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SEPTEMBER 2011

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THREE PRECIOUS SOULS

A catalyst for unity and strength

INITIAL Say It’s From Lu Lu’s u n i s e x h a i r s a l o n When saying it with Flowers, W

HENEVER IT COMES to choosing the right flowers, for the right occasion, Lu Lu’s is the right choice, for your bouquet. (continued on page 18...)

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AS BIRMINGHAM’S NEWEST venue, for hair & beauty, Initial Unisex Hair Salon is a view into the future of creative styling, fro head to toe. (continued on page 25...)

A STAR IS BORN

As a Birmingham solicitor’s winning case is a film blockbuster B

IRMINGHAM SOLICITOR, KAREN Bailey, of Bailey, Wright & Co. will be at the Marriot Hotel, in September, talking about her fight for justice, on behalf of a whistleblower who took on the might of the United Nations. Subsequently, the case has now been made into a movie starring two of the greatest ever actors, Vanessa Redgrave and Rachel Wiesz. (continued on page 2...)


A STAR IS BORN

2 SEPTEMBER 2011

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As a B i r m i n g h a m solicitor ’s winning case is a film blockbuster (continued from cover...) It is based on Ms. Bailey winning a £110,000 payout, in2002, for former police officer, Kathryn Bolkovac, who was unfairly sacked by DynCorp International LLC, for blowing the whistle on the UN and her DynCorp colleagues. A former police officer from Nebraska, Ms Bolkovac took up a role with DynCorp International, a global government services company based in Texas. DynCorp was contracted by the US State Department to provide peacekeepers to the United Nations as part of the Dayton Agreement to help with security and restoring the rule of law in post-war Bosnia. In her role, investigating human trafficking and prostitution rackets in the Balkans, Kathryn uncovered senior UN workers and other internationals involved in the sex trade, including the use of prostitutes and buying sex slaves. Ms Bailey, now head of Bailey Wright & Co. solicitors, based in the city’s Jewellery Quarter, said: “As a sole practitioner from Birmingham I was pitted against a multi-

billion dollar corporation and their international attorneys. Because of the UN’s involvement, the case was in the global spotlight. It was the case of a lifetime and a definite highlight of my career” A specialist in Child Care - Children’s Law (also known as Family Law), Karen, the first AfricanCaribbean woman solicitor to set up her own practice in Birmingham City centre, established Bailey Wright & Co. Solicitors in 1996. With clients coming from all parts of the UK, as well as other lawyers and advice agency referrals, the Law firm also specialise in: Harassment, Injunction Law, Employment, Domestic Violence and Education. For more information on the services they offer, you can contact them on 0121 244 6600 Sponsors, Marriot, will be holding this auspicious event, in honour of Karen’s huge achievement, at their Hagley Road, Five Ways Hotel, on Tuesday 13th September, 11.30am – 2.30pm (£18 + VAT Members, £36 + VAT Non Members.) Lunch and refreshments are included

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SEPTEMBER 2011 3

THREE PRECIOUS SOULS

A catalyst for unity and strength O

VER 20,000 PEOPLE showed the rest of England, in particular, Britain, in general, that even at its tragic low, Birmingham's multicultural city will always pull together as one. When the open-air prayer service took place in the city's Summerfield Park, held for the funerals of Haroon Jahan and brothers Abdul Musavir and Shazad Ali, the message for the onlooking media loud and clear; This wasn't the result of a race-war, as had been mentioned in some quarters. This was the tragic result of 3 men protecting what's rightfully theirs, becoming victims of a night that shouldn't have happened at all. Instead of splitting communities apart, it brought them together, to unite as one and fight the common causes that brought the deaths of three innocent young men. In Summerfield Park, an estimated 25,000 people, from Birmingham and beyond, were together in solidarity to show that the deaths were

never to be in vein. As Muslims and non-Muslims, of all races, stood sideby-side, on what was a mild, blustery day, it was when special guest speaker, Muslim scholar, Shaykh Muhammed al-Yaqoubi stood up and after quoting, in Arabic, from the Qu'ran, he said: "These three men are martyrs. What we can do for them is pray for them, for ourselves and our community." Then, as the bodies of the young men were driven into the park, then sun broke through the clouds, as if they were sealing their approval on the way forward, for people of Winson Green and Birmingham. We all, as human beings, whether we are the media, politicians, business people, community leaders, or individual men, women and children, we have to all tag it upon ourselves to make sure that this, for whatever reason, does not happen ever again, for all our sakes, for the sakes of Haroon Jahan, Abdul Muavir and Shazad Ali.

THE HUMAN COSTS OF

BIRMINGHAM’S DAYS OF SHAME T

HE DEATH, IN London, Mark Duggan, marked a low in the already tetchy relationship Britain’s inner-city communities and the police, but, despite that, the dignified way in which the deceased’s family and friends questioned what exactly took place was commendable, at the very least. In Birmingham, three young men were killed by ruthless killers, whilst protecting their property, in the city’s Winson Green and, again, a dignified manner was showed, this time by one the two grieving fathers. It was with immense dignity that Tariq Jahan, whose 21-year-old son, Haroon Jahan, was mown down and killed in an apparently racist murder, appealed for calm from all the community. The wanton destruction of

property and businesses, indeed, of people’s livelihoods, left many questions to be answered, by many people and relevant agencies alike. Parents and significant guardians, uncles and aunties, grannies and granddads, brothers, sisters and cousins, are you asking yourselves; ‘What role did I play in the riots?’ In Birmingham, it was perceived that the protagonists in the disturbances were no older than 21. So, why weren’t they at there local community centre, youth club, or sports centre? What on earth have they been taught at school, if they were ever really encouraged to go to school? They’re just some of the litany of questions asked by many on-looking commentators throwing their ‘penneth’ worth into a well-worn debate. Of course, on the face of it,

the rioters were ostensively opportunists, with their beady eyes on any ‘prize,’ with no thought of: Who? What? Where? When? And; Why? However, there were many who were acutely aware and, subsequently, victims of the Government cuts which affect them, first of all. With state education seen as no more than a lottery, today and higher education fast becoming a privilege for the privileged, questions have to be asked at every level, to have a chance of finding any sort of solution to overcoming the primitive, anarchic behavior of our 21st Century youths. The material cost, to the nation’s economy, is hugely expensive. The human cost, to our communities, is priceless. If only enough of us, Government, family and everyone in between, were fully mindful of that fact.

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Khan & Co Solicitors

4 SEPTEMBER 2011

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secures Law Society's new quality mark K

han & Co Solicitors, in Smethwick, has secured membership to the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme - the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

Mrs Abdi Khan (Head of Conveyance)

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Having undergone rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status, it marks the firm out as meeting high standards in the residential conveyancing process. Law Society President, Linda Lee, said that the Law Society introduced CQS to help to recognise high standards in the home buying process: “CQS improves efficiency with common, consistent standards and service levels and enables consumers to recognise practices that provide a quality residential conveyancing service.

Buying a home is one of the largest purchases anyone will make in their lifetime, so it is essential that it is done to the highest standard by a solicitor. There are many different conveyancing service providers out there, making it difficult for home buyers to identify those which can ensure a safe and efficient level of service.� Mrs Abda Khan (Senior Partne) says: "Khan & Co is delighted to have secured CQS status. It is recognition of the high standards we provide to our residential property clients and is a signal to future home buyers of the excellent service level we provide at what is often a stressful time for many people. The overall beneficiaries will be clients who use Khan & Co Solicitors when

buying a home. They will receive a reliable, efficient service as recognised by the CQS standard." The scheme requires practices to undergo a strict assessment, compulsory training, self reporting, random audits and annual reviews in order to maintain CQS status. It is open only to members of the Law Society and to those who meet the demanding standards the scheme will set and has the support of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, Legal Ombudsman and the Association of British Insurers.

To contact Khan & Co Solicitors, tel: 0121 565 4292, or visit there offices at 47 Cape Hill, Smethwick, West Midlands B66 4SF.


Eid-al-Fitr 2011

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SEPTEMBER 2011 5

is a feast of unity and celebration W

ITH THE END of August marking the end of Ramadhan, Muslims throughout Birmingham and the West Midlands celebrated Eid al-Fitr in very proud style, to mark the end of the month-long fasting, praying benevolence and self-accountability Star City, for instance, was awash with women and families, who experienced live entertainment, stalls, exhibitions, prayer marquees, and a children’s play area. Although it's not a bank holiday here, many Islamic businesses and organisations alter their business hours during this event. With it also marking the start of up to three days of feasting, where special foods are prepared and friends and families are invited to share the feast. In partnership with Birmingham City Council, Eid Mela 2011, which took place in Cannon Hill Park, celebrated the diversity of the Muslim Community in Birmingham through its culture, food, sport, art and entertainment. In its eleventh year, the festival was bigger and better than ever with something there for everyone.

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6 SEPTEMBER 2011

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JA Minister look to city youth to take the lead during 50th Anniversary celebrations

C

HAIRED BY PROMINENT Birmingham businessman, Tony Sealey OBE, Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary celebration plans, both there and over here, in the second city were aired, for all to see, by the islands’ Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, the Honourable Olivia Grange. In the presence of Birmingham Lady Mayoress, Anita Ward, Jamaican High Commissioner, Anthony Johnson, Paul Tilsely, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Diamond Travel owner, Beverly Lindsey MBE, who opened the night’s proceedings, and a gaggle of regular, wellhealed local business people were on hand to hear what exactly is in store for all from the Jamaican Diaspora. With cities like London and Manchester making unyielding efforts in their individual plans to celebrate Jamaica Day over here, the Minister’s visit to Birmingham was, amongst others, to see what, if any, plans the UK’s second city had for its hard working, contributing citizens hailing from the Caribbean haven. With Councillor Tilsley emphasising just how internationally dynamic a multi-cultural city Birmingham is, questions were asked as to what Birmingham is doing for its Jamaican citizens throughout the next year. Minister Grange (Olivia) constantly mentioned the importance of youth, in the upcoming celebrations; however, it was very interesting to note the total lack of youth present at such an auspicious meetinghighlighting youth. But, now we have the chance to put that straight and

get Birmingham’s, in fact, the West Midlands’ young people and children, involved in the lead-up, celebrations and lasting legacy of what should be the world’s second biggest Jamaican 50th Anniversary party. And that includes the vital decision making at the top table. There’s a lot going on, throughout the Jamaican Diaspora, over the coming months with a list of legacies, heritage and sporting events to mark the nation’s 50th anniversary. It’s a work in progress, so, there’s a lot yet to be set in stone, but, a buoyant Lenford Salmon, Project Director for ‘Jamaica 50 Secretariat,’ wants every young person of Jamaican origin to say: “Mi inna dis!” Are we all, here in Birmingham?

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Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Jamaican Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sport


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SEPTEMBER 2011 7

Business opportunities in Europe getting easier, says Chamber W

EST MIDLAND BUSINESS leaders are saying that now is the best time to take full advantage of low interest rates and look abroad to do business, especially with the rest of Europe. President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Christine Braddock, said the announcement that interest rates will remain at 0.5 per cent, plus new EU legislation like the single patent for the European market should provide more incentives. She said: "Figures from Birmingham Chamber’s second quarterly economic survey of 2011 reveal that both the manufacturing

and service sectors have bounced back by exploiting opportunities abroad. In the service sector firms report an increase in export sales which rose to 55 per cent - the highest for over 12 months. Some sources expect that interest rates will stay on hold until 2013 and when they do go up, they are likely to go up slowly. So companies have a reasonable amount of time to exploit new business.” Enterprise Europe Network, part of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group, produces a list of business opportunities. For further information call 0121 455 0268.

Midlands, will underline his commitment to developing our plans for continuing the economic rejuvenation of the region.” The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP is one of the largest nationally, comprising nine local authorities – Birmingham, Solihull, Cannock, East

Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest. The organisation was recently chosen by Government to develop one of a number of Enterprise Zones being established in the UK, although the zone's location has yet to be announced by the LEP board.

New LEP Chair settles in after first public event A

NDY STREET, THE newly appointed Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, is settling into his new position, having made his first at Villa Park. Mr. Steel, a director of retail giant John Lewis, took the opportunity to talk to an audience of LEP partners and stakeholders about the progress being made by the organisation. He officially took over as LEP Chair in May and was joined at the event by members of the organisation’s board, which included the interim, Chair Bridget Blow. On Street’s appointment, she said: “We’re delighted that Andy joined us at the event. It was a chance to outline the progress we’ve made in establishing the LEP, as well as other achieved to date. Andy, who hails from the

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8 SEPTEMBER 2011

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Recent fall in unemployment given a guarded welcome by business leaders B

USINESS LEADERS IN the West Midland gave a guarded welcome to the recent announcement that unemployment in the region fell by 4,000. Although at 9.7 per cent, the rate was still among the highest in the country and well above the national average of 7.8 per cent. One of the biggest concerns in the region is the level of youth unemployment, which was on the increase for the past 16 months. Birmingham now has a youth unemployment rate of 20.8 per cent, which is close to the national figure. Findings by the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) saw an increase in the numbers of both manufacturers and service sector businesses expanding their workforce which is consistent

with the overall drop in the jobless figure. The QES found that 27 per cent of service firms and 24 of manufacturers were looking to increase their workforce in the very new future. Birmingham Chamber of Commerce president, Christine Braddock, said: “We’re pleased with the fall in unemployment, albeit by a small number, after months of rising. However, we believe that far more needs to be done to improve the skills base of both the city and the region, which currently has the second lowest level of skills in the UK. We often hear from employers that many candidates do not meet their basic skills needs in areas such as literacy and numeracy.” Mike Ashton is the spokesman for the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce. In an impassioned statement, he said:

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“The West Midlands still has 260,000 people who are unemployed, and we feel that the Government should do more to enable business to create the jobs needed by these people. The situation is particularly unacceptable where youth unemployment is concerned – nationally, we are seeing the highest level of jobless 16 and 17 year olds since records began in 1992. In order to help tackle this, we believe that the Government must do more to free business from the burden of regulation and red tape, which hinder job creation by diverting resources and funds away from growth. While we welcomed the Budget announcement that small and micro businesses would be exempt from new regulation for three years, the Chamber feels that such measures should go much further.”


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SEPTEMBER 2011 9

Why people say The Golden Fish Bar is probably the best ever

W

ITHN A SEEMINGLY endless stream of identikit fish and chips shops opening all over the place, offering fish and, well, fries, to slightly fill that a gap, one particular fast food outlet has held its own, standing out supreme, because of its belief in giving its cutover the genuine thing. The Golden Fish Bar, in Birmingham, stands out

head and shoulders above the array of other new outlets, because the food they sell is 100% genuine chips, fish and anything else it sells, to its hoards of regular customers. Not believing in 'processing' any of its find array of quality foods and drinks, owner, Lewis Hadja, only believes in giving his customers, his friends, everything that's as natural as nature made it. From the staple diet of

many a British family, for generations, to the varied foods and other delicacies on the well thoughout menu, all the cooked in-house dishes are of the highest quality that you, his customer, would demand of the money you part with. And, just as important, it's all local produce, where possible. For the past eight years, alongside dedicated Godson, Nikus, the Golden Fish has been serving a

regularly large number of people, from both near and far, customers who will always demand chips from the best grown potatoes and the most sumptuous of cold, or hake, fished from the deepest, bluest seas around. Lewis himself wouldn't have it any other way: "We only cook and sell the high-level of food we would eat ourselves. If any of the meals and other products are not up to

our customers standard, it doesn't go out. We have created a very high standard of service here, that there's no way I would let it slip, in the slightest." Having already developed a massively successful reputation, in Coventry and Leicester, his reputation goes before him, to the extend that he's even getting regular custom from as far afield as Sutton Coldfield, Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon. And

that's no ideal boast. Open 6-days a week, in Stockland Green, the Golden Fish is receiving heaps of well deserved accolades and highpraise, for its genuine, freshly-cooked meals and deals that the past eight years is just the beginning for probably the best fish and chip shop, ever. You really ought to try it. You don't know what you're missing until you do.

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10 SEPTEMBER 2011

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Altimate Staff & Personnel

W

HEN STEPHEN BABASANYA setup the Altimate Staff & Personnel Agency, in Birmingham two years ago, his goal was, as it’s always been, to provide the best quality domiciliary service to agencies in both the private and public sector with the best quality staff you will ever see. In giving the ultimate invalue service around, it’s clear to see why so many care providers see them as the first port of call for valued care for the people they care for. With an always-growing number of highly qualified staff members on their books (both nurses and care staff), contracts are taken up by care homes and hospitals throughout the Midlands through the high

level of recommendations heaped upon Altimate Staff & Personnel Agency Ltd. Already established in Nottingham, since 2004, Managing Director, Mr. Babasanya, was mindful of the high number of staff, from the second city, who registered at the Arnold offices. He says: “It stood the reason that it would be a good idea to open an office in Birmingham and, with the high level of unemployment in the inner city, it made strategic sense to be based in an area like Lozells.” Now operating on the busy Lozells Road, with daughter, Yemi, a Law Graduate, Nurse Manager, Lynn Beal, Recruitment Officer, Deborah Akinbobola, and Emmanuel Mbaogu and Office Administrator, registered

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staff numbers are high and growing by the day. Recruiting staff, both male and female, to the CQC registered company, only on a temporary basis, qualified nurses and KRS (health care assistants and support staff) are placed, predominantly in care homes throughout the length and breadth of the Midland combination providing a unique level of domiciliary and support to regular service providers. In fact, such is their reputation that staff is sent as far a field as Wales. For those on the books who want to further enhance there already high level of service, there’s the opportunity to gain further qualifications, on site, for NVQ Levels 2, 3 and 4. All staff are always ready

to work, whenever the call comes for them to do so. Altimate Staff & Personnel Agency is a very trusted organization and is attracting people from a wide range of communities, throughout the area. One telling development being the growing number of caring young men, whose work ethics and dedication to the job has resulted in fantastic response from many a content client. Despite going remarkably well, especially within both nursing and care homes, Stephen is working tirelessly to secure contracts from the Midlands’ leading hospitals. And when those come through, there will be no stopping the number one rated agency, providing the very best service morning, noon, or night.


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SEPTEMBER 2011 11

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Jamaica dealt a Raw deal?

12 SEPTEMBER 2011

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J

AMAICA WAS BARED raw and live in sumptuous fashion, in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, with a day of live musical performances, arts workshops and a wide variety of foods all laid out to give a taste of things to come, leading up to the London Olympics 2012. With the sun at its brilliant best, back in July, it was a chance for young and old, from all our communities in the city, to celebrate Jamaica, at its best, to get a flavour of things to come when Usain Bolt and the rest of the allconquering Jamaican Olympic athletics team arrive here next year. In the presence of former

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British Olympic Triple-Jump gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards, it was a chance for people from the Caribbean island’s Diaspora to show off the array of talent they have and is always prepared and willing to highlight. The city’s own leaders in business, community, finance and the arts and who hail from the island paradise, were said to be in total gratitude for the organisers of the days’ festivities, because if it wasn’t for them, who, it is said, have no hereditary connection to Jamaican, by way of family ties, or spiritual history to the country, an event of such magnitude, for that particular community, wouldn’t have a chance of taking place. That said, Jamaica Live! was an opportunity for Jamaica itself to ‘put on its best frock,’ so to speak and look forward to 12months of celebrations in the city, leading up to the arrival of our special guests, as well as the highlight for Jamaicans next year; the 50th Anniversary of its independence. An opportunity, as it were, for people from the Diaspora, to take a lead, off their own ‘bat’ and not let anyone else take advantage, by jumping on the 2012 bandwagon. There was a very special appearance by Dragon’s Den ‘slayer’ and Reggae Sauce icon, Levi Roots, who, about the day’s event said: “I so looked forward to Jamaica Live! It was great fun, creative and safe for everyone. By ‘Live’ for me it meant one nation alive, old school, inspirational, and ready for 2012 where old and young enjoyed themselves, eat fo od, and just drop-in and talk to the musicians and artists, come and say hello” Organiser of the event, Ammo Talwar MBE, director of Punch, says:

“Birmingham’s Jamaican guests will be a major asset to the city in 2012 and we were delighted to celebrate that through the weekend event. Usain Bolt is an inspiring sportsman who can captures everyone’s imagination. All eyes will be on our city next year. Jamaica Live! was about celebrating that, along with our city’s unique fusion of Jamaican music, fashion, food and style” A day of free live music was headlined by the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra, a Steel Pulse Tribute band, and gospel star Monique, plus top quality, live comedy from TV’s Annette Fagon, Toju and Tony Hendricks, as well as spoken word artists in the story tent. Jamaicanstyle drumming workshops gave visitors the opportunity to bring their own drums join in with a collective drumming group. A lot of fun was had by a lot of people, at Jamaica Live! however, an underlying despondency was equally prevalent too. In fact, they saw Jamaica Live! as a Punch in the face. But then, whose fault was that? Who, apart from Ammo, was allowed to come forward with their ideas of celebrating Jamaica with the masses? And what, or whom, if any, blocked progress? Look, we live in a truly multi-cultural city, which means, reciprocally, that leaders of a Jamaican-Caribbean-background will be equally expected to be part of any other community’s cultural celebration organising committee. Whether that be Vasakhi, Mela, or Eid. One thing’s certain, all the money made by the Jamaicans, at Jamaica Raw, will be going to the right places. We will be fully informed of that, wouldn’t we?


Yvonne Mosquito;

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SEPTEMBER 2011 13

A dedicated woman of all people

Yvonne Mosquito

A

S A PROMINENT member of the West Midlands Police Authority, Councillor Yvonne Mosquito, LLB (Hons), has made a significant contribution to the role police are playing in our everyday lives. As Labour Councillor, for the Nechells Ward, in Birmingham, she holds to account the work, or not, of the city’s coalition Government, in order that the healthy multicultural mix of Birmingham citizens, that is Nechells, can live a clean, fair and happy existence, 24-7. In addition to an already over-loaded list of leading roles, the amiable Yvonne also sat as Chair of the Council of Black Led Churches, in Great Britain. Above, or, equally, depending on how you look at it, she’s Chair of the Labour Group, where she sits next to Labour Council Leader, Sir Albert Bore. A heavy work-load, indeed, but Councillor Mosquito wouldn’t have it any other way.

Since she was 17, Yvonne has been involve in supporting and supplementing people around her and, for 17 years, hence, representing people around her has been her personal mission statement. She’s been a Labour Councillor since 1996, serving the Sparkhill Ward, in the city, which ironically, covers the Highgate area, where she was born and educated; at the Chandos and Percy Shermer schools. That same year, she became a member of the afore-mentioned West Midlands Police Authority. With a Degree in Law, in her role, as a Member, she’s in a position to oversee the running of the police force and make sure that the citizens of the West Midlands are made aware of their operations. She says: “We can’t direct the police operations, but we question what they do and why they do it. It’s extremely important what we (The West Midlands Police Authority) do. Notable cases included highlight-

ing the high-profile deaths of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare, as well as the death in custardy of Michael Powell. The police had to answer for the latter and had to be seen to be on top of the former. We, the Authority, made sure that results were forthcoming in those particular cases. The death of a young person, under any circumstance, damages community confidence, so we, in our way make sure that the work carried out, by the police, is clear and open to the public.” As a result of her ongoing diligent work and commitment, today, Yvonne is Chair of the 17-man Authority. Yvonne Mosquito’s life, as she says, is guided with the mindset that: “God is the beginning of everything, which gives me a foundation.” She’s preparing for Labour’s return to front-line local government, in 2012, where here work can be highlighted even greater than it is today

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14 SEPTEMBER 2011

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Handsworth Carnival

was great, but next time

it'll be bigger & better T

HE KALIDASKOPE OF colour which meander throughout the streets of Handsworth will be the uplifting, abiding memory of what was an eventful August in Birmingham. Back in its celestial home, the Handsworth Carnival, a celebration of all that’s vibrant, exciting and positive in the city certainly proved, without any shadow of doubt, we really know how to put on a party, for the masses. It was an estimated 25,000 people who turned out, back

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at the start of the month, to absorb what Birmingham was always longing for, a ‘Handsworth Carnival,’ to truly represent what the spirit of carnival is; music, dance and showing yourself off in the best way possible. The city’s largest outdoor festival was back in the streets which made it famous, way back in the 1980s, and a truer reflection of Birmingham’s multicultural spirit you couldn’t find anywhere else. Steeped in the history and heritage of Caribbean steel

pans and beating drums, everybody was out to be part of the days’ fun and frolics. They came from far and wide to be able to say: “I was there, when the Carnival came back home.” One excited onlooker, Narinder Kaur, a bank clerk, from Harborne, said: “This is what Birmingham’s all about. The whole cross-section of all our communities was fantastic to be part of. Although there was a lack of calypso and soca music for me, the general atmosphere following the troops in the streets,

was really something.” It was the first time back ‘home,’ so, to be fair, there was always going to be teething problems. We know that the next time round, the Carnival Committee will go all out to make sure that everybody, the length and breadth of Britain will know that Handsworth Carnival is back, whatever the cost and the spirit of its origin will live on, louder and brighter than ever before. 25,000? We should be looking at 250,000 the next time carnival comes to the second city.


B-Boys and B-Girls ‘Kicking it’in the city

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O

FTEN CALLED BREAKDANCING, B-Boying, is creating massive stirs in and around Birmingham’s city centre. The dance movement, consisting of the four primary elements of: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes/suicides, has been regularly drawing attention from admirers and, equally, curious souls, as a hard-core following of the dance discipline, recreate and maintain the thrust and excitement of its origins, in New York’s Bronx, back in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Boys and girls, from as young as 15-years-old, to

SEPTEMBER 2011 15

whatever age, are ‘popping,’ ‘rocking’ and ‘breaking’ to tunes from jazz, soul, funk, electro, as well as hip-hop, of course. The original, that is. Some of the more dedicated, hard-core protagonists include 15-year-old Naz, from Solihull, 28-year-old Shakes, from Erdington and 10-year veteran of the ‘scene,’ NeNe, who says: “What we’re all about, is the true culture of ‘where, who and why?’ It’s our way of truly keeping the funk, jazz and original hip-hop alive. And, more importantly, keep the true spirit of BBoys and B-Girls alive and kicking, here, in my city.

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16 SEPTEMBER 2011

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New

-Factor Judges

brings new confidence for showbiz beginners

T

HE NEW JUDGING line-up on this year’s X-Factor is proving to be a major master-stroke, by its bosses. It’s certainly brought a breath of fresh air to the programme and despite its huge success, with its continued growth in viewing figures; the addition of the three new judges has got to be great news, espe-

New judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa, Kelly Rowland joined with former judge, Louis Walsh cially for the famedstarved contestants themselves. In using three fresh judges, who are contemporary and on top of their game has got to be a winner, in its self. From the hugely talented and incredibly beautiful Kelly Rowland, of Destiny's Child fame, with years of worldwide success, to the fantastically tal-

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ented iconic presence of the up front and objective multi-platinum winning Take That front man, Gary Barlow, and the equally talented and naturally beautiful, very streetwise Tulisa Contostavlos with her finger on the pulse of what today’s youth, the majority of X-Factor’s viewers, want to here, alongside old stalwart, Luis Walsh, the balance

seems to be just about right. There already seems to be far more focus on the contestants, this time around and far less on the inflated egos, or cat-fighting on the panel. In fact, it’s strikingly refreshing to watch, this time around. All four of them can fully back just about whatever remark they make, to whichever par-

ticipant, in the knowledge that they, having made their success the old fashioned, hardworking way, will be supportive, informative and, again, objective. Simon Cowell, ‘Mr, X-Factor,’ has made a great move to remove himself from the centre of attention and handed it back to the contestants, who would take on board the salient, heart-

felt views of this new judging panel, who, in return, will show great humility and dexterity, because, like their nerve-jangling selves, they too have been there, at the start of their own storming careers. In Kelly, Tulisa and Gary, a new interest for us, the watching millions. Contostavlos


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SEPTEMBER 2011 17

Why don’t we praise our local musical heritage? B

ONITO STAR’S LATEST hit tune, ‘Feel My Love,’ is blowing-up the nation’s reggae charts and he himself is in massive demand up and down the country before meeting demands from fans right across the globe. That said, however, it seams that certain people in his home-town don’t quite realize just how much of a gem they have on their doorstep. Birmingham-born Bonito has been a top singer since 1985 and pretty-much everywhere he goes he gets deserved ‘props’ from young and old, of all communities due to his electrifyingly dullest tones. But, with many music-based

events becoming an integral part of the city’s events calendar, he finds his name remiss, when it comes to the major performers. Not that he’s taking it totally to heart, yet, but, as he sees himself as yet another local reggae star shunned, by some misguided promoters, at some of local music shows that seem to be popping up throughout Birmingham. His latest omission coming at the recent ‘Simmer Down Reggae Festival,’ at Handsworth Park. With other big names like Skibu, Mikey Dread, Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant from Musical Youth and Mercury Award-winning saxophonist, Soweto Kinch and singer/songwriter, Mark Dwayne, who, as

the rest of the world know is the founder/editor of the award-winning Street Cred Entertainment/Lifestyle magazine and are all current, yet, conspicuous by their absence, did The Drum Arts Centre, who laid on the event, miss a trick? After all, these are names absolutely massive in the music field and further more, are local to Handsworth Park. In fact born and bred in the area and very much part of the fabric of Handsworth itself. For Bonito, as a prominent reggae artist, it’s ‘water off a ducks back.’ As a man of the people of his own city and local area, he finds it hugely disappointing: “Here I am, a ‘son’ of

Handsworth, who’s played at some of the biggest arenas in the world, performing alongside some of the greats like Freddie McGregor, Frankie Paul and Luciano, but, here, in my backyard, I’m ignored by people who are not totally ‘versed’ in reggae music. it’s sad, really sad, not for me, but, what does that say to young, up-andcoming reggae singers? We shouldn’t be ashamed of such a proud reggae heritage” This years Birmingham Carnival is coming back to it ‘home.’ Just how many of our own world-famous artists will be topping the bill here? Bonito Star will be busy touring the country, to sell-out venues, feeling and sharing his love.

Andy finds ‘The Healing Process’ to share and overcome depression A

S ONE OF Britain’s premier saxophonist, Andy Gayle has battled his way out of a mental breakdown to create a seminal album to help other people who find themselves fighting depression and how to overcome it. ‘The Healing Process’ is Andy’s third solo album and it’s his own, musical journey through his depression and how he found help to overcome it. A native of Birmingham’s Handsworth district, 44-yearold Gayle is better known for touring the world with the likes of Madness, The Specials, The Beat and The Skatalites, through to Jazz Jamaica and Tomorrows Warriors and more recently, Ziggy Marley. He won a scholarship to study Music at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and trained as a music teacher at the former University of Central England. He had the

world at his feet and he was ready to ‘explode’ onto the music scene at large. He was ready to rock and roll. At the point that he was ready, in 2006, the breakdown of a relationship with the mother of his two children saw him on a downward spiral which ended with him being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He openly explains: “I lost my child, I lost my job, I lost my friends, which led me to becoming deeply alcoholic, to block out the pain.” He’d have manic episodes and display severe depression, which ending up with the talented musician being sectioned, for his own safety, as his condition left him severely exhausted. Eventually, Gayle was diagnosed with bipolar disorder which explained his mood swings. Andy believed his mental health would prove a major barrier, but, under the care of

the Handsworth home treatment team, part of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, things started looking up. Thanks to their encouragement he applied for a £5,000 grant from the trust to create a record charting his harrowing story. The result is “The Healing Process,” a CD of 12 songs recorded here, in Birmingham. “I feel much better now,” he said. “Writing the album was very cathartic. I was able to exorcise what was inside me. I hope that what I’ve done will help other people with mental health issues because I’ve been there, I know what they’re going.” If you would like a copy of Andy’s Cd The Healing Process, please fill out the form below and one of our team will be in contact shortly. Alternatively, call Jacqui on 0121 301 1060 or email HYPERLINK “mailto:Jacqueline.Tame@ bsmhft.nhs.uk” Jacqueline. Tame@bsmhft.nhs.uk.

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18 SEPTEMBER 2011

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When saying it with Flowers,

Say It’s From Lu Lu’s (continued from cover...) From chrysanthemums, to roses, to the most exotic of varieties, this quant little shop has it all and more. Linda Osborne is the woman behind Lu Lu’s, in Erdington’s Slade Road and for her, running the busy florist is a labour of love. She’s been selling flowers an incredibly large amount of regular customers for seven years and what she doesn’t know about flowers, isn’t worth knowing about at all. Covering every kind of celebration and ceremony, Linda likes nothing more than to help to choose and prepare the right bloom for the right occasion, almost any time of the day. She’s up as early as 5.00 every working morning, such is her determination to make sure that every type of the most asked for varieties is in stock and ready for sale come what may. She’d often leave the shop well after 10.00 in the night: “You have to put the hours in, to get your just rewards,” she says. With Lu Lu’s being the only florist for some considerable stretch, you can understand the demand for her services. Such is her overwhelming workload, Linda’s hugely grateful for the ongoing support she received from Aine, Anthony, Margo, Martin, Mark and Alana, her children. It’s her creative mind and handy art work that keeps Lu Lu’s ahead of any other florist and it’s because of that, why there’s a large, regular flow of customers, happily visiting this most beautiful of floral outlets: “Now we’re into Ramadan, I’m making sure I’m well stocked with all the relevant blooms and plants, as they’re often given out as gifts to family and friends at the end of the month. In all, right now, I absolutely love the work I’m in.” That’s from a very content Linda Osborne and her customers love her and her service. It’s a gift.

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S

LADE ROAD POST Office is the absolute hub of a community living in harmony, together as one. Situated on Slade Road, in Birmingham’s Erdington district, here, like many other post offices, you will get all your daily needs, under one, warm and welcoming roof. From stamps, to bulk postings, every given insurance under the sun, to everyday household shopping, it’s the little shop, with the amazingly large array of services, to make you feel comfortable in the knowledge that almost everything you need to keep your home ticking over is right here. Where else would you need to go? Run by Submaster, Tarsem Singh Thethy and wife, Kulwant Kaur Thethy, together they bring a vibrancy, efficiency and friendly nature to their work, that all who use the post office, whether regular, or, one-off, you’ll always get the feeling that with them behind the counter, here is a place where you’d want to use ongoing, no matter where you come from.

For Tarsem, Singh, and Kulwent Kaur, it’s 13-years of enjoying the work they do and enjoying the people they serve. Hailing from the Jallandher district in India’s Punjab region, he (Tarsem) puts running the post office down to destiny, saying: “Having originally done entering, since 1967, then moving on to work in construction, thereafter, It was when working with my son, Mandeep, on a building site when, with snow coming down thick and fast, that I said to him; ‘This isn’t for you.’ With the savings we had, and my son’s future wellbeing on my mind, I decided to buy the post office, in 1998. It was a completely new direction for my family, but the idea of working face-to-face with people, everyday was very appealing to me. Every day is an exiting challenge and learning kerb to my wife and I and with my religion as my life’s navigator, it’s fantastic working here.”

SEPTEMBER 2011 19 The post office is everchanging, with a range of banking facilities and general upgrading of services, the couple are developing themselves as the well-rounded loving human beings they have always been. Say Mrs. Kaur Thethy: “Here, we’re always moving with the times. With, say, the computerised systems now in place, work is forever getting less stressful for us and more speedy for our customers. As long as we continue to give the level of customer service which they deserve, we know we’ll have that regular core of people, friends, who want to shop here. Tarsem and Kulwent have been working together for 35 years now and if you ask them, individually, or together, you can’t see that status quo changing any time soon. Son, Mandeep, is doing equally well, too, at his post office, in Stoke-on-Trent. It was a destiny for him, as it was, for his parents here, in Birmingham

THE SLADE ROAD POST OFFICE

A dedicated couple's destiny

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20 SEPTEMBER 2011

The Si l k

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Foundation

Tr u s t Bringing our communities together

S

ET UP IN memory of the late Stephon ‘Silk’ Davidson, the Silk Foundation Trust is a journey, to share the vision of empowering, both our children and young people, as well as their parents, or significant guardian. Stephon tragically passed away in 2008, at the very young age of 19, after which, with a heavy heart, his grieving mother, Maxine Sharp, sought about a change within her community, with the unerring support from a team of determined volunteers and experienced, passionate individuals. The charitable organisation sets about initiating and developing parent support groups, giving them (the parents) the opportunity to come together, as one, and discuss issues they might be facing, eventually reaching soluble solutions, through understanding, kindness, friendship and hope.

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As well as facilitating focus groups, they would also set up afterschool clubs and recreational programme, for the chance for children and young people to get a better understanding of each other and, above all, themselves: “The Silk Foundation Trust identifies the need for a solid children/young people and parent/family support service. You see, Silk always wanted to do things for his peers and I wanted to encourage parents and families to fully be involved in the lives of their children and young people. With Stephon passing so cruelly and so young, I simply had to set up the Trust, in his honour.” Although focussing on Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, Maxine and her team will always take in the needs of parents and families from as far afield as necessary. She explains:

“If parents, or family members, come from any where outside the West Midlands, to visit loved ones in hospital, say, we would pay for their travel costs. We would also pay any incurring cost, if they need to stay overnight. We aim to provide an effective service which should contribute towards meeting the needs of those affected by losing a loved one through violent crime, supporting the victims of gang culture, as well as communicating with the family of the offender.” The Silk Foundation Trust shares a vision of breaking down the post code and area barriers which are seen as dividing and conquering young people throughout many of our communities, by getting together and understanding each other greater. It’s a vision which Stephon ‘Silk’ Davidson would want himself.


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SEPTEMBER 2011 21

YOU KNOW MUM’S ALWAYS RIGHTEVEN IF SHE'S WRONG, SOMETIMES Y

OU KNOW HOW it is, don’t you? Mum’s always doing and saying things her way and no matter what, no matter how her words or actions might rile you, you know she’s ‘always right.’ If you’ve planned, well in advance, to take her shopping that weekend, even if you’ve deliberately turned up, at mum’s, one whole hour later than planned, you can bet your bottom dollar that there’s just one or two things she needs to do before we walk out the door and that’ll take another hour, or so, before we actually get going. But, you know what? Above all else, you know we can’t live without them. They’re reaching the autumn of their rich and fulfilled lives and we’ll always love them for everything they have done and are still diligently doing for us. Now I’m happily married, in a beautiful home with fast-growing children, the eldest just entering the throws of womanhood. But, despite that, mum still has to have that vice-like grip over what I do and how I do it. And, when I do what I do, especially when it’s for her benefit, she can always ‘do it better.’ Urghhh! You know what I mean, don’t you? Like when you’re doing the weekly

shopping for her. You get everything that’s on the list, well, almost everything. And what you can’t get, this week, you get the next best thing. BIG MISTAKE! You bought the nicest bit of yam, last week, so you buy another, this’, but mum will say: “How come the yam, this week, tastes so different to the one you bought last? Why didn’t you buy me the same peace you bought last week? Last week, you bought one or two plaintin fruits. Only for mum to pull you up, by saying: “WE couldn’t you buy me a bunch? You buy a bunch, the following week, to hear: You mean you couldn’t just buy me one, or two? Darn-it! Since my dad past away, she’s getting use to the independent...ish life. But, try to make that random visit, one Sunday, and: “Why can’t you let me live my life by myself?” until, you got it, you leave her to live her ‘independent’ life and:”Why is everybody ignoring me?” Mum’s beginning to go on a little too much, which is something my young ones are saying of me. I’m beginning to be like my mum. Only, I wish I could be a fraction of what she is. There’s no-one else like her and, I thank God that there’s only one MUM.

By: Audrey Williams

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22 SEPTEMBER 2011

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Home From Hospital Care providing the conduit between hospital and home T

HE HOME FROM Hospital Care charity is steadfastly looking for volunteers, from throughout Birmingham and the West Midlands, to continue and expand their fantastic work carried out in hospitals throughout the area. Already established, with a net number of up to 50 volunteer care workers who carry out the day-to-day routines for vulnerable patients who’ve been discharged from many of the areas hospitals, their service provides people, especially the elderly, with free support and advice when leaving hospital. Working out of Good Hope, in Sutton Coldfield, as well as Heartlands, Queen Elizabeth, Moseley Hall and the Royal Orthopaedic, in Northfield, they provide shopping, help and advice on benefits, access to private cleaning and gardening services as well as getting the former patients involved with Lunch Clubs in their particular areas. And as the service is free of charge, all they ask of their volunteers is their time,

even if it means just spending some quality time for chats and cups of tea. In turn, recipients of the service will benefit with reduced anxiety, an increase in speed of recovery and a marked reduction in hospital re-visits. Home From Hospital Care aims to improve the way plans are made for patients who are returning home after a spell in hospital or care home, by continuing the fantastic care they’ve been used to, when away from home. Coming from a wide variety of communities and backgrounds, all you need is a listening ear and an empathy with older people. The rewards are incredible. In seeing the smiles of content on peoples faces is the greatest reward of all. If you are interested in becoming a Home From Hospital Volunteer, contact their head office, in Selly Oak, on: 0121-472-4499. Alternatively, find out more on their website at: www.home-from-hospitalcare.org.uk

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SEPTEMBER 2011 23

Bournville College

moves to Longbridge B

IRMINGHAM’S BOURNVILLE COLLEGE has relocated to a new £66m campus, in Longbridge. The move, to a four acre site, was carried out by business relocation company, Harrow Green, and will house up to 15,000 students. They will be managing the throughout the summer months, in time for the new term start, in September. Simon Compton, relocation consultant, said: “This is a major consolidation programme, one we are very proud to be associated with. We are working with staff across the college to project manage the move, including all the material and resources needed for continuity in the new premises.” Bournville’s new location includes modern, spacious premises and a conference centre, which will enable the college to introduce new courses such as motor vehicle maintenance, as well as featuring training facilities for hairdressing, beauty, catering, construction and sport.

Tel: 0121 483 1000 Minicom: 0121 483 1110 Fax: 0121 411 2231 Email: info@bournville.ac.uk Web: www.bournville.ac.uk

Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham B31 2AJ

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24 SEPTEMBER 2011

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T

HE FASHION WORLD is embracing an exciting new name that’s already creating a stir, in many an aute couture circle. ‘Perigold,’ is modern, stylish African-wear which is fast becoming the ‘buzz word’ in a world of high-end fashion labels. In fact, before long, it could well feature alongside the likes of other well established fashion houses we know and love today. Created by designer, Evelyn Ampudu, fabrics more familiar in most parts of Africa will soon become common place in Designer and High Street stores from Birmingham to London, Paris to Milan and further afield anytime

now. With the established Woodin fabric, a material familiarly used to make native African gowns, for both women and men, Evelyn, a native of Ghana, is using the 100% cotton material, with its original and incredibly stylish Kente and Ahenkra print, to make outstanding Euro-centric styles dresses, skirts and tops that wouldn’t look out of place on any of the worlds major catwalks. Having already wowed crowds, at her debut “Style Africa” fashion show, at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery this year, she’s confident that the future can only be bright, for her own label, ‘Perigold.’ She says, excitedly: “All of my eclectic prints are representative of the

Evelyn Ampadu

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world I was born into and the world I live in today. I’m giving people a combination of the most high and exquisite designs, often word by Kings and Queens, back in Africa, created in styles more contemporary to people I come across everyday.” Evelyn is also running African/Contemporary Design modules, for Fashion Design students, at Aston University, inspiring them to use influences from the continent in their studies. The future’s filled with gold, for Evelyn Ampudu, Perigold. If you want to know more logon to:

www.perigold.co.uk


INITIAL unisex h a ir s a l o n

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(continued from cover...) From wild and freaky, to colouring, or the simplest of cuts, it’s the brightest, most forward-thinking of unique styles, Initial offers you whatever you want, at a price, you can always afford. Specialising in the unique Japanese ‘Yuko’ permanent straightening technique, Initial is a salon where you can set your mind and your hair free of any inhibitions. That it’s only in its first month, as a salon, Chi Chim, proprietor and Head Stylist, along with brother, Khy, is already getting customers from as far a field as Leicester, Coventry, as well as the length and breadth of Birmingham itself. With first–class products including BEDHEAD, catwalk and ghd, as well as the afore mentioned Yuko, you can guarantee an

equally first-class service, for your first-class self. For women who regularly wear scarves, there’s a specially re-

SEPTEMBER 2011 25

served room for your one-to-one attention. You can find Initial in Erdington’s Slade Road, in Birmingham. So, check it out.

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26 SEPTEMBER 2011

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Saturday22ndOctober

at The Drum Arts Centre As part of Black History Month, The Drum is hosting a day of African culture with family activities during the day and a charity event in the evening. Daytime workshops to include African Drumming/Dance/Crafts Evening Dinner/Entertainment/Dance A chance to be transported for an evening and experience a bit of Africa, from the traditional to the contemporary. A delicious meal, fabulous entertainment and dancing into the wee hours. Event in aid of - The Meningitis Trust - Uffculme School in Birmingham (Special School for children on the Autistic Spectrum) - OSCAR Birmingham (Sickle Cell)

- School for Deaf Children in The Gambia. Contact the Box Office at The Drum on 0121 333 2400 for further details.

Tickets Daytime Workshops: £3 p/p or £10 per family (2 adults 3 children) Evening Dinner /Dance/Entertainment: £40 p/p (Discounted if purchased before 30th September 2011)

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ATLAS SPORTS INJURY CLINIC

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SEPTEMBER 2011 27

I

F IT’S PAIN relief you’re looking for, then the Atlas Sports Injury Clinic is the best place to go, to get the best possible result. Whether it be an acute sporting injury, or even a back spasm, through overstretching it at home, at this particular clinic, you can be guaranteed to receive the best professional, personal attention to detail that you’d have to go far to get anything near as efficient and effective. As established sports clinics, the Atlas Sports Injury Clinic, attracts all levels of runners, footballers, boxers, et el, us the elite facilities and treated by an equally elite professional staff, making sure you wouldn’t have to visit them any time soon, if ever again. One of the main members of staff is Peter Taylor BSc (Hons). Pete, an experienced Therapist. He’s been with Atlas Pain Relief and Sports Injuries since the opening of the Tamworth Atlas Pain Relief Centre, since its opening, in 2000. Registered with the Health Professions Council, as both a Physiotherapist and a Podiatrist, which means providing a specialist service for the feet and foot-related conditions, he concentrates on the unique interaction of the foot with the lower limb. Subsequently, he’s often involved in the treatment and management of the legs, knees, hips and the lower back. Although a sports injuries clinic, all sorts of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of injuries, are often referred there, by their own GPs: “An injury’s an injury, so, we see anybody, here” he (Peter) says, continuing: “We deal of all kinds of acute injuries, from the back, to ruptured Achilles.” At the clinic, in Hall Green, in Birmingham, there are two special treatment rooms, in one of which, they offer biomechanical assessments, video gait analysis and laser foot scanning, to pinpoint specific problems and supply and fit bespoke prescription orthotics. Providing a first-class service for everybody, Taylor emphasizes: “Children are always active, in sports and other activities and they often struggle with minor ailments that can be resolved quickly with treatment, here.” Atlas Sports Injury Clinic covers osteopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and specialist sport massage service, supplied by Sandra Blampied, Cherry Richards, Justine Corry and, of course, Peter himself. For further details on what the clinic can do for you, contact: 0800 195 3916

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WE REMEMBER OUR 'KING' JAMES

28 SEPTEMBER 2011

IT'S TWO YEARS since James Sewell so sadly passed away and the massive turn out, to not only mark his passing, but celebrate his wonderful life, proved comprehensively just how much of a champion barber, father, friend, husband and, above all, a man he really was. They came, as many from afar, as well as near, to pay homage to the life and times of their 'king,' James. With widow, Ivel and children present, it was the immensely large and varied number of extended family and friends which marked this day out as a very special memorial, for an equally very special man. Says Ivel: "James will always be remembered as a honest and hard-working man, who was supportive of all around him, especially his children and I. He always put us before anyone else. And, because everybody was mindful of that, he's left that legacy for us to cling to." Daughter, Mary, was equally praise-worthy of the late, but very great James. Eulogising over his stabling influence in her life, she said: "Dad was such a dedicated man, a man of peace. He was always there for us children. He was a rock, yet a 'pillow' to lean on. He was there for us all, 24/7. His memory will live with us forever." For all members of family and friends, from worshipping his being, throughout what turned out to be an auspicious day, to toasting the life he had, Brother James will be loved, honoured and remembered by all, for some considerable time to come.

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All Photographs By: Leon Thompson

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AFRICA DOESN’T N EED C HAR I T Y

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M

ILLIONS OF PEOPLE in eastern Africa could die, if aid to the famine-ravaged region dries up, according to reports coming out from major news agencies and world charity organisations. And with up to 1million children likely to die, in Somalia alone, world leaders have already gathered at the UN’s Food & Agricultural Organisation, in Rome, to discuss plugging the £613million shortfall. Despite that, though, the one thing we, here in Great Britain, are arguably the worlds best at and that is fund-raising. From as far north as John O’ Groats, to the most southernist tip of Cornwall, we have and always will be the leaders when it comes to helping the less fortunate. However, whether it be here, in Britain, or any other benevolent ‘giving’ country, it’s about time that the true message is given over. Africa, as the ‘richest’ continent in the world, can actually feed itself. It is, given the chance, the most self-sufficient, of plac-

SEPTEMBER 2011 29

es, with its high in demand resources. Aid efforts are highly commendable, but it’s not hand-outs that’s needed there. What Africa, in particular, needs, is to rid itself of all the crackpot leaders, who are more often than not, put in power and backed by equally corrupt foreign powers who will ‘play’ that card to inadvertently keep their hands on the endless bounds of minerals and stones that pretty much dictate the running of our world today. South Africa apart, the worlds’ powers have got Africa where they want it. And you might have thought that colonialism was ‘dead and gone.’ To put a final stop to poverty, African people should stand and shout as one to put an end to this ‘institutionalised apartheid.’ In case you didn’t know, we here in Britain, have a world of problems ourselves and, like Africa, or, indeed, any democraticless nation, we can do without hand-outs, if we’re allowed. If only democracy began at home.

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30 SEPTEMBER 2011

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PHOENIX CLASSIFIED Advertising@thephoenixnewspaper.com | Tel: 0843 2891 209

This SPACE COULD BE YOURS

FOR JUST

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SEPTEMBER 2011 31

Celebrities & sports stars join forces to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

FORMER DANCING ON Ice Judge, Nicky Slater, joined TV Presenter and Dancing on Ice 2011 star, Laura Hamilton, in the Charity Skateathon at The Leisurebox ice rink and bowling alley in Birmingham. Slater and Ms. Hamilton, who finished second in this year’s Dancing on Ice competition, both were able to pass on their experience to skaters who took part in the 130 lap ‘Ten Mile Challenge’ in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Slater enthused: “I was delighted to be able to offer my support to such a wonderful cause. Ice skating is a huge part of my life so it was pleasing to see it being used in a way that can help so many

children. Although I was skating instead of judging, the event certainly scored a big 6.0 for me!” The Skateathon was open to skaters of all age and ability, with coaches on hand to offer support and advice, with all proceeds going to the Heart Appeal at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Prizes were available to the top fundraisers as well as random participants, especially fancy dress – the more outrageous, the bigger the prize. Also taking part were three of the Midlands top Ice Hockey Teams; Elite League side Coventry Blaze along with the English Premier League’s Telford Tigers and National

League Solihull Barons, who all pledged their full support to what was a unique event. With a sponsored strike bowling competition to raise further funds, fans were able to test their skills against the pro players. Telford Tigers Head Coach and GB international, Tom Watkins, had better reason than most for supporting the cause; “I was very happy to support the event. The Children's Hospital played a pivotal part in my son’s life after he was diagnosed with a serious heart defect at birth. Their expertise treatment he received enabled my son to play ice hockey and live a full and active life. This was something that the Tigers

tery investment from Sport England. This year, further support will come from sponsors Puma, who are lovers of the game. Ping! Project Manager Meera Sodha said of the fourweeks: “Putting table tennis table on the streets gave people the chance to connect with other people and the city around them – all of a sudden people were talking, playing, smiling and having fun – it generated an enormous sense of well being. Last year’s event in London saw over 50,000 people play table tennis and we hoped that the

people of Birmingham enjoyed it just as much” Richard Yule, ETTA’s Chief Executive, said: “After the overwhelming success of Ping London, we were excited to see the project return for a second year as it ventured north to “Ping” the great city of Birmingham. Table tennis can help break down barriers, bring communities together and put a smile on people’s faces, so it was encouraging to see everyone playing and take full advantage of the free tables popped up in some of the most unexpected locations this summer.”

and Telford Junior Club were keen to get behind. The Skateathon was a lot of fun for such a worthy cause.” Chris Carpenter, General Manager at Leisurebox, said: "We chose to support Birmingham Children's Hospital as it touches the lives of thousands of Birmingham residents each year. Every day we have hundreds of children through our front doors and it seemed right to give back to an organisation that gives so much to them. Working closely with the local community is a big priority to our business, so, we were delighted to be able to support The Heart Appeal through our Skateathon."

Table tennis goes ‘Ping!’in the city T

ABLE TENNIS TABLES popped across the city to mark the English Table Tennis Association’s partnership with Sing London, to delivery a mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympics & Paralympic Games. Called ‘Stop and Play,’ throughout July, tables appeared across Birmingham’s landmarks, squares, shopping centres, estates, offices and train stations. Totally free for anyone to play, bats and balls were supplied; all you had to do was borrow a bat from the side of the table and away you went. With tables set up in places like Victoria Square, the St. Martin’s Open Market, off Broad Street in Brindleyplace and St. Phillips Cathedral. Sing London, the participatory arts organisation, in association with ETTA called the exercise Ping, which was supported by National Lot-

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32 - sport News

send in your stories to newsdesk@thephoenixnewspaper.com

A Dream Comes True For Nathan 21-year-old Thai Boxer, Nathan Epps, has landed his dream job, as a Trainer at the pretigous K-Star Thai Boxing Academy, in Birmingham. The former pupil of Bishop Walsh School, in Sutton Coldfield, was actually trained at the Perry Barr gym and now he will be passing on his experience and wealth of knowledge he gained to a new set of students, both there and at the Academy, in the City Centre.

Nathan, from Sutton Coldfield, has been training at K-Star for 4-years. Originally just to get fit and build self-confidence, now, he’s the current Middleweight, Midland Area Champion and has also gained his Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer qualifications, with which, he can’t wait to pass on his considerable experience and know-how. He says: “I’m really excited about this opportunity. It’s a dream come true for me. I hope I’ll be able to pass on

all I know to children and young people who might be looking at me as an inspiration.” K-Star founder and Chief Instructor, Steve Logan, is incredibly proud of Nathan’s achievement, saying: “I’m extremely happy and proud to be in the position to give Nathan this opportunity, as he’s a great lad and he deserves the chance to concentrate, fully, on his Thai Boxing. He has a great future, as a Thai Boxer and an Instructor.”

Shaylor Group

launches 1 2 month support for charity with football tournament

T

HE SHAYLOR GROUP, a West Midlands based construction company is launching a twelve month programme of support for Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a charity football tournament, as they bid to raise £10,000 towards a blood analyser for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. A series of events are planned to raise money and the company is calling on other businesses to put for-

ward their own 5-a-side team of football champions for the tournament. Shaylor aims to put together 16 teams of eight people for the tournament on

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26 September at Futsal, Great King Street North, Birmingham. For more information email ian.kilvington@shaylorgroup.com

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