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February - March 2009

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The Prostate Cancer Charity has launched a new initiative aimed at putting the voices of men living with the disease at the heart of its services and campaigns.

The Charity has launched Prostate Cancer Voices, with the aim of recruiting a network of people affected by prostate cancer. The Charity aims to use the experience and knowledge of anyone affected by prostate cancer, including men, their partners, families and carers, to shape the development of the Charity’s support services. It will also add their voice to its campaigning for improved prostate cancer care.

Prostate Cancer Voices will invite participants to respond to surveys, to take part in focus groups, to comment online about current issues facing those living with the disease and to represent people affected by prostate cancer on the Charity’s key advisory and decision-making groups.

Anna Jewell, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Charity, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. As a Charity, we are committed to ensuring that our activities are informed by the experiences of people affected by prostate cancer. People affected by prostate cancer are experts in what it is like to live with the disease. Hearing their views enables us to direct our resources effectively to meet current need, as well as to address any gaps in service provision.

“We are also starting to build our campaigning capacity. Prostate Cancer Voices will be critical in enabling us to reflect the real issues around the disease to influence change. 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK and 10,000 men die from the disease. It is essential that we address their needs effectively.”

Prostate Cancer Voices’ first large-scale survey will focus on hormone therapy, which is commonly used as a treatment for prostate cancer. The survey will invite men and the partners of men receiving hormone therapy to respond and share their views on this form of treatment as it can have some significant side effects including fatigue, hot flushes, weight gain and a loss of libido that can seriously affect the quality of life of a man and his partner.

“We want to find out whether men are receiving appropriate information before they begin the treatment so that they are prepared for the side effects, as well as whether they receive appropriate support whilst undergoing treatment. We will use the findings to inform the development of our policy work around hormone therapy,” Jewell added.

The survey will be available on Monday 24 November to download from or by calling 020 8222 7637.

The Prostate Cancer Charity is fighting prostate cancer on every front – through research, support, information and campaigning.

Katie Matheson, Policy Officer, on 020 8222 7637

The Ramadhan Foundation once again offers its total condemnation and sadness at the Mumbai terrorist attacks; these attacks have been indiscriminate and have killed people of many different faiths including Muslims.

We once again reiterate that Islam totally forbids terrorism and we urge the people of India to come together and not allow extremists to divide the nation. Now is the time for unity.

Mr. Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Foundation comments: “The Ramadhan Foundation is deeply concerned at reports that British citizens may be involved in the terrorist attacks, we urge people not to jump to conclusions and allow the authorities to complete their inquiries. We urge the media to report responsibly and not make statements without sound evidence; the Foreign Office rightly says they have no evidence to say that British people are involved.

I am seriously saddened at the deaths and offer our condolences to the people of India during their dark hour; terrorism is evil and has no place in any society.

We promise to monitor the situation and do whatever we can to build unity between our diverse communities.

I urge British Muslims to unite with the Jewish, Christian, Hindus, and Sikh communities to show that we will not be divided and allow the terrorists to win.”

First Ever Published Commemorative Coin Set of 151st Anniversary Celebration of The First War Of Indian Independence.

Hindu Swatantryavir Smruti Sansthanam, United Kingdom based non-government organisation working for the cause of reviving the memory of Indian Freedom Fighter Revolutionaries, has done it again. After playing a vital role in the process of sending the urn of a great Indian Freedom Fighter Revolutionary and Sanskrit Scholar, Pandit Shyamaji Krishnavarma, as well as erecting his memorial plaque at his London home. HSSS also established Pandit Shyamaji Krishnavarma Silver Medal at OCHS, Oxford University and at College de France for Sanskrit language, literature and Vedic studies. Mr Hemantkumar Gajanan Padhya, founder and president of HSSS, proudly published an unique set of Six Memorial coins to commemorate the historic year of 151th Anniversary of The First War of Indian Independece. Mr Padhya has dedicated and devoted his efforts to the cause, he has written and suggested to the Government of India and Indian Mint Department several times well in advance to publish the coins to honour the event and people related to the event, unfortunately no response was given by both organisation. Disappointed with the attitude of the Government of India, Mr Hemant Padhya decided to do something himself to pay homage to the the event and those patriots who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their motherland by publishing the commemorative coins through his organisation. It is ironic that no such attempts were made in India to commemorate the First War of its Independence but has materialised in Britain.

This set of six beautiful historic coins comprises of [1] Jhansiki Rani Lakshmibai [2] Hutatma Mangal Pandey [3] Vir Savarkar to commemorate his book " Bharatcha Pratham Swatantrya Samar " [4] Pandit Shyamaji Krishnavarma [5] Madame Bhikhaiji Cama [6] Bharat Mata theme on the reverse side of all the coins. This collection of commemorative coins is one of a kind and this limited edition only and there is no doubt that this set will be accounted as collector's item for Indian Patriots and Nationalists.


Gulf of Mannar - A world Heritage Site

We are happy to report that some 200 ecologists, academics, scientists and religious leaders from around the world met on 25 and 26 November at the Linnean Society in London and sought to provide enough multi-disciplinary evidence to persuade the governments of India and Sri Lanka to ask UNESCO to designate the Gulf of Mannar a World Heritage Site.

We are delighted to inform you that the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) made the dramatic announcement at the London meeting that it would be seeking to have the Gulf of Mannar designated as one of the world's first internationally recognized 'Sacred Sites.'

Martin Palmer, Secretary General of ARC and religion and ecology advisor made the announcement of nomination for Sacred Site status to His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Martin Palmer said, "Cosmologically and ecologically the Gulf of Mannar is about as sacred a site as you could get. Our suggestion is that it should be nominated as one of the very first internationally significant sacred sites, along with places such as the sacred mountains of China and other such hugely holy and ecologically significant places. I have every confidence the nomination will succeed."

Following agreements reached at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona last October, 'Sacred Site' is a now an international term of protection for sites that are spiritually, religiously, culturally and ecologically important. IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is world's oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries - it helps find pragmatic solutions to pressing environment and development challenges.

We, at Living Planet Foundation and the Gulf of Mannar World Heritage Site Campaign are delighted with this nomination, which is a historic first and boosts our Campaign with new energy and new momentum! We believe that the Sacred Site nomination by ARC can only advance the cause for which we have been campaigning for the past 4 years - protecting the Gulf of Mannar and those whose lives are threatened by the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project.

Following the London meeting, on November 29, our delegate from Bali, Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Arya Wedakarna, Prince of Dalem Benculuh Tegeh Kori, personally handed the Resolution to Mrs. Pratibha Patil, India's President who was on an official visit to Bali.

The Resolution has also been delivered to Dr. R. K. Pachauri, head of the Committee of Experts appointed by the Government of India.

That the London meeting was such a huge success was largely due to the pains-taking efforts put in by a number of people from the organizations involved, particularly by all the team members that traveled from various parts of the world to take part in the meeting. It also made a great difference that the ARC, Rainforest Concern, The Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD), Romulus Whitaker and the UK office of ICOMOS made detailed and focused presentations at the meeting. It would only be appropriate here to thank all of them.

On behalf of Living Planet Foundation and the Gulf of Mannar World Heritage Site Campaign team, I would like to thank everyone whose support helped us reach an important milestone. While preparing for the London meeting this year and traveling to various cities across the U.S and Europe, I was similarly inspired by the passion and generosity of so many concerned people. In that spirit, I hope you'll continue to support the Gulf of Mannar World Heritage Site Campaign. Contribution of any size makes a very real difference.

Our campaign is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but with the nomination from ARC, we have seen the turning of the tide. Now, we need your continued support if the Gulf of Mannar - and perhaps the planet - is to survive and thrive.

Kusum Vyas

Leicester firm DCS Foods Ltd wins award for New Product

L to R: Prof Chris Rudd, Tamanna Verma, Rikki Verma, Sarah Dewick

Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards winners revealed

A host of East Midlands firms and organisations have been crowned winners in the first ever Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards.

The winners were presented with their accolades during a gala dinner at the National Space Centre, Leicester, hosted by BBC Working Lunch presenter Declan Curry.

The Food and Drink Innovation Network University of Nottingham Award for New Product

Leicester firm DCS Foods Ltd for becoming the first firm in the UK to sell a healthy low GI Maharani Rice.

White rice usually has a high glycaemic index, but this particular type of white rice has a much lower GI – and is suitable for those with diabetes and IBS.

The product is also organic and farmed ethically.

Belper-based start-up firm Rico Mexican Kitchen was crowned Food and Drink iNet Champion 2008 for the way in which its founder Marcela Flores Newburn collaborated with experts along every step of the way as the company was launched.

The judges felt that this captured the essence of what the Food and Drink iNet is aiming to promote and achieve in the sector across the East Midlands, and is an inspiring example to others.

Rico Mexican Kitchen produces a range that includes Mexican chocolate and chilli sauce, and ready meals.

Val and the team, saying how vital their work had been in helping local workers to improve their skills, and firms to develop and flourish.

“I am delighted that the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards have been able to recognise and reward the most inspiring businesses, organisations and individuals connected to the food sector in the region,” said Richard Adlington, acting director of the Food and Drink iNet. “There is a great deal of exciting and stimulating work being undertaken in all areas of the food and drink industry in the East Midlands, from research and manufacturing to training and technology.

“I would like to congratulate the very worthy winners in all categories.”

Spearheaded by the Food and Drink iNet, the awards were presented during a gala dinner on December 4th attended by around 100 people connected to the food and drink sector in the region.

Exciting packages of support, including consultancy from The University of Nottingham food science faculty, Nottingham Trent University, Campden BRI, The Food & Drink Forum and East Midlands Fine Foods are among the prizes.

David Wallace, Director of Innovation at East Midlands Development Agency (emda) said: “The Food and Drink iNet is playing a vital role in providing expertise, help and support to businesses in the sector. These awards celebrate and recognise the achievements of some of the most innovative businesses in the East Midlands - businesses that are growing and creating jobs by exploiting new ideas, technologies and markets.”

The Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates support for businesses, individuals and academic institutions working in the food and drink industry in the East Midlands, and was launched earlier this year.

It is funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and managed by a consortium including The Food & Drink Forum, the Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham.


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