Tag Archives: community

Malaika’s Story…


When you first meet seven-year-old Malaika Azeem from Bradford, she appears to be a healthy little girl. But at only a few weeks old, Malaika was diagnosed with life-limiting Congenital Heart Disease, a condition that causes increased heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain and mobility problems. Malaika is in need of round the clock care that often leaves mum Sanam struggling to cope.

Malaika also suffers from frequent cyanosis, which causes poor oxygenation of the blood, otherwise known as ‘blue episodes’, for which she requires immediate hospitalisation. For mum Sanam, the past six years have been a constant battle to find support for the family.

She explains:

“The last 12 months have been really stressful for us all. In January last year, Malaika underwent open-heart surgery and doctors were unsure as to whether she’d pull through. After the operation, I cared for Malaika myself, changing her tracheotomy at home, as well as managing her physiotherapy. Since then, she has had several severe blue episodes and endured repeated hospital stays.

“I’m lucky to have the support of my parents and sister, who live close by, but there are very few people I would trust with Malaika’s care. Although I’ve previously tried to access different services in Bradford, there are few who really understand Malaika’s condition. Because she looks normal, people don’t understand.”

The challenge of caring for Malaika 24 hours a day, seven days a week is made more difficult as Sanam must juggle Malaika’s needs with those of her three sisters. Nimrah 13, Romesa 10, and Saira 3. For them, family life revolves around Malaika’s medical care, meaning that weekend activities and time out together are almost impossible.

Sanam explains further.

“Planning outings is a huge struggle. In the past, when we’ve been out and about, Malaika has fallen or become ill, so when I’m looking at places to go I have to consider where is suitable for her, and what might happen if she is ill away from home.

“I often feel guilty not being able to spend time with the other children. They sometimes get upset at the amount of attention I give Malaika, but when she falls ill, they understand why she needs me so much. My eldest, Nimrah, acts as a mother, sister and friend. She will help to wash and change Malaika and is a huge support to me. I’ve always tried to be honest with them all about the reality of Malaika’s condition and we take each day as it comes.”

Sanam self-referred Malaika to Martin House in the summer of 2015, and was overjoyed when the family were invited to a special tour prior to their first stay: After their first stay at Martin House in November last year, the Bradford family are hopeful that, with the right support, life can become a little more manageable.

“Malaika loved her first visit to the hospice. When we got there she didn’t know where to look first, and was so excited saying, “look at this, look at that”. She didn’t want to come home at all! Before our first proper stay in November, Malaika had been very ill and I was barely sleeping. The stay came at just the right time for both of us.”

“The time we spent at Martin House was an extraordinary experience. It was so good to get away from everything. Going to the hospice gives me the chance to talk to other parents and realise I’m not alone – their children might have different needs but we are all in the same boat. I don’t need sympathy; it’s so wonderful to be able to speak to people who understand.”

“When I talk to people about the hospice, they assume it’s all about end of life care. But Martin House do everything. Malaika loves to sing, and when she last stayed, she made a CD of her singing nursery rhymes and other songs. When I listened to it, I was in tears! It’s building up these memories that’s so special, all the little things that we do together that mean so much.”




Spotlight on Martin House Hospice

Martin House Hospice near Wetherby, opened its doors as the North’s first purpose-built hospice for children and young people in 1987. This year will mark its 30th Anniversary. Over that time, it has supported over 2000 children with life-shortening illnesses from across the Yorkshire region.

Nearly a third of the children cared for by Martin House come from the Bradford District, and the hospice community nurses spend a large amount of time supporting those families in their homes or in hospitals in and around the district.

For those who wish, there is also the opportunity for families  to come to stay at the  hospice near Wetherby, set in six acres of landscaped gardens, for planned respite care to allow them time to rest and spend quality time together as a family, or for emergency care, symptom control or end-of-life care if needed. Families who have lost a child can be supported by bereavement visitors; they can access that service even if they haven’t been to Martin House before.

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Martin House, they will be holding a family-friendly event with their inflatable art installation at Delius Arts and Cultural Centre on 23rd August.

To find out more about the event and Martin House, visit the website: www.martinhouse.org.uk or call 01937 845045 or on the Bradford local offer website.


Fagley Primary flying high with outstanding Ofsted success

Staff and pupils at Fagley Primary School are celebrating being rated as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

In a glowing report the Bradford school was given the top inspection rating for the effectiveness of its leadership and management; the quality of its teaching and learning; pupils’ results; the personal development, behaviour and welfare of the children and for its early year years provision.

The report has been welcomed by the whole school community.

Head teacher Chris Parfitt said: “The report reflects the school ‘just as it is’ with sound statements reflecting the dedication and commitment of school staff and governors who are absolutely marvellous in their exceptional practice to enable every child to succeed and do their very best at school, at home and in the community, now and in the future”.

A group of Year 6 children read the report with a school governor and made the following comments:

“The report is fantastic – full of lovely comments about our school. The headteacher Mrs Parfitt, is a determined headteacher and she won’t stop until all children have achieved their standards. In her vision all pupils are stars in their own way”.

Inspectors said the headteacher’s vision that every pupil will make outstanding progress and aspire to be the best has helped to secure rapid improvements in the teaching and learning at Fagley Primary School.

The progress pupils make in reading, writing and maths by the end of their time in primary school is significantly above the national average.

Ofsted highlighted the exceptional curriculum which they say engages pupils very effectively. As a result, pupils at Fagley Primary thoroughly enjoy their education. The report also praises senior leaders for their work and governors who are said to be passionate in both their support for the school and their challenge of its leaders.
Inspectors say new staff are well supported in their roles and the quality of teaching is continuously improving.

Pupils and their families are cared for exceptionally well. Parents speak highly of the school and the support they receive from staff.

Ofsted said there are excellent relationships throughout school and behaviour is impeccable. Pupils are praised for respecting each other’s differences and work and play together harmoniously.

Judith Kirk, Bradford Council’s deputy director for education employment and skills said: “This Ofsted report is extremely positive about all aspects of school life at Fagley Primary School. Inspectors not only rate the education the school provides as outstanding but are also full of praise for the support and input of governors and parents and of the work and attitude of the pupils themselves. Everyone connected to the school deserves great credit.”

Fagley Primary School Ofsted
Head teacher Chris Parfitt said: “The report reflects the school ‘just as it is’ with sound statements reflecting the dedication and commitment of school staff and governors who are absolutely marvellous in their exceptional practice to enable every child to succeed and do their very best at school, at home and in the community, now and in the future”.

Byron School unveil Myra Shay GreenLine Mile Route

A new one-mile walking and jogging loop has been launced this week around the Myra Shay between Barkerend Road and Killinghall Road.

Children from the nearby Byron Primary School opened the route along with The Bradford Bull’s Bullman.

The GreenLine Mile is designed to be easy to follow, instantly recognisable and generally accessible to everyone.

Bradford became the first city in the country to have a GreenLine Mile and this new route is one of four routes to be created in the city to encourage people to be more active.

Providing facilities like the GreenLine Mile will enable families and communities in the area to improve their own health by making use of the route to Lister Park.

Byron Primary School - GreenLine Mile 2
Pupils from Byron Primary School celebrate the opening of the GreenLine Mile with the Bradford Bull’s Bullman

Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“It’s amazing what a brisk ten minute jog or walk can do for your health. We all need to be more active and this Greenline mile is an ideal starting point for people to get moving.

“Because it’s a measured mile you can start at your own pace and build up the amount of exercise you do over time.

“We all have a role to play in making sure people in Bradford have better and healthier lives. Getting outside, being active and enjoying the Myra Shay is one way local residents can stay health and improve their own lives.

John Dennis, from Bradford Athletics Network and Active Bradford said:

“We’re hoping the whole community comes to together to find their own use for this important Bradford resource, one of several initiatives that comes under the current RunBradford banner.”

“This route links several schools around the Myra Shay which will hopefully encourage children and their parents to be more active.

England Athletics, who are developing a series of GreenLine miles across the country, has invested £30,000 into the project to support the joint work being done by Bradford Athletics Network, Bradford Council’s Public Health department and other Active Bradford Partnership organisations.

You can find out more information about the Greenline mile at www.bradford.gov.uk/greenlinemile.

Pupils raise money for life-saving Defibrillator

Pupils at Thackley Primary School hosted ‘Save a Heart Day’ on Valentine’s Day in order to raise money for a life-saving Defibrillator.  The school hopes to raise enough money to buy a defibrillator to be kept outside the school grounds and available to the public 24 hours a day, meaning residents and anyone at school can get the help they need in an emergency.

The school took part in the ‘Save a Heart Day’ with a series of fundraising activities which included all the children coming to school wearing red or pink, a fantastic Valentine’s bun sale and a raffle for a teddy bear and Valentine’s hamper!

The school has also received generous donations from the local community & businesses of which they are very thankful, Jigsaw Out of School and Holiday Playscheme, The White Bear Public House, and parent Tracey Hall who made & sold heart shaped cakes.

Kate Bainbridge who is a KS2 teacher at Thackley Primary School and leading on the fundraising said:

“Thackley Primary School hopes to raise enough money to buy a life-saving defibrillator for the school and wider community.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the UK’s biggest killer, killing 100,000 every year, and 15 young people every week.  Having a defibrillator at the school for us and the local community increases a person’s chances of survival to between 70 and 90 per cent.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said:

“Congratulations to the staff, pupils and parents at Thackley Primary School on raising funds to go towards this life-saving equipment.  We hope they reach their goal to fund the defibrillator.

Hopefully this will not need to be used but it is reassuring for the school and the community that the defibrillator is available if required”.

To make a donation, please contactMrs. Annette Patterson, Head of School T 01274 414437.

Follow Thackley Primary School on Twitter: @ThackleyPrimary

New boxing academy launched at Bradford school

The new Carlton Police Boxing Academy was launched last week in a partnership between a Bradford school and a popular boxing club.

The state of the art facility was unveiled at Carlton Bolling College, in Undercliffe Lane.

The school has refurbished the former Duke of Edinburgh Awards Centre on its site to turn it into a community boxing gym.

The new facility is to provide a new home for the Bradford Police Boys Amateur Club, run by Julian Cyprien, which is moving from its Nelson Street base in the city.

The partnership came about after Carlton Bolling College’s Headteacher Adrian Kneeshaw visited the Bradford Police Boys Amateur Club and was impressed with the commitment of the young people involved.

Carlton Bolling College hopes that the boxing gym will prove to be a popular asset for both pupils at their school and for the wider community.

There has already been a big interest among pupils wanting to sign up at the academy ahead of today’s launch.

Mr Kneeshaw: “We are delighted to be able to provide this state of the art facility for our community in partnership with Julien Cyprien and the Bradford Police Boxing Club.

“As a school we are all about raising aspirations and promoting excellence and the Boxing Academy supports this ethos.

“We are looking forward to seeing future champions emerge from the Carlton Police Boxing Academy gym who can help to put Bradford firmly on the map.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “I am very pleased to see the new Carlton Police Boxing Academy being launched at Carlton Bolling College.

“This is a great example of one of our schools working in partnership with a sports club in Bradford to benefit both pupils and the wider community.”

British & Commonwealth Lightweight Boxing Champion, Bobby Vanzie at the official opening