SAaS fundraising event through Art and Talent Contest for ‘Food Banks’

Dear members and well-wishers

The Covid-19 is affecting our communities at their core. This crisis has also given us the opportunity to come closer, share our values and help each-other during this unprecedented global predicament.

In line with previous charitable events, South Asian Society (SAaS) of Devon and Cornwall has aimed to raise funds for ‘FOOD BANKS’ through an exciting contest involving younger members of our communities to showcase the talents, reflect their perspectives and feelings into fun and art.

Those members and well-wishers of the SAaS, who are not able to participate in this contest are requested to donate generously to support this noble charitable cause (bank details given in the attached flyer). The collection of donation without participation in the contest will continue until 30th of June 2020. Communities need to support one another at this time and think about those most vulnerable and affected by the pandemic.

The deadline to participate in the contest is 11pm, 10th of June 2020. Please find details about the event in the attached flyer. By entering in the contest, it is implied that you agree with the ‘Terms and Conditions to Participate in SAaS Event’ downloadable from the link below.

We will most gratefully welcome your co-operation and efforts in support of the wider community, including wider dissemination of this Art and Talent Competition.

Please do not hesitate to contact us saascontest@gmail.com if you have any queries regarding the contest or the charity event.  

Looking forward to your generous support to these activities.

Yours truly,

Professor Awadhesh Jha

(Chairperson, SAaS) on behalf of the trustees

COVID – Community fundraising initiatives

We are pleased to announce that we are working on couple of fundraising initiatives supporting the local community to combat both short and medium-term challenges.

Art and Talent Contest supporting Food banks 

The contest could be a great way to channel children’s and wider community perspectives and feelings into fun and art and to have a place where audiences could see it. The contest details will be shared separately later this week. This is our medium-term effort to help and contribute culturally within the local community but also raise funds for charities in Devon and Cornwall who are and will have an instrumental role to play in the recovery ahead. 
Watch out for our next newsletter for further details. 

Raising funds for Food Banks

While we work on the contest details, the trustees in recent meetings decided to seek a donation via an open call from its members towards supporting ‘foodbank’ with an aim to support those underprivileged members of the wider community, including students who have been facing challenging situations due to job losses and other tough circumstances. If you would like to contribute towards this cause please feel free to donate using the details below by 10th June 2020. 

Society’s account details below:
Account Name: South Asian Society
Bank name: Santander
Sort Code: 09  01  55
Account Number: 66415186
REF: CFoodBank

AGM & Annual Event 2020

Annually, the society organises its AGM in the month of June. The AGM is a valuable opportunity for its members to meet socially and discuss the progress made and how to move society forward. It also gives us the opportunity to start planning for the annual event, normally organised in the month of November. Due to the prevailing situation, the trustees have agreed to postpone the AGM until the situation improves. We will be reviewing the Government relaxation rules for social distancing and announce the date of AGM and the Annual Event at the earliest opportunity. It will be a great occasion to meet in person. We all should be looking forward to it.  

The tenure of current office bearers will expire following the AGM. The trustees will, therefore, be electing new office bearers after the AGM. We will be giving advance notice for the AGM and will also encourage members to volunteer themselves to become trustees to serve the society.


Devon and Cornwall Police Zero Tolerance to Hate Crime Pledge

Devon and Cornwall Police have a Zero Tolerance to Hate Crime. With that in mind I would like to make those of you who don’t already know, that you too can support this pledge, helping to empower your communities that Hate Crime will not be tolerated. 

The pledge aims to:

  • Increase knowledge and understanding of Hate Crime among our communities
  • Promote reporting methods, including third party reporting
  • Explain how the police respond to a victim of Hate Crime
  • Help individuals understand how we can deal with those individuals who commit hate crime

You can sign the pledge by visiting our site: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/pledge

Please show your support as an organisation and spread the message amongst the communities that Hate Crime is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

Parent’s help-seeking for, and care of, a sick or injured child during Covid-19: a new national survey

SAaS is always supportive to its members who are involved in academic, research or other extracurricular activities. Dr Mala Raman, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth has been involved in an interesting collaborative research related to welfare of children affected with Covid-19. The University of Plymouth, a partner of this collaborative research has launched a survey to find out how the Stay Home advice during the pandemic has influenced parents’ decision making and care of sick or injured children. The survey results will advance understanding of how these extraordinary times are affecting parents thinking about, and perception of, access to services for children when they are sick or injured. Nationally the number of children being seen in primary care and emergency departments has dropped substantially in the UK since the advice to ‘Stay Home’. This has led to concern that some children are getting treatment late in the course of an illness and it is assumed that this is because parents are worried about seeking help. The findings from this survey will provide the evidence to underpin the development of information for parents to help them get help for their children when they need it during the pandemic and afterwards.

The University of Plymouth team is collaborating with University College London, the University of Leicester, University of Northampton, South West Academic Health Science Network, Derriford Hospital, the ASK SNIFF team and parent panel, Mother’s Instinct support group, Meningitis Now, the Meningitis Research Foundation and the UK Sepsis Trust.

Please support  this important research by filling a brief questionnaire and return as per the link below:

https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=158885348067

Annual Cultural Event 2019

The 2019 annual cultural celebrations gave exposure to the community members to new vistas and further fostered the multicultural environment present within Devon and Cornwall. The cultural event staged 14 performances highlighting a wide variety of themes from south Asia. The event was attended by the Deputy Lord Mayoress, Councillor Chris Penberthy, MP’s (Sir Gary Streeter, Luke Pollard, Rebecca Smith), police and crime commissioner of Devon and Cornwall (Alison Hernandez).

SAaS joins Respect Festival 2019

The Festival which showcases Plymouth’s diversity and enables different communities to come together and promote the intrinsic message of respect and equality for all. Organised by the Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council, the one-day event includes parades through the city centre, live music, dancing, children’s activities, world food, information stands and much more! Since humble beginnings in 1998, Plymouth RESPECT Festival has continued to grow and develop each year. Similar to previous years SAaS participated with much fanfare and was a very successful event. There were a number of performances from the South Asian Community as part of the programme. We would like to thank PDREC once more for the initiative and their support. Please view the gallery for some images from the event.

Award from Police and Crime Commissioner’s Team

The South Asian Society of Devon and Cornwall, which was co-formed by international students and staff from the University, has been highly commended in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Team Award at the Devon and Cornwall Police Volunteer Awards 2019. The Society looks to enhance awareness of South Asian culture through a variety of activities to promote racial unity and was recognised for its significant and sustained contribution to community wellbeing. The trustees (current and previous), as a team, are privileged to act as volunteers to promote and contribute to the objectives of the society. These include organisations of various cultural, educational, sporting and charitable activities throughout the year. This also entails linking with other organisations and stakeholders in the region. 

AGM 2019

The Annual General Meeting 2019 was successfully convened on the 2nd of June 2019 and was attended by the trustees but Jayanti Bhai (who was unwell) and a large number of members. We had a number of cultural performances followed by the meeting and refreshments. We thank all the participants for their contributions and participation. All existing trustees to continue for another year.

A special tribute was arranged for Mrs Anjana Bhagwanji. In Anjanaben’s departure, we have lost a generous, hospitable, hardworking and kind-hearted member. We pray for the peace of the departed soul. 

New Associate Trustees
Dr Satish BK 
Mr Abhijeet Ghatghe
Dr Smita Tripathi 

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Obituary – Mrs Anjanaben Bhagwanji

25 July 1951 - 05 January 2019 

It is with great sadness, we have to inform you that Mrs Anjanaben Bhagwanji, a founding member of South Asian Society (SAaS) passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, 5th January 2019 at her residence in Plymouth. 

Those who have been associated with SAaS would know that Anjanaben worked, passionately, tirelessly and selflessly for the progress of the society since its establishment in 2003. She not only assisted her husband, Mr Jayanti Bhagwanji (affectionately known as Jayantibhai) performing his duties as trustee and long-time treasurer of the society but also contributed to the society in many ways including catering, organising many successful events (including AGMs and Annual Diwali-Eid events). She also donated generously to all the charitable activities SAaS undertook. 

As its founding member, Anjanaben also very actively worked for the Plymouth Hindu Community. She also assisted Jayantibhai to organise many events for Masonic (Freemason) Victory Lodge No 4189. 

By Anjanaben’s departure, we have lost a generous, hospitable, hardworking and kind hearted personality. We pray for the peace of the departed soul. May God give enough strength to bear this loss to Jayantibhai, his son and daughter-in-law, Vimal and Suzanne; daughter and son-in-law, Anita and Manish, the grandchildren and a very big family besides large number of friends. The wider society will greatly miss Anjanaben.