Jet Airways launches North of England's first direct flights to India's financial capital Mumbai from Manchester

    The North of England’s first ever direct flights to India’s financial capital Mumbai will begin in November.

    Indian airline Jet Airways announced it will operate a four flights per week service from Manchester, with a flight time of approximately 10 hours 35 minutes.

    Not only does it mark the first non-stop route from Manchester to Mumbai, but it's also Jet Airways' first direct service between the UK and India.

    International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the new route will “strengthen connections between two major global cities and the wider Northern Powerhouse”.

    More than half a million people of Indian origin live in northern England, while over 100 Indian companies have bases across the region.

    The flights follow the launch of the Manchester-India Partnership created earlier this year to boost links.

    Manchester Airport chief executive Andrew Cowan said: Securing a direct service to one of India’s major cities is the product of a lot of hard work over a long period of time to forge closer ties between Manchester and this globally significant economy.

    “We have worked, along with a range of partners, to create a compelling case for why our city – and the wider North – is a great place to visit, invest in and do business with. I am delighted Jet Airways have recognised this by launching what I’m sure will be a hugely popular service, not least for the 500,000 people of Indian origin living across the North.

    “Direct connectivity to the world’s most important markets is key to creating a prosperous and internationally competitive Northern economy, and a balanced and outward facing UK. This route will deliver a major boost to businesses looking to export to the world’s fastest-growing economy, as well as helping to attract Indian visitors and investors to the North. We look forward to working with Jet Airways on launching the Mumbai service in the months ahead.”

    Jet Airways will initially fly from Manchester to Mumbai on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday using an A330-200 aircraft with 254 seats.

    Return journeys start from £400 in economy, and although the new route doesn't take off until 5 November 2018, those thinking of flying can already book seats by visiting the Jet Airways website.

    Furthermore, the flight also provides a connection to nearly 35 hotspots including the likes of Kolkata, Delhi, Goa and Jaipur to name a few.

    Similarly, quick connections to beyond points on Jet Airways’ international network such as Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dhaka and Kathmandu, will now be available.

    Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways said: "We are extremely pleased to begin a new chapter in our decade-long relationship with the United Kingdom.

    "The new service will bring Manchester into our global network, reinforcing our global footprint, as well as expanding the choice of connectivity to and from the United Kingdom for our guests with the four days a week, non-stop service.

    "With the new flight, Jet Airways will have over 8,000 seats on offer every week, making it increasingly convenient for both business and leisure travellers to travel between the UK and India. This will deepen both commerce and tourism ties between the two countries".

     

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    Britain’s South Asian community remain high at risk from Mental Health. Does stigma make it harder to combat it?

    By GRAHAME ANDERSON

    At some point in life one in four people will experience mental health problems through a range of causes including stigma and discrimination. People of any status can be affected, but with Asian communities in mind taboos can be far reaching. In the past, such problems weren't addressed or talked about openly. Sufferers would be shunned, families excluded, and any issues would be a source of shame for those involved. These problems have yet to be solved, but more and more mental health professionals and groups are now working closely with Asian communities to help solve any communication problems.

    Role Model Help

    England cricketer Monty Panesar and role model to many Asian youngsters has himself been subject to mental health issues in the past. His highlighting of shame and labeling toward those suffering from mental health problems has won high praise.

    Now a mental health ambassador for the Professional Cricketers' Association, he said: "The cricketing world was very supportive and understanding, but in our Asian community there was no understanding of what mental health is.

    "When you play cricket, you want to be perceived as strong, resilient, able to be competitive. A lot of young Asians came forward after I went public and said, 'we're glad you opened up because it's a huge taboo in our community.”

    As one of the few Asian celebrities to speak out he's already helped to break down mental health barriers, following his experience of both paranoia and anxiety.

    Sharing Voices Together

    Asian Sunday spoke to Bradford charity Sharing Voices whose support for BAME communities and mental health, is making a huge difference to how they perceive mental issues. They told us: “The stigma still exists within South Asian communities. As a charity we feel small steps have been taken, and we have seen an increase in referrals. But this is still like a needle in a haystack, and many Asians are still suffering in silence, due to the shame.

    “One in five mental health inpatients comes from a BME background, compared with about one in 10 of the population as a whole. When services treat people from BME backgrounds, it's important a holistic approach and positive definitions of mental health are used, and that there is recognition of alternative perspectives and understanding.

    “The info is getting to most, but then it is up to the individual to act upon it, eg 'Yes I need help'. “I have tried committing suicide.”

    Another mental health expert said: “Some mental health problems go unreported and untreated because people in some ethnic minority groups are reluctant to engage with mainstream health services. It's also likely mental health problems are over-diagnosed in people whose first language is not English.”

    BAME Groups Remain High Risk

    The Mental Health Foundation told us: “BAME groups are still generally considered to be at higher risk of developing mental ill health. A 2015 review looked at the association between ethnicity, mental health problems and socio-economic status. It was discovered people from black ethnic minority backgrounds have a higher prevalence of psychosis, compared with the white majority population.”

    The 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) revealed common mental health problems vary significantly by ethnic group for women, but not for men. Research has also shown high rates of suicide among young South-Asian women within the UK. As organisers of Mental Health Awareness Week, they focus on a major issue each year. The group's main theme for 2018 is 'Stress – Are We Coping?

    It's also true to say mainstream mental health services are working hard to provide both acceptable and accessible services to meet the needs of non-white British communities.

    Getting Communities To talk

    Oxford University graduate Shuranjeet Singh Takhar has experienced mental health issues during his studies as he explains:

    “Having gone through difficulties myself during my time at university, I was hugely helped by my house-mates who provided a formidable support structure to help me through tough times.

    “I recall a conversation I had at the gurdwara (Sikh spiritual centre) with a middle-aged Sikh man. I spoke about the increasing mental health issues in the local community. He dismissed my claims mental health was even an issue, asserting it was something of ‘my generation’. Seeing his rejection and blindness to a very real issue concerned me.

    “I started TarakĪ, a movement designed to fundamentally change how the Punjabi community understand, approach, and treat mental health difficulties and those suffering from them. TarakĪ means being forward-facing, progressive, and looking to a better future. We believe by working alongside local and national mental health initiatives, volunteers, and groups, we can make this change happen. TarakĪ wants to bring forward discussion about mental health to break down the negative stereotypes and assumptions associated with it. From this, we can begin to tackle mental health difficulties more effectively within the community.

    “Moving forward, it's imperative the Punjabi community work together to instigate real change in how mental health is understood and treated, much to the benefit of individuals, families, and friends.”

    Positive BBC Vision

    With more than 1million viewers each day Midlands based daytime drama BBC Doctors is well placed to play a major role in cutting back mental health taboos. In line with Mental Health Awareness Week they put together six hard hitting episodes designed to help raise awareness and encourage viewers to reach out for support and advice.

    Story Producer Nasreen Ahmed says “We certainly aren’t intending to conquer all the myths and concerns around mental health by the end of our week but if we can use our regular characters and our ‘world’ to help viewers understand a little better and reach out for any support that is out there and needed – then we will have achieved what we set out to do.”

    Food for Thought

    Such prominent media coverage will do much to get people talking in their communities. Mental Health Awareness Week is set to educate people much more on problems that can be overcome with good communication, understanding and professional help. It seems there's still a long road to travel, but mental health within the Asian community is beginning to be spoken about more freely.

    Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 is between 14 – 20 May. For more information visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk or contact www.sharingvoices.net

     

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    Leeds Bradford Airport re-brands as Yorkshire Airport

    Leeds Bradford Airport as gone for a brand makeover.

    Following the appointment of a new Chief Executive, new ownership and a number of exciting changes to the terminal all now well underway, the airport has taken the decision to rebrand.

    With an ambition to create an airport that matches the needs and requirements of the region it serves and the surrounding area, Leeds Bradford: Yorkshire’s Airport will now be displayed throughout the terminal.

    Five-year-old Toby Nye, the little boy who has captured the hearts of Yorkshire following his battle with neuroblastoma, did the honours to officially switch on the new signage emblazoned on the front of the terminal roof.

    As part of the celebrations, the region’s largest airport also showcased the first part of its terminal redevelopments, including brand new purpose-built lounges. Featuring stunning floor to ceiling runway views, The Yorkshire Lounge, The White Rose Suite and 1432 Club will replace the current Yorkshire Premier Lounge.

    Designed to offer a leisure, business or first-class experience, passengers have a number of entry methods, including pre-book, airline access, loyalty card schemes and on the day access.

    The Yorkshire Lounge is the perfect place for families to relax and enjoy refreshments pre-flight, while The White Rose Suite offers the ideal environment for business passengers and couples looking for some pre-flight relaxation, in a lounge that serves barista-style coffee and a fully-serviced bar.

    The 1432 Club, named after the runway, is the most exclusive of the new lounges, featuring a specially selected menu, self-service premium bar and a prime view of the airfield.

    The unveiling of the new lounges follows the opening of a brand new Cabin Bar and Beer House while the Saltaire restaurant has been completely overhauled. Works on a brand new Starbucks coffee shop and additional retails outlets are set to commence in the coming weeks.

    Designed to provide a more straightforward journey for customers with a modern and vibrant feel, as well as developing our food and beverage offering, the airport has also invested in free non-commercial seating within the departure lounge. Work is also currently underway on the terminal front to improve passengers’ arrival at the airport, with a new Meet & Greet car-park facility.

    In March, the airport celebrated the opening of its first off-site car park. Viking Airport Parking, situated just off the airport roundabout located on Warren House Lane, ensures passengers have the smoothest possible start to their holiday. With members of staff on hand to park customers’ cars 24/7, shuttle buses transport passengers from the car park to the terminal in less than five minutes.

    Chief Executive David Laws said: “We want the people of our thriving region to get behind their airport and help us move forward.

    “We are delighted to offer our passengers even more choice in our departure lounge, as well as improved facilities for business travellers. We hope people will see this as the start of things to come for this airport. Our brand refresh embodies our vision to become Yorkshire’s airport of choice and to provide an airport our passengers can be proud of. As the development of LBA continues we hope to continually keep improving the customer experience and ensure our passengers feel welcome.

    “We are investing in staff training to ensure we offer a warm ‘Yorkshire welcome’ to all of our passengers, as well as continually improving our Special Assistance offering to help passengers with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities.

    “The more people use this airport the more successful we can be. Work continues to improve our route offering for both business and leisure services and we hope to have more exciting announcements in the near future.

    “It was great to welcome Toby and his family to switch on our new sign and experience our exclusive lounges. We also look forward to welcoming them back in the near future for a VIP tour. Our Fire Team are especially excited to welcome Toby to the Fire Station, as we hear from a reliable source (his Mum) he is a lover of ‘Transformers’ and our new fire vehicles are the same as those used in the films!”

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    Do you think you have the best photograph of the Mirror Pool Fountains in City Park? Why not enter the The Fountain Workshop Limited Photography Competition?

    The Fountain Workshop, who installed and maintain the Mirror Pool Fountains in the multi award winning City Park, are launching a competition to find the best photograph of the fountains in action. The competition is open to all and the prize for overall winner will be a photography workshop. The winner and runners up will also be treated to a tour of the plant room where the fountains are operated.

    Participants can choose a range of features in the Mirror Pool, such as the arching jets which people love to run through and try to stay dry; the vertical jets that surround the pool; or maybe even the main fountain, which can reach 100 feet in the air. In the evening, the dozens of LED lights turn the fountains an array of bright and attractive colours, whilst later in the evening, the four laser lights create a fantastic light show on the Mirror Pool floor.

    David Bracey, Managing Director of The Fountain Workshop said “the Mirror Pool is a fantastic addition to Bradford and we are proud to have been, and to continue to be, a part of the city. This water feature is a technical triumph with over 100 individual fountains, 4984 metres of pipework, and 587,000 litres of water which is recirculated every 3 hours and 9 minutes. We hope that this competition highlights the beauty of the Mirror Pool.”

    Jonny Noble, City Centre Manager says “since City Park and the Mirror Pool opened in March 2012, we have seen on average over five million people using the space every year, that’s 30 million visits! We have hosted dozens of high profile events and seen the space welcomed by people from Bradford, and from much further afield. It continues to be a place of huge civic importance and pride and I am very lucky to have been involved with the operation of City Park for almost five years!”

    The competition starts on Easter Weekend and will run until the 31 May 2018. Entries can be sent using the hashtag #TFWLPhotoComp to @fountainslive on Twitter or @fountainworkshop on Instagram. You can find full entry terms and conditions at www.fountains.co.uk.

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    Sugar Tax Set to Sweeten UK Economy

    By GRAHAME ANDERSON

    The sugar tax will come into effect in the UK on 6 April to target population obesity. It's hoped younger adults will fully benefit, though the often controversial, measure is aimed at people of all ages to help reduce the adverse health and cost burdens of diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

    The Tax Broken Down

    There will be two bands to the Sugar-sweetened beverages tax or SSBs - one for soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, and a higher one for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml. The measure will not apply to all other high-sugar content drinks, like juices, or drinks made up of 75 per cent milk, though all are regarded as potentially dangerous to health.

    Sugary Truths

    Sugar has been found to carry low satiety, with the result of stimulating the appetite and assisting the promotion of weight gain. Intake of SSBs has been shown to result in dramatic increases in blood glucose and insulin concentrations. This contributes to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, independently of obesity. In fact, based on scientific evidence The World Health Organisation has recommended a reduction of free sugars consumption from less than 10 per cent, to less than five per cent of total daily energy intake.

    Dr Max Davie, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "The sugary drinks affected by this tax have no nutritional benefit, often containing levels of sugar well above a child's daily recommended limit. These drinks are a major contributor to the high sugar intakes of children, particularly teenagers, and we are in no doubt that they are, in part, contributing to this country's obesity crisis."

    Gavin Partington, of the British Soft Drinks Association, disagrees saying: "There is no evidence worldwide taxes of this sort reduce obesity, and it is ironic soft drinks are being singled out for tax, when we've led the way in reducing sugar intake, down over 17 per cent since 2012.”

    International Comparison

    Such a tax in Mexico, France and Hungary has been hugely successful with purchases of sugary drinks decreasing between six to 27 per cent after the tax was applied. In the case of France and Hungary however, apart from all types of sugar sweetened drinks, both biscuits and confectionery products are all subject to extra taxation. The Organics council claims we will only be pretending to emulate success abroad as the UK legislation stands. In terms of reaching the daily limit - one 250ml drink of apple juice or the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar will suffice. But of course, many people go well over this without even realising.

    Scientific Evidence

    Organics Council’s science committee member Dr Gonzalo Delgado says: “When it comes to public health policy decisions, it's essential these are based in solid scientific evidence. Sugar taxes can be useful to decrease sugar consumption, but they need to target all high sugar content and artificial sweetened foods, not only soft drinks as in the UK case. Consumers, and people in general, need to be well informed about current scientific knowledge, so they can make the correct choices in regard of their nutrition and health.”

    Malcolm Clark, a coordinator for the Children’s Food Campaign certainly agrees with the sentiments of the council stating: “The sugary drinks tax in its present form will not solve the UK’s childhood obesity crisis. We need other policy interventions including restrictions on marketing.”

    And for those looking to artificial sweeteners, experts say they are certainly not free of calories and also linked to glucose intolerance, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

    The Outcome

    The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the levy could add 18p to 24p to the price of a litre of fizzy drink, if the full cost is passed on to the consumer.

    For further information around how The Organics Council work to protect the public through organic practice, research and campaigning, please visit the official website at www.organicscouncil.org

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