Exclusive Press Release as featured in The Asian Today tabloid newspaper.
For the second year running Anita Kang has directed her team of hard working volunteers to put together a fantastic evening in order to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. After selling over 600 tickets for last year’s fashion show, this year Anita and her team have excelled themselves and decided to launch the Charity Fashion Ball in June 2014 .
Anita works as a full-time cancer research assistant for the Hope Clinical Trials at the Royal Infirmary in Leicester. With no direct link to Teenage Cancer Trust, Anita became close to this charity as she saw the benefit of their efforts in supporting teenagers with cancer. In her spare time Anita seeks the help of like-minded individuals to join her in her quest to contribute to charitable causes like Teenage Cancer Trust
Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity that believes in the quality of life for young people suffering with cancer. Their vision is a future where young people’s lives don’t stop because they have cancer. They make sure they’re treated as young people first, cancer patients second and everything they do aims to improve their quality of life and chances of survival.
Anita and her team offer their services completely 100% out of their own time. She comments “we have rehearsals and meetings just like any other event – except no one gets paid for it”. The charity team rely on free rehearsal and meeting rooms donated by local offices and businesses.
When I asked Anita why doing this is important to her she replied, “why not? It’ seva (charitable deed). It’s a rewarding feeling knowing that I’m giving something to the community without receiving anything back.”
Anita tells me that she would like to encourage others to get involved in fundraising by showing them that through her own experience you don’t need to have personal connections to a charity or have any event experience. After meeting with the Teenage Cancer Trust reps, Anita came to understand that charity all comes down to funding – “funding runs the charities and without them people wouldn’t have anywhere to turn to”.
Last summer a fashion show was held at King Power Stadium in Leicester and raised over £8500 which was donated to the Leicester unit thanks to Anita and her team of 30 volunteers. Three fashion collections were exhibited along with dance acts, beatboxing and charity stalls. This year there will be various attractions to raise money including a sit down three-course meal, another fashion show, more dance acts, Krispy Kreme donuts, raffle prizes and an exciting photo booth experience!
Although Anita acts as the organiser of the event, she says that without her team of models, volunteers, hair and make-up team, designers, DJ and photographers the event would not be going ahead – they not only participate on the day, by travel from various different areas to come together without wanting any pay. “Everyone involved is offering their services for free to ensure we can raise as much money as possible”.
Charity Fashion Ball will be held on 7 June 2014 from 5pm till late at Tower Ballroom, Reservoir Road, Birmingham B16 9EE. For ticket information please visit www.mr-tickets.co.uk
Exclusive article as featured in The Asian Today tabloid newspaper.
Gurtej Matharu left university with his Psycology and Forensics degree in 2012 and set out to pursue his dream in fashion. It’s no secret that Gurtej was directed in the science field throughout his education however he tells me ” I’ve always been into drawing designs. I used to have a sewing machine in my bedroom; during the summer after my first year at university I made my own collection. I took photographs of my work and it was from the response of that I knew I wanted to go in to fashion and see where it took me.”
In 2013 Gurtej entered his label Gurt_lamourous in the Teenage Cancer Trust charity fashion show despite his concern of being a self-taught designer, though his collection of 15 custom-made outfits outstanded the audience. Gurtej says “my brand focuses on keeping women covered up and still feel confident and sexy, also making each woman feel special and knowing that what they are wearing is made for them and only them.”
Gurt_lamourous specialises in bespoke clothes for women all shapes and sizes with the idea that ethnic religious women can still look fashionable. Gurtej noticed a gap in the high street market for ethnic women who due to religious and cultural reasons would not necessarily wear the skimpy outfits on sale in most stores. Gurtej quotes “I see women who dress in short revealing clothes. I am not happy by them feeling this is how they should dress to feel sexy. It is important to me to show people how to dress in a more reserved way and still feel beautiful and confident”.
He follows inspiration from Zurhair Murad and other eastern style icons like Naeem Khan who have “the perfect blend of east meets west” as described by Gurtej. Gurt_lamorous uses fabrics which have a lot of movement in them to create a soft flowing vision. New influences have been inspired by Stephane Rolland and his selection of materials. Gurtej comments “I love the drama he brings to his clothing despite their simple design”.
Gurtej has outdone himself over the year as clients have flood in with orders for dresses, suits, and costumes. On 7 June 2014 Gurtej is part of the entertainment at the Charity Ball in Birmingham with a new collection of outfits. Gurtej also takes his talent across the pond to New York at Asian Fashion World showcasing his very first bridal collection. Both of Gurtej’s collections will be shown on the same day in two different cities as Asian Fashion World will be held on 7 and 8 June 2014 as part of a world tour with a four stop tour, showcasing in Dubai, New York, London and India.
Gurtej comments that he feels “so blessed to have the chance to show this and have always wanted to go into bridal”. With an exciting year and successful future ahead, you can view more Gurt_lamourous work and get in touch with Gurtej at www.gurtlamorous.co.uk
Exclusive story as featured in The Asian Today tabloid newspaper.
On 13 and 16 March 2014, all together over 1000 people were screened for eye surgeries in Nurmahal and Jalandhar, Punjab with the help of donations made from Sikh Union Coventry (UK) in joint effort with Freemason Lodge Devon (Jalandhar).
Amrit and Pummie Matharu alongside members of the Sikh Union at the first Nurmahal Eye Camp
Amrit had the honour along with other committee members to observe the fantastic work carried out by Dr Jacob and his team at Ruby Nelson Memorial Hospital in Jalandhar. Read Amrit’s personal experience of charity at first hand…
It’s amazing to see your efforts to raise money for charity actually be carried through with real results achieved!
In April 2013, with the aid of Northampton Sikh community, we raised over £1000 for the Eye Camp appeal at our very first charity function organised by Pummie Matharu. This money was then donated to the Sikh Union who run an annual Eye Camp in India. The Sikh Union originally started out as a hockey club in the late 60’s as the arrival of Asians from East Africa in Britain began to grow along with their passion for the sport. In 1980 the club affiliated with the Hockey Association and began to play League Hockey. Since then the club has been recognised as an established sports club who run a youth programme for young players and support charitable causes.
One example of these worthy causes is the Eye Camp which started in 2009. The first camp was in Phillaur and has been held every year since in various locations within Punjab. With the joint efforts of the community in Coventry and surrounding communities such as Birmingham and Northampton, the Sikh Union raised the total sum of money to run two Eye Camps this year in Nurmahal and Jalandhar.
It was the first time the Eye Camp was hosted in Nurmahal at Baba Vishkarma Mandir. Over 500 people were present and screened for medical checks. People received eye examinations, blood pressure and sight tests, with a total of 93 people who were discovered with the need for cataract operations and 250 people were given glasses. The following camp was held on Sunday 16March in Jalandhar in the Lodge Devon grounds where over 700 people were taken care of. 160 persons received cataract operations at the Ruby Nelson Memorial Hospital by Dr Jacob and his medical team.
Ruby Nelson Memorial Hospital, Jalandhar, Punjab, India
During both days of the Eye Camp, I witnessed people of all ages suffering with eye problems, right through from young children to the elderly. One case in particular struck my heart as young Sukhpreet who was born blind was sadly informed by doctors that she will never regain vision. At the innocent age of seven-years-old, Sukhreet was prescribed with medicines to maintain her health as her father from Natha, half an hour from Nurmahal tells me that she will eventually end up in a home for the blind.
The level of poverty that these patients live in is unreal. 65-year-old crippled Maya Devi was brought to the camp by her daughter and son-in-law as they ushered her to the nearest seat. Her arched back was being held up by her family as she could hardly stand. Furthermore I spoke Surinder Kaur, who told me she only knows that her age is 60-something from Daboorji, a village between Taran Taaran and Amritsar. I noticed a rag tied to her left arm, when asking her what it’s for she told me the aches and pains in her bones are so painful she can’t even lift her arm. Not only is medical care so limited in some villages, but the level of sanitation is so poor that the doctor explained to me the ‘shaa-shaa’ muffling she hears in her ears is due to lack of hygiene. Surinder Kaur was prescribed drops to clean her ears and medicine for the pain in her bones. Due to the poor sanitation conditions, the majority of the eye patients are kept overnight and thoroughly looked after to allow the wound to heal. They are also provided with the relevant aftercare.
Amrit pictured with Surinder Kaur, 65 years, collecting her prescribed medicines
As well as general health care and cataracts, many other medical problems were discovered including a squint in the eye of young children. A common occurrence seen in children at both camps was a case of crossed eyes. The first case seen of this was in young Jyoti who was only 5-years-old from Nurmahal brought up by her single mother. Another Jyoti, 13, who was seen at the Jalandhar camp, from Sansaarpur also had a squint and received an operation on Tuesday 18March. The operation involved more technical procedures and adjustment of the nerves surrounding the eye which is generally more responsive in younger children. Gurjent, 18, from Bhaania near Khadoor Sahib was a key priority to be operated on as we were keen to prevent any further damage occurring to his eyes.
Jyoti, 13 years, squint patient who received an operation to correct her vision
It was an overwhelming feeling to be a part of the Eye Camp and know that your input has helped benefit someone with the gift of sight. Furthermore these rewarding emotions really hit home when we were given the opportunity to observe Dr Jacob live in surgery. Patients were gowned and taken to receive anaesthetic before having their eyes and the affecting area sterilised with antiseptic. Dr Jacob performed each cataract under an outstanding two minutes per eye. Each incision and movement was carried out with impeccable accuracy.
Doctor Jacob and his medical team performing cataract operations within 2 minutes
Seeing the vital need for eye care in India has literally been an eye opener. We come from a world in the UK where eye care isn’t even questioned. It’s so readily available to us whereas in India, their access is so limited due to poverty. I wear glasses myself, and seeing how people here are begging for glasses compared to where we have the luxury of being able to choose our fancy designer frames is a massive reality check. These are people who wouldn’t even care if they are given a Gucci frame from a Specsavers frame – the value is in the gift of sight itself. The message I would like to spread is that we should appreciate how lucky we are to be healthy and have such facilities available to us. Being part of the Eye Camp has given me a chance to be thankful for this and help someone less fortunate.
For information how to donate and get involved, please visit www. sikhunion.co.uk
Sikh Union Eye Camp 2014, Punjab
On Thursday 13th and Sunday 16th March 2014, all together over 1000 people were screened for eye surgeries in Nurmahal and Jalandhar with the help of donations made from Sikh Union Coventry (UK).
I had the honour along with other committee members to observe the fantastic work carried out by Dr Jacob and his team at Ruby Nelson Memorial Hospital.
It’s amazing to see your efforts to raise money for charity actually be carried through with real results achieved! May God bless everyone involved in their charitable efforts.
You can see the pre-op screening process at http://instagram.com/p/loKf1WNiWk/
And the cataracts operation at http://instagram.com/p/loK_FsNiXD/
Enjoy the good things in life by appreciating what you have!
Life teaches us the value of necessity against accessory - last night I attended another charity ball, this time raising funds for Homes for Heroes. I am thankful for all the unnecessary clothes, shoes and makeup I own because I return to a safe roof over my head every day provided by a loving family.