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‘Every Daffodil Counts’ this March

 

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Every year in March, Marie Curie, the charity which cares for people living with a terminal illness, hold their annual Great Daffodil Appeal. This year Marie Curie is appealing for support in Leeds.

Marie Curie nurses care for people in Leeds in their own homes from 10pm until 7am. They provide hands on care and emotional support as well as allowing loved ones some much needed rest. The charity has also launched a telephone support line and has lots of information about living with a terminal illness available on their website mariecurie.org.uk/help

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Jen Aspinall, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie in Leeds, is asking people across the city to support the Great Daffodil Appeal in whatever way they can this March; “Marie Curie are appealing for support in Leeds so that we can continue providing services, which are completely free of charge to people living with a terminal illness and their families, when they need it most.”

How can you help?

  • Sign up to volunteer for two hours or more at Great Daffodil Appeal collection. Marie Curie has a huge street collection planned in Leeds City Centre on Friday 31st March and lots of others across the city. You can sign up online on our website mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil/daffodil-2017 or contact the fundraising team on 01274 386190. Why not bring your friends, family or colleagues with you and challenge each other to raise the most for Marie Curie? Will your employer allow you time away from work to volunteer as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility policy? Does your employer run a match funding scheme where they match whatever you raise for charity? Or do you know someone who can sing, dance or has a talent to entertain the public at one of Marie Curie’s street collections? If so we would love to hear from you!
  • Would your organisation have a box of daffodil pin badges on their reception? For a small donation your colleagues and customers can purchase a daffodil to raise vital funds and awareness of Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal in March.
  • If you have an idea of your own, or need a little inspiration to raise funds in your own way you can order a fundraising pack full of ideas online at mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil/fundraising. Your local Community fundraiser will be more than happy to support you, provide materials and advice to make whatever you plan a huge success.

 

For more information please contact Jen Aspinall, Marie Curie Community Fundraiser on 01274 386190 or email Jennifer.aspinall@mariecurie.org.uk.

 

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Leeds Mencap’s Corporate Challenge Is Back!

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Zurich Insurance Company signing up with Catherine Storey, Leeds Mencap

 

The Leeds Mencap Apprentice challenge is back for a fourth year and seeking creative, entrepreneurial teams to battle it out for the top spot. Just how much money could you make in seven weeks with just a £50 loan?

As well as providing a fantastic opportunity to improve team working and fulfil corporate social responsibility aims, taking part in the challenge also raises much-needed funds to support people with learning disabilities.

 

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Winston’s Solicitors 2016 Apprentice Challenge winners

 

Several teams have already signed up and are raring to go. Last year’s winners, Winston’s Solicitors, have entered for the fourth time hoping to retain their crown. Joining them are the HSBC Service Recovery team, Zurich Insurance Company, a Leeds Mencap team, and Re:Work an office furniture company. With more teams to come, the competition is going to be tough!

“This challenge is an enjoyable and fresh way for businesses to make a social impact, meet their internal engagement objectives and do something for a worthwhile cause,” said Mark Goldstone, Head of Business Representation & Policy, West & North Yorks Chamber of Commerce and Judge on Leeds Mencap Apprentice. “I would urge chamber businesses to get a team together and get involved.”

Leeds Mencap is inviting both large and small businesses to take part. For further information, call 0113 235 1331, or email catherine.storey@leedsmencap.org.uk or jenny.hill@leedsmencap.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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Comment from Qari Asim: Muslims are the New Scapegoats

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As Trump closes the doors of the US to Muslims with his travel ban, British Muslims have opened the doors of their mosques to welcome everyone -irrespective of faith, belief, background and age.

This week has seen some of the largest marches in recent history, across the world, against Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily block travel for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries- Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It also stopped the admission of all refugees to the US for 120 days. The weeklong protests are preceded still by the global Women’s March, immediately following Trump’s inauguration day.

The #MuslimBan order is bigoted and discriminatory; it is encouraging that a federal judge in Seattle has temporarily suspended the executive order. Trump’s fierce attempt to overturn the legal decision is disappointing. The order has resulted in fear, anxiety and stigmatisation of many families and homes because of their religion. The executive order is not only a full-frontal assault on the civil rights of Muslim citizens in the US, it is a dangerous and self-defeating policy. It purports the attacks of 9/11 as a rationale for such a replusive ban, whist exempting the countries of origin of all the hijackers who carried out that plot. However, no citizens from those war torn seven countries has ever committed terror on US soil. Terrorism doesn’t have a nationality; Since 9/11 more Americans have been killed by home grown right-wing extremists than by terrorists from any Muslim country.

The Muslim travel ban is insulting, divisive and regressive to say the least. The timing of the order is ironic as it was issued on the eve of holocaust memorial day. Holocaust did not begin with gas chambers, but with a culture of hate, the crime of indifference and conspiracies of silence. The treatment of Muslims parallels with how Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution were treated in the 1930s and 1940s are obvious. The prevailing rhetoric about Muslim refugees is identical to that used to demonize Jews during the World War II. The Daily Mail’s 2015 cartoon showing Muslim refugees as rats perfectly tracked a 1939 cartoon in a Viennese newspaper depicting Jews the same way. Prince Charles, in an address this week, said the lessons of World War II were in “increasing danger” of being forgotten.

The counterproductive travel ban is a gift to the extremists – both ISIS and ultra-right nationalists. Only a few hours after Trump’s order of ‘Muslim Ban’ came into effect, the Islamic Centre of Victoria in Texas was burned to the ground. The deadly shooting at Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, resulting in the brutal murder of six Muslims is shining a light on the ugly truth of Islamophobia that Muslims have to experience. These attacks are not isolated incidents. Many mosques in the UK and across Europe have been attacked in recent years. Violent attacks such as these highlight the critical importance of combating anti-Muslim hatred which is being promoted by the far right in recent years by spreading misinformation about Muslims. Islamophobia has been legitimised by populist leaders in recent political campaigns. The British Government recognises the threat posed to places of worship including mosques, and last year announced a grant of £2.4m to help places of worship install security and safety equipment to prevent hate crime.

As the world feels under threat by ISIS affiliates, the Muslim communities not only feel threatened by ISIS affiliates but also by populist leaders and far right sympathisers – Muslims feel more vulnerable now than ever before. When populist leaders, including the President of the US, makes it acceptable to hate people, or bar people from entering the US merely on the grounds of their religion or identity, it is not surprising that Islamophobia is on the rise.

The outpouring of support thousands of people marching in their cities against the ‘Muslim ban’ has restored belief in humanity. Exposing the ill thought out policy of Trump and the sharing of immigrant stories by thousands have been heart-warming. Political and religious leaders, sports personalities, as well as celebrities issuing statements of support for Muslims, has been overwhelming. It was profoundly emotional and encouraging to see people of all faiths and none forming a human chain around a mosque in Haringey this Friday as a gesture of solidarity in the wake of a deadly attack in Quebec and Donald Trump’s travel ban.

At a time of increased concerns about a climate of hostility, mosques throughout Britain opened their doors last weekend (Sunday 5 February). #VisitMyMosque initiative is aimed at reducing misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in Britain. These events will also highlight how local mosques are helping their local communities and fostering communal relations. The senseless violence caused by terrorists, the slowly-creeping fascism, the politics of hatred and the ‘them’ -v-‘us’ narrative can only be defeated by communities standing together, protecting each other’s liberties and striving for the flourishing of humanity.

By Qari Asim, MBE
Senior Imam Makkah Mosque, Leeds
@QariAsim

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Xercise4Less Holding Charity Fitness Challenges in Support of Anthony Nolan

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Local Xercise4Less gym has set-up a series of healthy community initiatives throughout February in support of registered blood cancer charity ‘Anthony Nolan’.

The month-long fund raising mission invites members of the general public to use the gym facilities and take part in a variety of fitness challenges with the chance to win free gym memberships. A £1 (minimum) donation is required to enter each challenge. All proceeds go towards Anthony Nolan.

Join the register

Anthony Nolan works to save the lives of people with blood cancer through their donor register, securing donations of blood stem cells or bone marrow to provide people with blood cancer and blood disorders with vital transplants.

Xercise4Less Leeds will be inviting members and their friends to see if they could become a potential match on the donor list in a bid to save more lives. The gym will donate £1 for every new member that joins the donor registry.

Challenges will be set on ‘Special Monday’s’ from 5-8pm, and those participating will have the chance to win a free gym membership.

Events Calendar:

Monday 13th Feb: The wall sit challenge (£1 donation to enter. Hold this pressure position for as long as you possibly can for your chance to win a 3 month gym membership).

Monday 20th Feb: Super He-Row Challenge – Dress up and sport as your favourite super hero for the day as you take on the Xercise4Less rowing challenge. £1 donation to enter. Winners get a free 6 month gym membership.

Saturday 25th Feb: Nationwide ‘On Yer bike’ Spinathon (Group exercise challenge in support of the charity Brain Tumour Research). Ask at the front desk for more details.

Monday 27th Feb: The protein hold. Hold out 2 tubs of 1kg protein, arms stretched, for as long as you possibly can for your chance to win a 3 month gym membership.

Xercise4Less Leeds Gym,

1 Kirkstall Industrial Estate,

Kirkstall Road, Burley,

LS4 2AZ

Tel: 0113 887 8111

Email: general.manager.leeds@xercise4less.co.uk

Website: https://www.xercise4less.co.uk/find-a-gym/leeds-gym/

 

 

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AT-iD Project Gives Yorkshire Teens a Voice

Voices from AT-iD (movie shot)

The Adopted Teens Identity (AT-iD) project recently screened its independent film ‘Voices’ at Hyde Park Picture House.

The featurette was produced to raise awareness about the challenges and misconceptions around adoption for older children. It highlights the impact of adoption and its effect on building relationships with families, friends and peers.

The event featured a talk from Mark Owers, Professional Adviser to the Adoption Leadership board, and a Q&A session with the teenagers and group leaders from the film.

“The feedback we have had following the showcase has been quite astounding”, said Tanya Killick, AT-iD project lead from PAC-UK. “Especially regarding the bravery of the teens getting up on stage and answering questions from the audience after the film was screened. We are all extremely proud of those involved and thank everyone for their support on the day.”

“Adopted children represent a minority in society and across the education system, which can leave them feeling misunderstood and isolated among their peers and the adults they interact with”, said Peter Sandiford, CEO of PAC-UK. “The messages in this short film clearly illustrate the complexities of adoption and should be compulsory viewing for all professionals adopted young people might come into contact with. I am proud of the hard work and personal commitment that went into the film – both in front of and behind the camera – and delighted that PAC-UK could play a part in the project.”

AT-iD, a project set up by Yorkshire & Humber Adoption Consortium and delivered by PAC-UK– It was created to provide adopted teens aged between 11 and 18 with a community that offers information and an insight into the experiences of adopted teenagers. The project aims to give a voice to adopted teenagers by providing them with a safe and secure way to discuss problems and issues with their peers or project workers.

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Refu-Jazz: Benefit Concert All-Dayer at Headingley HEART

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On Saturday February 11th, Headingley HEART is hosting a day of live jazz performances and workshops in aid of several refugee charites with some of Yorkshire’s finest jazz musicians are coming together to help raise desperately needed funds for people fleeing war. This is a great opportunity to support this worthy cause and enjoy some incredible music.

The line up for the day is listed below. Tickets can be bought for individual shows (£5) or a full day pass (£20). Events in the cafe are free entry but a donation would be gratefully appreciated.

12-12.45pm – Al Morrison Trio (Cafe)
1-1.45pm – Joe Boyes Trio (Main Hall)
2.15-3pm – Bassa Bassa (Main Hall)
3-3.30pm – Inside Out Duo (Cafe)
3.30-4.30pm – George Macdonald Trio (Main Hall)
4.30-5pm – The Irrelevance (Cafe)
5-6pm – Louie Mcdonald (Main Hall)
6-6.30pm – Sam Dunn (Cafe)
6.30-7.30pm – York Youth Jazz Orchestra (Main Hall)
7.30-8pm – Aleks Podraza Trio (Cafe)
8-9pm – Leeds Jazz Orchestra (Main Hall)
9-9.30pm – Phil Green’s Sky High Jazz Trio (Cafe)
9.30-11pm – Kate Peters Quartet + Jam (Main Hall)

Workshops –
John Marley – Jazz Bass Time -1pm
Sam Dunn – Jazz Guitar Time – 4.30pm
Aleks Podraza – Jazz Piano Time TBC

http://www.heartcentre.org.uk/jazz-at-heart

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Ending homelessness – A Talk at Leeds Trinity University

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Ways to end homelessness will be discussed tomorrow, Wednesday 1 February at Leeds Trinity University by an international charity which provides help for homeless and disadvantaged people of all ages around the world.

The free talk will be delivered by Mark McGreevy OBE, Group Chief Executive of Depaul International. Currently based in Chicago, USA, Mr McGreevy works with the Institute of Global Homelessness; an academic institute founded in partnership between Depaul International and DePaul University in Chicago.

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Mr McGreevy will talk about the different challenges we face when examining homelessness as a global phenomenon, and suggest ways to reduce and end homelessness.

“Homelessness is a growing globally as a result of political unrest, natural disaster and urbanisation,” he said. “The strategies to deal with this problem are complex and one size doesn’t fit all. However, there is an evolving global movement of researchers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates thinking creatively about how we might tackle this issue in both the developed and the developing world.”

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The topic is particularly pertinent with the latest release of figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government which show more than 4,000 people a night have been sleeping rough on England’s streets which is a 16% increase on last year.

Mr McGreevy is the first speaker for Trinity Talks; a prestigious series of high-profile lectures for Leeds Trinity’s 50th Anniversary. Other speakers include author Gervase Phinn and former Minister of State for Faith and Communities Baroness Warsi.

An engaging and inspiring speaker, his talk will be of interest to anyone involved with homelessness, social policy, psychology, charities and community – but everyone is welcome to attend.

His talk begins at 7.00pm on Wednesday 1 February with a light buffet and refreshments beforehand, and will conclude with a Question and Answer panel sessions.

The event is free to attend, but guests are asked to register their attendance at www.leedstrinity50.co.uk/events.

 

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Dementia Friendly Leeds Holds ‘Connections’ Event at HEART

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Dementia Friendly Leeds is holding an event at HEART, Bennet Road, Headingley on 27th February, 2.30 – 4.30pm, aimed at providing active support for organisations that would like to become more dementia friendly.

Guest speaker Kathryn Lord, Dementia Research Fellow at Bradford University, will talk about effective communication. There will be inspiring stories, support from dementia friendly mentors, workshops on how to develop more dementia friendly support, and the opportunity to form new partnerships.

“Many organisations want to know more about dementia and how to support people living with the condition, but are unsure how to start”, said Sarah Goodyear, Dementia Friendly Leeds Campaign Officer. “We aim to bring people together who are passionate about being dementia friendly, so they can learn from each other, form new networks, improve services and raise awareness.”

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain, and symptoms can include memory loss and communication difficulties. It affects roughly one in fourteen people aged over 65. Everyday tasks can become more challenging, and, without support from the community, dementia can be very isolating.

Dementia Friendly Leeds offers support and information to businesses and organisations wanting to become more dementia friendly. Anyone keen to make Leeds a dementia friendly city is welcome to attend.

The event is free but places are limited. To book, email leedsdaa@opforum.org.uk, or visit Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2jnQ9TU

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Super Casino Opens in Victoria Gate

Opening of Victoria Gate Casino in Leeds......Left to right, Patrick Noakes, Lady Mayoress Lynn Scholes, Chief Exec. of GGV, Andrew Herd, Lord Mayor Gerry Harper and Dep. Leader of the Council James Lewis Pic Simon Dewhurst

Opening of Victoria Gate Casino in Leeds……Left to right, Patrick Noakes, Lady Mayoress Lynn Scholes, Chief Exec. of GGV, Andrew Herd, Lord Mayor Gerry Harper and Dep. Leader of the Council James Lewis
Pic Simon Dewhurst

 

Victoria Gate Casino, the largest casino in the north of England and Scotland, has just opened in Victoria Gate.

The £30m venue is one of the biggest entertainment venues to open in Leeds in recent years and the third largest Casino in the UK.

“The vision for Victoria Gate Casino has been years in the making but it has been worth the wait to see everyone here celebrating with us tonight”, said Andrew Herd, Chief Executive of Global Gaming Ventures, operators of Victoria Gate Casino. “Victoria Gate Casino is a stylish entertainment hub where everyone from first-time visitors and passers-by to top poker players are catered for.”

Opening night visitors experienced the casino’s three venues, Live Bar, with wall-to-wall, state-of-the-art screens displaying the latest sports and live action. Curve, the cocktail, champagne and craft beer bar, which offers a rotating menu featuring beers from local breweries.  And, V Restaurant, an informal brasserie-style setting, offering top quality dishes from traditional home favourites to Pan-Asian cuisine.

“The casino has created over 200 jobs – 90% of which have been sourced from within the Leeds City Region”, said Andrew Herd. “We received more than 5,000 job applications – which speaks volumes for how keen people are to be a part of such an exciting project.”

For more information, visit www.victoriagatecasino.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

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SingMeanwood is Looking for a New Choir Leader/Musical Director

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SingMeanwood is a 50-strong mixed community choir with big ambitions and a lust for life. It loves having a varied, vibrant and sometimes alternative repertoire, and loves performing – especially a capella.

Whilst relatively self-sufficient, in that it has an active, committed steering group, the choir is currently looking for a new Musical Director who will be a safe pair of hands to help it learn and grow.

You will need to be a strong, thoughtful MD who enjoys laughing but who is serious, experienced and clever when it comes to music. You would need to be available on term time Sunday nights from September 2017 and to attend an audition session sometime in Spring 2017.

If you are interested, please email info@singmeanwood.org.uk

Closing date for applications is 20th February.

 

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