20 September 2009 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, to help educate the elderly in keeping fit and healthy.

The Department of Health launched an initiative in July to “ensure that older people can stay fit and healthy for much longer so that they can live fulfilled, independent lives in their retirement”, as explained then by Care Services Minister Phil Hope MP. In keeping with the Government’s theme, the aim of the event was “Keeping the Elderly Healthy”.

The fair was inaugurated with a welcome speech by Dr Mayank Shah. Chief Guest, Ms Anne Macfarlane OBE, a leading Disability Rights and Equalities Consultant, then addressed the audience explaining the importance of living an independent life despite the illnesses and disabilities associated with old age.

Experts from a variety of fields spoke and conducted interactive forums based on various aspects of a healthier lifestyle during the elderly years of life, a summary of which is detailed below:

  • Associate Specialist in Elderly Medicine Dr Babalal Depala discussed how to stay physically active in old age.
     
  • Dr Binita Jani, a consultant in Elderly Medicine at The Hammersmith Hospital, explained how to maintain mental health in old age by being mentally active and highlighted the sources of help available to those who suffer from mental health problems in old age.
     
  • Audiologist Mrs Sona Patel spoke about hearing loss in the elderly and highlighted common hearing problems along with their causes and methods of treatment.
     
  • Miss Mona Thacker, an optometrist, spoke about symptoms of common eye illnesses among the elderly – including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration – and methods of care and treatment, especially for those who are diabetic.

In addition to the lectures, a series of workshops provided an opportunity to enhance the learning within a practical and interactive environment.

Workshop 1: Optimal sight and hearing

This was run by an audiologist and an optometrist. Attendees were offered an opportunity to have their hearing tested and discuss personal hearing and sight issues. Importantly, attendees were made aware of the array of products designed to help those with impaired vision and hearing.

Workshop 2: Keeping physically active
A physiotherapist demonstrated practical tips and examples of suitable exercises. A question-and-answer session was organised in which experts offered further practical, tailored advice.

Workshop 3: Keeping mentally active
This was organised by members of the charity Brent Mind. A short talk outlining common mental health problems was followed by group discussions in which attendees shared experiences and gave each other tips on how to keep mentally active.

Cooking demonstrations
In collaboration with the British Heart Foundation Social Cooking Project, two demonstrations on healthy, low fat vegetarian recipes were performed. The first was by celebrity chef Ms Anjum Anand, of the BBC’s “Indian Food Made Easy” programme. The second demonstration was led by celebrity dietician Azmina Govindji of the BBC’s “The One Show” and ITV’s “This Morning”.

The fair proved a great success among both the attendees and presenters. It provided valuable information and guidance to almost 150 elderly men and women to help them tackle health conditions at an earlier stage.


Social Cooking Project launched
Social Cooking Project launched

A new project in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) was launched on Saturday 20 June 2009 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. Called ‘Social Cooking’, the aim of this project is to encourage communities to use recipes that are healthier, specifically by being lower in salt and saturated fat content. The project also aims to provide information on the impact of excessive salt and fat on health and offer guidance on how to change shopping, cooking and eating habits at home – while still enjoying tasty traditional meals.

Peter Hollins, Chief Executive of BHF, was present to launch the project. In his short but informative address, he discussed the project’s scope and significance, confirming that South Asians in the UK are highly vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet is a major factor in preventing heart disease, and the BHF was delighted to be working with communities to provide practical help in encouraging healthy eating habits. He was confident that this would yield direct and widespread benefits.

Mr Hollins also noted that BAPS and BHF already enjoy a close working relationship, citing previous awareness-raising presentations, CPR training sessions, and a successful fundraising campaign through the 2007 National Sponsored Walk.

Also present was Stephen Airey of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the government body set up to protect the public’s health and consumer interests in relation to food. Mr Airey presented some startling facts about the nation’s deteriorating health and the toll this is taking on the national budget.

In response, the FSA has launched the Saturated Fat and Energy Intake Programme. Mr Airey, head of the programme, explained its main areas of focus and shared some useful tips for the home – such as grating cheese rather than using it as slices in cooking.

Qaim Zaidi, Ethnic Strategy Coordinator for the BHF, also emphasised the importance of the project for people of South Asian origin and working in partnership with active communities like BAPS.

Dr Mayank Shah, a BAPS Charities volunteer, added: “This is a great opportunity for us to share with the local community a vital message that can not only save lives and impact families, but also potentially save millions of pounds for the government.  Working with the BHF and FSA, we hope to provide a supportive environment whereby people can make those all-important lifestyle changes for the better.”
 


Tuberculosis Awareness Lecture
Tuberculosis Awareness Lecture

Dr Rob Davidson, a consultant physician since 1992 in Infectious Disease at Northwick Park Hospital was invited to raise awareness about tuberculosis (TB) at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Saturday 14 February 2009. Dr Davidson qualified in South Africa and trained in the UK. He has participated in many research projects into the diagnosis and treatment of TB, and is an expert in this area.

His talk highlighted several points. TB is the term used for the infection “tuberculosis”. This is an infection due to the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is caught by breathing in the TB bacterium from people already infected with TB. There is no shame in getting TB, since it is only caught by the simple act of breathing. It is usually caught by being in regular contact (eg a shared household) of someone with TB, since the bacterium needs to be inhaled more than just once. The symptoms of TB include developing a persistent cough, which does not settle after 2 weeks, and occasionally coughing up blood.

Rates of TB have risen recently and especially in Brent and Harrow. Increased awareness and recognition of the symptoms are important. Early detection means early treatment and fewer complications.

Low levels of vitamin D in vegetarian Asians may also contribute to the risk of developing TB. Vitamin D is not found in the vegetarian diet in any appreciable amount, and for many Asians, the only method of getting enough vitamin D is from the sun.

TB is an easy infection to diagnose, and an easy infection to treat. It can have devastating consequences if not caught early.


‘How to Cope with the Credit Crunch’
‘How to Cope with the Credit Crunch’

The international financial crisis has dominated the world’s news in recent months with increasingly worrying statistics and stories creating a sense of panic for many families and business owners. At the heart of the discussion is the topic of the ‘Credit Crunch’ – a new buzzphrase of our times. To address the true meaning, significance and impact of the economic downturn on the community at large, a special seminar was organised on the evening of Saturday 3 January 2009 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London. The aim was to provide a professional insight into the matter and to address the concerns of the people.

Raj Soneji and Aroon Rana, lead volunteers of BAPS’s professional services unit, organised the event inviting two experts from the financial industry to offer their analysis. Vinay Pattni, a Corporate Relationship Manager with Barclays Bank, and Nimish Patel, a Chartered Accountant and licensed insolvency practitioner, provided insightful, informative and practical guidance through a series of presentations and interactive discussions.

Vinay Pattni placed into perspective the number of people that are directly affected by the Credit Crunch, and explained the historical factors behind the bubble that was created and the reasons why it burst. He provided a valuable commentary on the effects of the current financial situation for individuals, households and businesses.

Nimish Patel provided guidance for personal borrowers and those who may be facing financial troubles. One underlying message that he reiterated was the importance of communication between borrowers and lenders to discuss problems and find solutions. Mr Patel also shared several survival tips and stressed the importance of remaining optimistic in difficult times and seeking opportunity amid adversity.

Over 450 individuals benefitted from the seminar with many appreciating the refreshing simplicity with which the two speakers explained technical financial concepts. One soon-to-be father later said, “You read about it all the time in the papers and [hear it] on the news, but to have someone there actually explain how it affects you makes all the difference.” Another attendee, who helps run a small family business, also shared why she found the seminar useful: “It’s far clearer now what we don’t need to worry about and what we should be focussing on more carefully.”

The presenters in turn appreciated the response of the audience and the opportunity to share their expertise. Mr Pattni later commented, “I believe the audience really appreciated the opportunity to gain this perspective and received the presentations with their renowned grace and good humour. [BAPS] should be commended for recognising the needs of the community and arranging this seminar. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and meeting so many people.” Mr Patel added that he, too, found the experience “rewarding and a pleasure” and was touched by the feedback which “emphasises just how important this topic is for a lot of people at the present time.”