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Six-year-old UK Cypriot Andy Achilleos launched a justgiving fundraising page named Andy’s Wish to Walk and last month appeared on the BBC’s Children in Need television programme.

Andy has been accepted as a candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The aim is to improve spasticity (muscle stiffness) in his legs caused by brain damage at birth. The spasticity can be very painful and leads to excessive stiffness in his legs and causes difficulties with walking.

Last year the television show visited the London Centre for Children of cerebral palsy which support children with a condition like Andy’s. He appeared on the show last year following up what he’s been doing since then.

The brave young soul was with his mum Afrothedi, who explained the situation for Andy and the fundraising aspects of Andy’s cause.

”Andy has been given the okay to have a life-changing operation at Great Ormond Street, unfortunately it’s not all completely funded by the NHS so we’ve been fundraising for Andy, really fantastic community support, and the school that Andy attends have recently fundraised over 19,000”, she said.

Afrothedi further explained to giving money to Children in Need is important as it funds a centre that Andy attends.

”Fundraising the sessions Andy goes to and the specialists and professionals to help teach him to do everyday things like walking, sitting”, Afrothedi stressed.

Check out the Justgiving Page if you would like to make your pledge or donation and Gift Aid, by visiting the website: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andyswishtowalk


Article written by London Greek Radio

St Andrew the Apostle School’s new 6th Form will have an academic focus with most of its curriculum featuring A-Level courses for students expecting to go to university.

Detailed plans for the 6th Form, which is due to open with brand new facilities at North London Business Park in September 2018, were unveiled on Thursday (16 November) at an Open Evening for Year 11 students and their parents.

Students were given the opportunity to discuss their subject choices, application process and other questions about life in a 6th Form with subject experts, teaching staff and representatives from the school’s sponsor, the Russell Education Trust. RET currently runs the highest achieving multi-academy in the country and has already opened two 6th Forms in Bristol and Essex.

RET’s 6th Form Advisor, Mr. Martin O’Sullivan, told a packed hall, ”Going the extra mile for 6th Form students will be an integral part of the RET package in which every possible support and opportunity is in place to ensure that each student looks amazing on an application form, whether for university, employment or other work-based training.

”Most of our courses will be A-Level courses, though we will be offering selected BTEC Level 3 courses with a greater practical element.”

He described the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to create a successful 6th Form and said the first priority would be the appointment of the best teachers for first-class teaching. He added that pastoral care was at the forefront of everything they do.

”Running alongside effective teaching, it is vital that we provide a crutch when things get difficult. Life can be incredibly stressful for both students, who have to deal with additional responsibilities and opportunities with the added confusion of greater freedom, and parents who have to ensure that their children are not burning the candle at both ends and ruining their chances of long term success for short term gains.”

Headteacher, Mr Rob Ahearn, said he was very proud of the progress made so far and was looking forward to building a vibrant, successful 6th Form which would inherit and build on many of the successful features of St Andrew the Apostle School. These included the high-quality of the teachers, belonging to an outstanding trust and being an inclusive school.

”As a Greek Orthodox secondary school, there is an emphasis on broad Christian values of forgiveness, responsibility, kindness and respect for others which leads to very high expectations in terms of behaviour and academic endeavour.

”We are an inclusive school where we hope even those joining us from elsewhere will quickly feel a part of the school. We may be smaller than some 6th Forms, but we believe that will mean that no one will be ignored or over looked,” stated Mr. Ahearn, adding that the new block will have outstanding facilities to provide a safe and comfortable working environment.

He stressed that St Andrew the Apostle 6th Form students would be setting an example to younger students and would be expected to dress appropriately for a working day ‘in the office’ as part of their preparation for their future aspirations and careers. They would ”enjoy a unique experience of leading the way in helping to build the 6th Form of the future.”

Founding student, Marianna Christodoulou, is hoping to study English Literature, Psychology and Philosophy & Ethics. She said, ”I want to stay on because everyone is so enthusiastic about establishing the new 6th Form. I love the family atmosphere, my friends, teachers – the whole ethos.”

Fellow Year 11 student, Guy Coker, who wants to go on to university to study maths, has visited other schools but is expecting to stay on too. He explained, “The wide variety of subjects and the dedication of the teachers means that it’s definitely worth taking the opportunity that is being offered at St Andrew.”

Deputy Headteacher and 6th Form Development Lead, Mr. Mike Michael, was delighted with the success of the evening and the interest shown by existing and external students in the new 6th Form.

”It’s been such a positive night, with so much enthusiasm from students and parents keen to make the right choices for the next stage of their education. We hope that many will be joining us for a 6th Form taster day on Friday 5 January,” he concluded.

Details about the new 6th Form, curriculum and application process can be found on the website: http://www.standrews6th.org.uk/


Article written by London Greek Radio / Parikiaki / St Andrews The Apostle

Nikki Christou, 13, is a UK Cypriot inspiring others through the power of social media, whose latest award come rubber-stamped by none other than 10 Downing Street. The social media star who video blogs her experience of living with life-threatening AVM (Arteriovenous Malformations) and uses digital platforms to share information on how to cope with a chronic illness, has received the Prime Minister’s daily Points of Light award which recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community.

Through talking about her condition, offering advice for people with deformities and delivering makeup tutorials, Nikki has attracted millions of views and over 250,000 subscribers. Her public display of bravery, despite undergoing 28 facial operations and 300 visits to hospital since being born, is inspiring each of her viewers and followers.

Additionally, with the help of her parents, she founded the ‘Butterfly AVM Charity’ that has so far raised £500,000 for research at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London.

Last year she was presented with a ‘Pride of Britain Award’ by Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street.

In a personal letter to Nikki, Prime Minister Theresa May said: ”By sharing your experience of living with Arteriovenous Malformations on social media and in online videos, you are an example of hope and positivity to each of your hundreds of thousands of fans, and particularly those who also have the condition. Your fundraising for the ‘Butterfly AVM Charity’ is having a transformational effect on the scientific research that is being undertaken in this field and you should be very proud indeed of achieving this at such a young age.”

Nikki said: ”I am really honoured to have been chosen for such an amazing award. My AVM has taught me to make the most of everyday. I started ‘The Butterfly AVM Charity’ to raise money to support and inform sufferers and their families about this rare illness and to establish potentially life-saving research. This could not have been achieved without the help of so many volunteers who I thank from the bottom of my heart. I also try to show people that facial differences and disabilities should not stop a person from enjoying their lives to the best of their ability and achieve their dreams without any prejudice. We are all imperfectly perfect in our own way. Close your eyes make a wish – open them and make that dream a reality.”

Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.

First established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, over 5,000 US Points of Light have been recognised in the USA. UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the US programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April 2014.

Since then hundreds of people have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister, highlighting an enormous array of innovative and inspirational volunteering across the length and breadth of Britain.

The UK Points of Light are fundraising, awareness raising, problem solving heroes who all had an idea they decided to make a reality. Their actions have changed lives and their stories are can inspire thousands more to get involved or start their own initiatives.


Article written by London Greek Radio / pointsoflight.gov.uk

For the first time ever, Despina Miraraki will bring 30 years of craft expertise to London.

Her vast collection of tailor-made carpets will be available to browse and purchase, including traditional and modern varieties.

Date: 23rd November 2017

Location: Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Time: 18:30–21:00

RSVP and register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exclusive-cocktail-event-invitation-worlds-best-handmade-carpet-company-tickets-39833356642

If you are unable to attend the launch event, the exhibition will run from 22nd to 26th November, open daily from 10am – 9pm.

Join us in the heart of London as we showcase the award-winning Miraraki carpet exhibition.

Founder Despina Miraraki has led the specialised industry for over three decades with a long list of achievements, including being named the best handcrafted carpet company globally and winning the Seven Star Carpet Gallery Award, the highest award for the pinnacle in luxury hospitality and lifestyle.

Her achievements to date include collaboration with award-winning designer Robert Cavalli, weekly TV exposure and production for leading hotel brands such as Hilton.

Guests will be welcomed by a cocktail reception and will have a chance to browse a display of masterpieces, from classic carpets created from wool and silk to modern designs such as Persian silks, Qum, Tabriz, Nain and Isfahan.

Enjoy a show of exquisite craftsmanship, meet with founder Despina Miraraki and treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind exhibition.

We hope to welcome you to the launch show in London!


Article written by London Greek Radio

The Labour Party’s ‘Friends of Cyprus Group’ was launched on Tuesday evening at an event held in the UK Parliament, in the presence of the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn and a number of Labour MPs.

The initiative for the creation of the group belongs to Vassilis Mavrou, who said that he aim is to ”create closer bonds between Labour MPs and Cypriots, both in the UK and in Cyprus.” He noted that Jeremy Corbyn’s support was a catalyst for the launch of the group.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

In his address, Corbyn said that he represents a constituency that includes a huge number of Cypriots, both of Greek and of Turkish ethnical background, and that in 1974 he remembers trying to help Cypriots arriving to London as refugees following the invasion by Turkey.

”The contribution made to our communities and our lives by those people is really incredible,” commented the Labour Party leader.

He went on to say that there must be a reunification of Cyprus and a resumption of the collapsed talks.

”Campaigning for Cyprus and having a sense of responsibility towards Cyprus is very important to me. I recognise that the UK is a guarantor power and I want a Labour government to ensure that we fulfil our obligations, to ensure that this means the island of Cyprus gets reunified,” he added.

The first UK Cypriot MP Bambos Charalambous said that there is still hope for a solution, despite the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana. He added that during his recent visit in Cyprus, he realised that Cypriots are worried about the chances to solve the Cyprus problem as with the elections coming up in January, the timing is not ideal.

The Cypriot MP also said that the Labour Party Friends of Cyprus needs to put more pressure on Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office to support Cyprus.

The coordinator of the event and MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Catherine West, said that the Labour Party will support Cyprus in its efforts to find a just and viable solution.

On her behalf, the hostess of the event, MP Kate Osamor, said she is proud to be part of this newly formed group which aims to take responsibilities and to speak on behalf of the community.

Joan Ryan, MP for Enfield North, said that her constituency is a fantastic example of how Turkish and Greek Cypriots work and live together. “The two communities have more in common than divides them,” she added.

Other MPs that were present and spoke in support of Cyprus and the new group were Angela Rayner, Stephen Doughty, Steve McCabe, Joan Ryan, Roger Gossif, Carolyn Harris, Hugh Gaffney and Caroline Flint.


Article written by CNA LGR

The annual Radiomarathon Gala Dinner will take place at Inter-Continental London Park Lane Hotel on Saturday 28th October.

This glamorous evening of Dinner and Dance with star guest this year being the incredible Anna Vissi is Radiomarathon’s biggest fundraising event of the year which raises vital funds for the Enfield Centre.

The event is held under the auspices of Andri Anastasiades, spouse of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and President of the Radiomarathon Foundation.

Ticket prices start at £150 per person, including 3-course meal, available individually or as tables of 12.

For ticket information please contact Demetra Christou

email: demetra@radiomarathon.co.uk.

Telephone 01992 713297 and speak to Demetra or Sandra.

If you are unable to attend the Gala but would still like to help this amazing cause, you can still support the charity by making a donation online:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/RadiomarathonGala2017

All donations go towards running the Radiomarathon Centre which provides facilities and cares for people with learning disabilities.

Your support will make a huge impact today, tomorrow, and at all times.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Six-year-old UK Cypriot Andy Achilleos would like you to read his story, which you can see by visiting the Page justgiving/fundraising/andyswishtowalk

Hi my name is Andy and I am 6 years old. Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

I live at home with my mummy, daddy and my big brother Chris.

Mummy says I had a difficult birth and after 14 hours of labour I still wasn’t ready to come into the world. The doctors said it was because I was being stubborn and they decided to force me out.

After spending the first 5 days of my life in the neonatal unit I was allowed to go home.

Mummy soon noticed that I wasn’t meeting my milestones as I couldn’t sit, stand or walk like all the other kids could at my age, so she kept taking me to the doctors and eventually at 18 months old I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

For the last few years I’ve had lots of physiotherapy and have even been given Botox in my legs to help my tight muscles which worked well for a while. Now the injections aren’t working as well as before and the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say that I can have an operation which should help me walk without using my sticks or my rollator.

They say that I will have to do lots and lots of physiotherapy after the operation which can be very tiring but I don’t mind especially if it means I can dance and run around without having to hold onto something so I don’t fall over.

My mummy and daddy say that this operation costs a lot of money and that we will need help to pay for the operation and all my physiotherapy after.

Andy has been accepted as a candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The aim is to improve spasticity (muscle stiffness) in his legs caused by brain damage at birth. The spasticity can be very painful and leads to excessive stiffness in his legs and causes difficulties with walking.

Once Andy has his operation, he will be discharged from hospital after about a week and we will then move into the patient hotel across the road. Andy will then have to attend the hospital gym twice a day for two weeks in order to help strengthen legs, trunk and pelvis, increasing his range of movement. He will then be discharged from hospital and we will have to fund further rehabilitation for the next 2 years. He will have to learn how to use his body in a different way as he will be weak and lose the ability to co-ordinate his movements. This is the only procedure that permanently removes the spasticity in the legs and is only partially funded by the NHS.

7.5% of all donations to Tree of Hope in relation to this appeal will be allocated to the general charitable purposes of Tree of Hope to cover our core operating costs.

If we raise insufficient funds, or surplus funds, then the funds will be used, if appropriate, to fund support for our child’s needs in accordance with Tree of Hope’s charitable objects. If in those circumstances we are unable to use all or part of the funds for the benefit of our child in accordance with Tree of Hope’s charitable objects, then any funds that cannot be used will be transferred to be used for the general charitable purposes of Tree of Hope.

Check out the Justgiving Page if you would like to make your pledge or donation and Gift Aid, by visiting the website: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andyswishtowalk


Article written by London Greek Radio

Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain is demanding an apology from Lidl. The supermarket giants digitally removed the crosses from the top of an iconic Greek church from their food packaging, causing a stir among some shoppers.

This included a vocal protest from our Greek and Cypriot community based in the UK, who think that Lidl are seizing upon the ‘marketing ploy’ by featuring the German supermarkets own Greek product brand, Eridanous. These often feature meatballs, moussaka, halloumi and Greek style yoghurt.

People turned to social media and the company’s Facebook page in protest at Lidl erasing roof-mounted crosses from a picture of an iconic Greek Orthodox Church on the Greek island of Santorini.

”The company must restore the church and apologise to the public… without making a fuss.”

The Archbishop reflected the protest this week stating faith believers and Greeks alike felt it was a deeply offensive act.

His Eminence said: “They [have] hurt the Christians – not only the Greeks because it was a Greek church – but the Christians [from] what I read. I hope that many others will protest against this silly decision.”

Archbishop Gregorios agreed that the editing decision was ”an immoral act”, adding: ”It is immoral in my eyes to remove something which has been there for 2,000 years and is the symbol that Christ died on the cross for you, for me, for millions of people.

”The company must restore the church and apologise to the public… without making a fuss. This is my suggestion.”

Following the archbishop’s comments, Lidl UK said it had nothing to add to its previous statement: “We are extremely sorry for any offence caused by the most recent artwork and would like to reassure our customers that this is not an intentional statement.”

 

A number of shoppers contacted Lidl UK’s Facebook page and pledged to boycott the store until the package decision was reversed.

Lidl UK signalled a willingness to bow to customer concerns, saying: “We will ensure that all feedback is taken into consideration when redesigning future packaging.”

Updated: 07/09/2017 Lidl says its food packaging which included the picture of a church with its crosses digitally removed will be changed “as soon as possible”.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Lidl has digitally removed crosses on top of an iconic Greek church from its food packaging, causing a stir among some shoppers.

The German supermarket giant erased the symbols on the roof of the Greek Orthodox church building in Santorini from products in its own-label Greek food range.

The frozen ready meal is part of Lidl’s Eirdanous collection of Greek food which also includes meatballs and Greek style yoghurt.

Eirdanous has been on sale in stores across Europe for more than ten years and marketing designs have undergone a number of changes in that time.

In a statement, Lidl UK told Premier Christian Radio: ”We are extremely sorry for any offence caused by the most recent artwork and would like to reassure our customers that this is not an intentional statement.”

Concern was raised earlier this week when a shopper noticed the edited image on a pack of moussaka in Belgium. The lady contacted RTL, a French-language television station, to express her anger.

The lady contacted RTL, a French-language television station, to express her anger.

Research by Premier has revealed the distorted image has appeared on products available in the UK, including Eirdanous Halloumi with Basil. The image was additionally found on a three-litre Lidl container of olive oil in Germany.

One Twitter user reacted: ”I find the removal of the cross offensive”, while another asked: “Why use churches if you take away the cross? Idiotic!”

A third Twitter user asked: ”Lidl, since when is a picture of a Greek church provocative or disturbing? It only becomes that if you erase the cross!”

The firm signalled a willingness to bow to customer concerns, saying: ”We will ensure that all feedback is taken into consideration when redesigning future packaging.”

One of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, Santorini’s blue-domed churches are among the key factors behind its popularity among tourists. Hundreds of thousands of people visit each year.


Article written by Premier, London Greek Radio

Enlightenment is the only weapon that can help promote the national issue, the leaders of Cypriot diaspora have said.

Noting the success of the 19th World Conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), the International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the World Conference of Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK), the overseas Cypriots told a press conference that their efforts will continue especially after the collapse of the latest talks for a Cyprus settlement at Crans Montana.

Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian and Overseas Affairs, Fotis Fotiou, said this year’s conference was upgraded with new events and greater participation.

He thanked POMAK, PSEKA and NEPOMAK for their work, especially Antonia Michalides, chairwoman of NEPOMAK, noting that the new generation should be supported to maintain affiliation with their roots.

Fotiou praised the overseas Cypriots for their continued willingness to help in finding a solution for the Cyprus problem, adding ”we are at a crucial phase and overseas Cypriots are giving us lessons of unity. We will continue the struggle to end the occupation and this is the message conveyed by this conference”, he added.

The commissioner also said that special emphasis should be given for the diaspora to forge more cooperation agreements with the diaspora of other countries that have a key role. He praised cooperation with the Jewish and Armenian diaspora as they are powerful at decision-making centres.

We have also involved Greece in this, he said and referred to the successful example in the US where the Cypriot, Greek and Jewish diaspora work at all levels, especially the political level as it is a way to promote common interests.

Regarding the missing persons issue, Fotiou said it was tabled by many delegates and they discussed ways to promote and enlighten on the issue at decision taking centres so that Turkey is persuaded and pressured into providing information on the missing persons. ”It is a shame for the international community 43 years on, to still have two-thirds of our missing unaccounted for”, he added.

Regarding the number of overseas Cypriots, he said a first estimation is 500-600 thousand.

On the enlightenment funds, Fotiou said that it is imperative to increase them.

POMAK President Andreas Papaevripidis said that they are examining options, noting that prominent business leaders should make a fund solely for enlightenment.

He also said that the aim is to maintain the Cypriot diaspora because it will always need to support its homeland.

PSEKA president Philip Christopher thanked Fotiou for upgrading the Overseas Cypriots’ conference.
Enlightenment is the only weapon we have, he said, adding neither the Cypriot nor Greek governments have yet appreciated that big funds are needed and that 2 million euros is not enough when Turkey spends 100 million at universities and think tanks.

Noting the effort will continue, Christopher called on Cypriot millionaires to “put their hands in their pockets and help”. Successful Jewish businesses put a two-to three percent of their earnings to support Israel, he added.

On her part, NEPOMAK leader Antonia Michaelides Antoniou said the conference was highly successful especially for the youth, as 40 came from all over the world.

“They came here with a limited understanding of what the conference was going to be about and have left feeling inspired to join our organisation and understand about their roots, history and promote the Cyprus problem and the missing persons issue in their own respective nations.

Regarding the new US administration, Christopher said that the American foreign policy was always pro-Turkish. However, he believes that there will be a change and overseas Cypriots in the US will work with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who knows the Cyprus problem. At the same time, the new US administration has pledged that it will not allow any problem in Cyprus’ EEZ.

He also said that the diaspora in the US are already working on the President’s forthcoming trip to the US, adding “our attack should be enlightenment, we need everyone to know that the collapse of the talks was due to Turkey and the Cyprus issue is an issue of invasion and occupation.

Regarding the Brexit, Papaevripidis said that surely it will directly or indirectly affect the overseas Cypriots planning about Cyprus, however, so far, there have not been great repercussions.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The latest round of UN-led negotiations in early July this year ended inconclusively and parties to the peace talks are going through a period of recollection.


Article written by Cyprus News Agency, London Greek Radio