iftarNorthampton College will host a multi-faith ‘Iftar’ dinner to mark Ramadan and bring together communities from across the county.

The dinner, which will be attended by Conservative MP for Northampton South Andrew Lewer, will see up to 120 people gather for a special meal after sunset on Thursday, May 23.

Northampton College principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “Northampton is a town with residents from all four corners of the globe, representing almost every country, every religion and every race. We are thrilled to be bringing the community together under one roof to celebrate Ramadan.”

The event is being staged by the East Midlands branch of the Bangladesh Caterers’ Association.

Guests will be served a traditional Iftar meal featuring fruits and a porridge-like dessert. Dates will be given to all those attending to emulate the Prophet Mohammad, who broke his fast this way.

BCA spokesman Naz Islam said: “We are very grateful to Northampton College for hosting this event in their wonderful facilities at Booth Lane. We look forward to welcoming guests from across the region to Northampton and showcase our rich, vibrant, multi-ethnic culture. These traditions go back centuries and we are looking forward to sharing our customs with guests of every faith.”

Andrew Lewer, Conservative MP for Northampton South said: “Ramadan is clearly an important time in the Muslim calendar and this event is a wonderful way of bringing the community together to celebrate as a whole.“

taneesha for web

Northampton College student Taneesha Jayne has featured in national newspaper The Sun as part of an article looking at mental health in women.

Having blogged extensively on the subject for over a year, charting her personal progress, Taneesha has attracted an army of followers to her website http://positivi-tee.co.uk/

The following is an extract from the article which appeared in The Sun.

“Recently, I received a private message that blew me away. ‘I didn’t kill myself because of your blog. You helped me get through the night,’ it read.

"It reminded me I’m not alone, and that blogging can make a difference to other people’s struggles.

"I was first diagnosed with depression aged 14 as a result of being sexually abused as a child. I began self-harming, and despite being prescribed antidepressants, my mental health spiralled.

"Aged 17, after taking four overdoses in a year, going days without sleeping, being verbally aggressive and drinking heavily, I was admitted to the adolescent ward of my local hospital.

"I spent 10 months there as an in-patient, having psychotherapy and taking medication. But I continued self-harming and attempting suicide after being discharged in March 2015, so 10 months later I was re-admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act.

"I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and was moved to a specialist unit run by the mental health charity St Andrews Healthcare.

"There, I underwent dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) – which is similar to CBT but also focuses on accepting who you are – and I found it really helped.

"For four years I lost my life to mental illness. Aside from family and friends, my only comfort was writing a diary.
"Finally, last February, I was discharged and I moved into my own flat. I wanted to carry on writing to help my mental health, and also to give hope to others.

"Before I published the first post for my blog in March 2018, I thought long and hard about revealing something so personal.

"Understandably, my loved ones were also worried whether my health was robust enough for me to be so open about my condition.

"Thankfully, most of the reaction has been positive. Readers have told me the blog has inspired them to get treatment for the first time, or even encouraged them to reunite with family members they’d cut themselves off from because they were struggling with their mental health.

"When a psychiatrist posted in the comments section praising my blog, it felt incredible.

"Sadly, abusive comments go with the territory. I’ve been accused of blogging for money, seeking pity and even been called fat with a big nose. But I accept ups and downs are inevitable, just like with my health.

"I always have to be mindful about the subject of my posts. It’s a fine line between making sure you don’t gloss over the reality of what you’re going through and triggering someone else.

"My readers are often fighting their own battles with mental health conditions, so the last thing I would do is mention my own suicide attempts in detail.

"While I continue to take medication to manage my BPD, I’m at college studying for a higher education diploma in social sciences and I’m going to university in September to start a degree in occupational therapy.

"Before I started my blog, I felt so alone, but it’s had 3,000 views now, and people read it across the world, from the UK to Russia and South Africa.

"We’re in the grip of a huge mental health crisis among young people, but I hope my blog helps some of them see that even when you reach rock bottom, there is a way back up.”

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student success

Rosa West

Rosa West

Rosa West, 19, from Bedford, left school with a dream to work in childcare.“I have always wanted to work with children and was hoping to move straight into an Apprenticeship...



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