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Sights set on the big screen: Council funded association celebrates International Day of Older People

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FILM NIGHT: Debbani Ghosh wanted ‘to do something different’ for the Bengali community of Leeds, so has decided to host a film night

FILM NIGHT: Debbani Ghosh wanted ‘to do something different’ for the Bengali community of Leeds, so has decided to host a film night

On Saturday 22nd October, the Association of Blind Asians – funded by Leeds City Council - will celebrate the International Day of Older People.

And what better way to do it than a film night, complete with popcorn, at a local community centre.

Manager of the Association of Blind Asians, Debbani Ghosh, said: “We wanted to do something different.

“I decided to do a movie night for people in the community as it is something different for residents. We’re doing a Bengali movie night to bring isolated people who are in their later lives together.”

So far, Debbani has had very positive feedback and she has already booked out the Frederick Hurdle Day Centre on Reginald Terrace for the occasion.

“The council have been very supportive. We’ve ordered some food and it’s the first time this has happened.”

She added: “It’s not going to be a huge screen and the funding is only for 25 people. However, if we see that people are interested in it, we’ll continue it in the long term.”

The reason for the get together is to talk about mental health and culture whilst enjoying a classic film at the same time to open up dialogue between attendees.

“Movies impact mental health in a positive  way because they teach you how to get over hurdles,” Debbani said.

“The film we have picked is called ‘Belaseshe’ which means ‘at the end of the day’ in Bengali.”

Debbani explained that there’s a realisation in the film that people support each other and everyone has different skills and strengths.

“Unfortunately, we only have room for 25 people.” Debbani said.

“I’m from the Bengali community and I thought that there’s nothing happening for this particular community.

“Everyone in attendance on the day will have some form of sight issue. We are inviting our members down and outsiders so everyone can feel connected into the community.”

To find out more, ring the ABA office on 0113 210 3347.

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Super-teen. Partially sighted 16-year-old from Bradford wins national award

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Visually impaired Usman Zahid is a credit to Bradford, guiding others who are blind or partially sighted

Visually impaired Usman Zahid is a credit to Bradford, guiding others who are blind or partially sighted

A partially sighted teenager from Bradford has received a national award recognising his determination and effort in overcoming visual impairment to become an inspiration to others.

16-year-old Usman Zahid, from West Bowling in Bradford, was one of four youngsters presented with the Actionnaires Member of the Year award from a national charity - Action for Blind People (Action).

A surprise ceremony for Usman took place at the English Institute for Sport, in Sheffield with British Paralympian Lee Brunton.

Usman, who has the eye condition Nystagmus, has been a member of Bradford Actionnaires since it first began in 2008, always leading by example, getting involved in the activities and events on a regular basis.

He is now also a volunteer, assisting and guiding other blind and partially sighted youngsters during activities and visits.

Usman said: “Having a disability especially visual impairment has always been hard and I was always last to be picked in class at school.

“I never thought I would win an award and could help other people in sports. It's a dream come true for me. I hope I can encourage lots of other children with sight loss to put their disability aside and show others that they are no less than the rest.”

The judges recognised Usman over hundreds of other blind and partially sighted youngsters who attend Action’s Actionnaires clubs - which help to develop fitness and artistic skills of visually impaired children, encouraging self-confidence and social interaction.

Zahid, Usman’s dad, said: “This is a great moment for our family to see Usman being nominated and win this award.

“Our aim has always been to see our son lead an active and as normal life as possible.

“Usman has been very active from a young age, always wanting to help others to do things that he found difficult but this has never stopped him try and achieve new things.”

Craig Brown, activity coordinator at Action for Blind People, said: “Usman is a great role model to all those in the club; his positivity and independence shows others that a visual impairment should never get in the way of achieving your goals.

“Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity for Usman to develop and gain experience and confidence. He’s a credit to the club.”

 

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