Archive for January, 2012

January 31st, 2012

North West celebrities back new NHS organ donor campaign

   NORTH WEST CELEBRITIES BACK NEW CAMPAIGN TO URGE GREATER MANCHESTER’S BLACK AND ASIAN COMMUNITIES TO JOIN THE NHS ORGAN DONOR REGISTER   - Oldham woman who donated kidney to husband and Bury man awaiting second kidney transplant support the campaign -   North West celebrities Shobna Gulati, of Coronation Street, Tony Morris, of ITV Granada Reports, and Ricky Whittle, of Hollyoaks, are backing NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) new campaign to urge more Black and Asian people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).   Currently, 26%[1] of patients awaiting organ transplants in Greater Manchester are from Black and Asian communities, yet these communities account for less than 2%2 of people who have signed the ODR.   As part of the campaign, NHSBT will host a special stand at the Halle Square, Manchester Arndale Centre, on Saturday, 4 February, 10.00am-5.30pm, where passers-by can find out more about organ donation and join the Register.   Joining the team will be Shahnaz Ahmed, 50, of Oldham, who donated her left kidney to her husband Alias; and Wajid Iqbal, 33, of Bury, who has been on the waiting list for a new kidney since 2006. Jane Monks, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at NHSBT, said: “It is vital that more Black and Asian people join the NHS Organ Donor Register. The message is quite simple – more Black and Asian patients will have the opportunity to receive a life-saving transplant if more people from those communities join the Register. “Transplants can be carried out between people from different ethnic groups, but an organ is more likely to be a close match, and as a result a transplant is much more likely to be successful, if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin. Becoming an organ donor means that you could help save or enhance up to nine lives.”   In July 2011 Shahnaz Ahmed, 50, of Oldham, donated her left kidney to her husband Alias, who had lived with kidney failure for over five years.   Alias, 53, was receiving dialysis and had been on the waiting list for a new kidney for four-and-a-half years when Shahnaz and Alias's son Afzal decided to see if one of them could donate a kidney, so he wouldn’t have to wait any longer.   Shahnaz says: “It was very hard to see my husband’s health deteriorating while he was waiting for a new kidney and it got to the point where I wanted to step in and see if I could donate one of mine.   “Afzal and I went for tests at Salford Royal Hospital to see if we were a match with Alias and unbelievably we both were. I read stories online about other kidney donors who were leading normal, full lives with just one kidney and decided to go for it.”   Some friends and family were concerned that Shahnaz was putting herself at risk, while others were worried that there may be religious issues around organ donation. Shahnaz consulted with several religious scholars who confirmed that there were no problems with donating, and admired her actions. The operation took place last summer and was a success. Alias, a taxi driver, is making a good recovery and working again. Shahnaz, a part-time tutor of Urdu and English as a second language, is also in good health. Shahnaz adds: “Ours is an unusual story and not many people donate an organ while they’re alive. I would say my husband and I have an even closer bond with each other now and I don’t regret for one second having donated a kidney to him. “Unfortunately there are lots more poorly patients on the waiting list for new organs and I’d encourage people to sign the Organ Donor Register so that one day they can help save a life too. There’s a particular need for more people to sign up from the South Asian community.” Wajid Iqbal, 33, of Bury, has had kidney failure since the age of six. “Nobody knows why I got ill – it’s just one of those things,” said Wajid. “I went on home dialysis when I was 13 and juggled school with my treatment which I had to have three or four times a day. “Then, when I was 17 I contracted an infection in my stomach and needed to have haemodialysis, which meant travelling to hospital three times a week for four years. I carried on going to college and trained for an NVQ as long as I could, until it became too difficult to manage.” Wajid received a kidney transplant in 2001 and all was well for over five years, when sadly the kidney started to fail. His body was producing too many antibodies, and he became dehydrated, meaning the kidney was no longer functioning properly. The donated kidney was removed and Wajid has been back on dialysis and waiting for another kidney since 2006. Despite his experience, he is an optimistic, positive person keen to make the best of the situation. He said: “I’m getting on with life and trying not to let my condition affect me too much. I’ve started a course in counselling at Salford University and am on the hospital’s kidney patient committee, supporting other patients by sharing my experiences and acting as a representative with staff. “Not enough people from the South Asian community are signed up to the Organ Donor Register, even though they’re three times more likely to need a transplant than someone who’s white. It’s a delicate subject but I’ve worked with Muslim Scholars and transplant coordinators to try and tackle some of the religious misconceptions about organ donation.” Wajid met his wife Shakeela (29) after his transplant and was in better health, and admits that she sometimes struggles to cope with the new situation. However the pair have been greatly helped by a strong circle of family and friends who have offered vital support. “I was really sporty before my condition got worse and loved swimming, cycling and going to the gym. However now my condition means I can’t do much sport any more, and cycling is completely off the agenda,” he said. “If you feel that you want to do a good deed then signing the Organ Donor Register is the best thing you can do. Thousands of people out there are waiting for a transplant and are quite unwell. If you sign the Register and tell your family of your wishes, you’ll make a real difference to humanity and that’s the best gift you can give.” A host of other celebrities including chef Ainsley Harriott, The Apprentice star Tim Campbell, actor Riz Ahemed and actress Pooja Shah are getting behind the campaign, which has seen roadshows held in city centres across the country to highlight the need for more organ donors. The roadshows have already taken place in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Bradford before moving onto Manchester and Leicester. Teams will be visiting shopping centres, churches, temples and supermarkets in a bid to boost Black and Asian numbers on the ODR. North West Celebrities back new campaign to urge Greater Manchester’s Black and Asian communities to join NHS Organ Donor Register.

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January 31st, 2012

Finalists unveiled for inaugural Greater Manchester Green Business Award

Manufacturers, architects, a shopping centre, a hotel and a higher education institution are all in the running for the Greater Manchester Green Business Award.

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January 30th, 2012

North West Roadworks Update

Latest roadworks information for the North West from the Highways Agency for seven days beginning Monday 30th January 2012.

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January 27th, 2012

Lever Prize Winner announced

DaDaFest 2012 Wins the Lever Prize! It has been announced by the North West Business Leadership Team that DaDaFest 2012 has won the prestigious £10,000 Lever Prize award.

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January 26th, 2012

Enworks and Business Growth Hub team up to support green growth

Flagship environmental support service helps businesses to boost profits   GROWTH-HUNGRY businesses looking to cut costs and improve their productivity will now be able to access free support from the award-winning ENWORKS environmental support service, after it teamed up with the newly launched Business Growth Hub.   ENWORKS already provides hands-on, practical support to thousands of businesses across the North West, to boost profitability by improving their management of key resources such as energy, fuel, water and materials. In Greater Manchester alone, ENWORKS has helped more than 3,400 businesses to save £41 million and 172,000 tonnes of CO2e, and to secure sales contracts worth over £82 million. For instance, Manchester’s iconic Midland Hotel is saving over £86,300 a year with ENWORKS’ support.   Samantha Nicholson, ENWORKS Programmes Director, comments: "We’ve been working at the heart of business growth in the region for a decade now, offering free, practical support to help growing companies manage their environmental risks and become more sustainable. We’re excited to be working with the Business Growth Hub now, as it will help us to reach even more businesses and support them to reap the economic and environmental rewards of resource efficiency.” ENWORKS advises on a wide range of issues that help businesses to become more competitive – from meeting tendering requirements and greening supply chains to minimising environmental risk.  Their support includes on-site reviews to identify efficiency improvements plus ongoing technical support to implement changes, bespoke software to quantify and monitor savings, training and networking events, and information services.   Flagship environmental support service which helps businesses to boost profits announces new plans.

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January 26th, 2012

Virgin Trains’ Cheshire Stations are the best

Virgin Trains have scooped two top awards in the Annual Cheshire Best Station awards.

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January 23rd, 2012

Regional Mediation Pilot Scheme Launched

The latest steps in reforms to the employment tribunal system have been announced by Edward Davey, Employment Relations Minister.

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January 23rd, 2012

Northwest Roadworks Update

Highways Agency news on roadworks across the North West for seven days beginning Monday 23rd January 2012

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January 19th, 2012

Pulling together for the North West

The North West Business Leadership Team Annual Report 2011 has been released.

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January 18th, 2012

Forest lies in wait for spellbinding transformation

Delamere Forest in Cheshire is set to become a venue for a major arts event in May this year.

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