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Home Explore CMS Student Newsletter _18th May

CMS Student Newsletter _18th May

Published by c.major, 2022-05-17 20:20:14

Description: Final Student Newsletter 18th May


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Under t he Microscope Issue 24 | Dat e: May 18t h 2022 ANNOUNCEM ENTS - Monthly Careers Events Calendar - May - * UPDATE* - Student overseas travel Any items for inclusion in the next edition of Under t h e M icr oscope should be sent to [email protected] M ENTAL HEALTH AND W ELLBEING Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. This is As well as one to one support, we also offer groups and online great for bringing conversations around wellbeing to the sessions throughout the academic year. Here?s what?s forefront and encouraging people to check in with themselves happening in May and June: and others. What?s important though, is that we keep up the momentum and think about our mental health and wellbeing in ·Where to start : Increasing Mot ivat ion and Improving Mood the same way that we do our physical health ? with the acceptance that it fluctuates and that there are choices we can Friday 20th May at 2:30-3pm (Online) make and work we can do, to keep ourselves healthy and feeling OK. Are you finding it difficult to get going for the day? Are you finding that your motivation and interest in usual activity has University is a challenging time ? workloads, deadlines, reduced and you don't know where to start to get this back? Is placements, expectations. Couple that with external life this lack of motivation linked with a change in mood? It is pressures ? isolation, jobs, family, money, relationships. It?s a common when people feel low, burnt out, overwhelmed or fed lot! And it can become overwhelming. In the wellbeing and up, their motivation and interest dwindle. mental healt h team at the university, we hear from lots of students who are feeling this pressure and tell us that they feel Join us in this? session to learn more about where to start better for reaching out for support. If you are struggling, know getting your motivation back and improving your mood! that you?re not alone ? we are here to help and here?s how we do it: ·Unhelpful Thinking: Breaking t he Habit ·You can book a 30-minute appointment with one of our Tuesday 24th May 3-3:30pm (Online) Wellbeing Advisers which may take place over telephone, video call or in person at some sites. During this appointment Unhelpful thinking can really influence how we feel and behave you can talk about anything that may be affecting your and can send us into a negative spiral. Truth is, it can be wellbeing or studies; the adviser will listen, give advice and exhausting. These thoughts rarely come with much evidence support options and will create an action plan to support you in and yet we often believe every word they say! Find out more your next steps. To make an appointment, you can email about unhelpful thinking; what it means, why we do it and most [email protected] or call 01244 511550. importantly where you can find support to catch and challenge those unhelpful thoughts. ? ·Our Counsellors provide a short-term counselling service which students can refer themselves to. They can help with all The Mindful Mixer sorts of concerns; some of the common themes seen by our counsellors are stress, anxiety, depressed mood, low Tuesday 24th May 4-5:30pm and Tuesday 28thJune 4-5:30pm self-esteem and interpersonal problems. Counsellors provide a (in person ?Chester) dedicated, safe space to work with you in achieving your counselling goals. To refer yourself, you can email The Student Wellbeing Advisers are delivering two sessions st udent .counselling@chest aimed to support students at the University who experience shyness and social anxiety.You can join our Student Wellbeing ·We also have a 24/7 St udent Assistance Programme which Adviser for a face to face session which offers a range of students can access 365 days of the year. You can call the activities; including games, writing and crafts. This is an dedicated helpline (0800 028 3766) to access emotional opportunity to meet other students in a calm and supportive support and practical guidance in the moment. Through this space. service you can also speak with legal advisors and access telephone-based counselling. Numbers at the sessions are controlled to ensure a safe space. If you are interested please sign up via Careers Hub here ·You may wish to download the ?My Healt hy Advantage App? via your device?s app storeand sign up with the unique code: If you have any questions about any of the services and MHA146072 for confidential access to webinars, 4 activities detailed, please email [email protected] week-programmes, information sheets and much more.

M ENTAL HEALTH AND W ELLBEING students living in and around our sites: The MHA app can be downloaded from either the Play Cheshire and Wirral-based students: 0800 145 6485 Store or the Apple App Store using the unique access code M HA146072 and is full of lots of useful content, including Warrington-based students: 0800 0511508 wellbeing videos and articles, health plans and mood t r acker s. Shrewsbury-based students: 0808 1964501 On the last Thursday of every month, Health Assured runs a M en t al Healt h Hou r on its Instagram channel. These live Wales: call NHS 111 or C.A.L.L. Helpline 0800 132 737 Q&As with trained counsellors give you the chance to get your key questions answered on a particular topic, or the NHS Sexu al Abu se Ref er r al Cen t r es - More than half of opportunity to pick up some useful coping techniques. people do not come forward for help after sexual assault Th e Peace of M in d podcast is focused on mental health or abuse. The NHS wants to make it clear that it?s here for and wellbeing and is hosted by Health Assured?s Head of support, and available for specialist help. Clinical Support Kayleigh Frost, with guest appearances from its in-house counsellors. You can listen on Spotify Sexual Assault Referral Centres provide a safe space and here. dedicated care for people who have been raped, sexually On Health Assured?s Spotify channel you can also find assaulted or abused. Visit the NHS website for more info or useful playlists that focus on key themes including anxiety, to find your nearest centre. sleep, stress and focus. Professor Steven Jones, Programme A theme this year for Mental Health Awarenss week has Leader for MSc Psychiatry reflects been 'loneliness' so we just wanted to remind you that on working as a Mental Health you?re never alone at the University of Chester. professional. From our Mental Health and Wellbeing teams and our dedicated Info Points, to Chester Students?Union and our Everyday routines can become fixed Chaplaincy team, there?s always someone who?s here to and add to a sense of loneliness. listen and help, no matter what your situation. Mental health issues may have been The Mental Health Foundation have also put together a exacerbated due to pandemic video about loneliness: enforced isolation with new ways of working and living. Time for In addition to all that, you also have access to a number of reflection requires recognition of external services: some changes we could all make in our lives. Sometimes Togetherall is a safe, free, online community where people we may lose sight of what is important, and may need to support each other anonymously to improve mental health refocus our interests. For me it is about passion and doing and wellbeing. some things that we enjoy in and out of work (but need to Student Space offers one-to-one support for whatever do more work on both). challenge you?re facing, whether it?s your mental health, your studies, money, housing or relationships. Working overseas as a clinician with marginalised Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it populations from 2012 onwards re-energised me as a with you. Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a person and professional. Mental health problems in other year ? call 116 123. countries are very similar to that in the UK, but they are SHOUT is a free, confidential 24/7 text messaging support more visible in low to middle income countries. Working service for anyone who is struggling to cope - text SHOUT with other cultures and international health care systems is to 85258 challenging, but very rewarding. Expectations of what can There are also local NHS mental health crisis lines for be changed have to be realistic and the long game considered. Mental health care encompasses compassion, hearing/ understanding what is being conveyed. It can often be the small things that count and just as easily get missed. As a mental health professional the qualities of care, compassion, are concern for others are central attributes for practice. Irrespective of working in remote tribal areas or inner city areas these are crucial attributes. Show genuine interest, spend time, share a drink, talk, ask questions, smile, and try to connect. I have always used an interpreter overseas, but rapport requires positive nonverbal gestures, facial expression, eye contact, and empathy are universal communication skills. Mental health projects require a team approach and support from colleagues, I am fortunate to work with dedicated people in the UK and overseas.

DEPARTM ENT UPDATES A w ar m w elcom t o ou r n ew st af f m em ber s! Bet h an St allw ood, Sen ior Cait lin M cQu een , Lect u r er in Bioscien ces - \"I gained my Lect u r er an d Pr ogr am m e Lead BSc in Molecular Cell Biology from the differentiation. f or M Sc Biot ech n ology - \"My love University of York and was fortunate enough for Biotechnology began as an to secure a BBSRC funded PhD at the undergraduate at the University of university. My research focused on the Wales, Bangor. After completing my transcriptional regulation of muscle BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology, development in Xenopus tropicalis. I with my Honour's project on bacteria investigated the expression pattern of a novel from acid mine drainage, I went straight into a PhD with The subunit of RNA Polymerase III which I found British Antarctic Survey, co-supervised by the wonderful Prof. present in early muscle progenitors, and its Peter Williams at the University of Wales. As I was presenting a role in regulating tRNAexpression during muscle paper on the molecular pathways of oil-degrading bacteria from Antarctica at an international conference in Cambridge, I was After completing my PhD at the University of York, I moved to approached by the Australian Anatarctic Survey, asking if I would the University of Sheffield to conduct my Postdoctoral Research. like to take up a position with them. I jumped at the chance and Here, I focused on the role of Shh signalling in regulating 6 months later, I found myself on a ship sailing to Antarctica. aspects of limb development- from control of digit number and After another a couple more industrially funded and classified specification of evolutionarily conserved flight feathers through postdoctoral research projects, a short stint in industry, and to detailed 3D mapping of limb muscle patterning. My most many years of lecturing an teaching, I am incredibly proud to recent project investigated whether limb cells could be cultured have joined the University of Chester. I have already made links in vitro and maintain their expected developmental timing with a charity which provides clean water to rural communities without cues from the wider embryo. My research has given me in Africa, and I look forward to strengthening this connection the opportunity to use methods including embryonic dissection, with Master's research on the decontamination of water, among transcriptomic analysis, in situ hybridisation, protein-DNA many other exciting projects.\" interactions, Lightsheet microscopy and gene targeting methods In my spare time I love swimming in the sea with my kids (we (Morpholino Oligonucleotides and CRISPR-Cas9). resumed this practice in March after a couple of months off over I am excited to get started and hopefully bring my love of all winter, walking (or running slowly) with our dog, reading Greek things developmental biology to UCS!\" mythology (you're never too old to learn something completely new) and painting insects and birds.\" Rober t Davies, Lect u r er in Exer cise Ch loe Rober t s, Adm in ist r at ive M edicin e - \"I have been involved in Assist an t - \"Having studied BA English health and exercise science since 2009, coming from a sporting background. Since Literature at the University of Chester, I then I have completed undergraduate and went on to complete my PGCE in postgraduate degrees in the UK (Bangor Secondary English at the University of University), and postdoctoral research and Chester during the first lockdown. I teaching positions in Ireland (University of worked as a training English teacher at Limerick). I have also conducted research and consulted for Helsby High School for 7 months, with several companies (mostly) in the Irish dairy and agri-food 3 of those months being remote industry. Most of my research to date has been focused on the teaching through Microsoft Teams! After completing my PGCE, regulation of human skeletal muscle metabolism and muscle I worked as an English teacher at Hillside High School in function by nutrition and exercise. However, I also have a keen Liverpool and have completed 8 months of my NQT training so interest in the role that nutrition and exercise play in promoting far. Throughout my time at university, I worked a wide variety physical performance, healthy aging and metabolic health. In of jobs, including waitressing, domestic services, tutoring and I the near future, I wish to advance research in this area, particularly looking at interventions in older and/or obese worked as a barista in a small coffee shop in Germany on an adults. Over the last couple of years, I have worked as principal exchange programme. I have recently joined the and co-investigator on successful project grants, which have administration team for the Medical School, and I am looking investigated the impact of protein nutrition on skeletal muscle forward to getting to know everyone! metabolism and skeletal muscle function at rest and after Outside of work, I am a Grade 6 guitar player and an avid exercise. As of April 2022, I will be returning to the UK to join reader. In October 2022, I will be starting my masters in Chester Medical School as a lecturer on the Health and Exercise Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, and I am anxiously Science BSc and Exercise Medicine MSc programmes at awaiting the release of the reading list as an excuse to University Centre Shrewsbury. purchase yet more books! This year, I am hoping to gain my If you are interested in any aspect of my research or teaching driver?s license (5thtime lucky? hopefully!) and am looking feel free to send me an email ([email protected]) or add forward to never having to take the train again!\" me on ResearchGate or LinkedIn. Further information about me can be found on ORCID.\"

DEPARTM ENT UPDATESCONTINUED Sian Lan gm ead, Com plex Car e Th e M B Ch B pr ogr am m e - We are currently in the process Pr oject M an ager - \"I have recently of recruiting international postgraduate students, if you are retired from the NHS, having worked 30 interested in starting Medicine in September, but have yet odd years as a mental health nurse in to complete your The University Clinical various roles: since joining the medical Aptitude Test (UCAT), it is not too late, you can apply direct school as Complex Care Project Manager. to Chester Medical School: New and exciting pastures ahead! h t t p s:/ / w w w est er .ac.u k/ in t er n at io n al/ h ow -ap p ly Once upon a time I was working as a secretary and one day say an advert, entitled something along STAFF SPOTLIGHT the lines of, ?What did you do at work today?. The text was accompanied by a picture of one person reaching out to Well done to the following staff who have been nominated another, this latter one looking fearful and distressed. It was a for this year 's 1939 awards: recruitment drive for mental health nurses, it struck a chord Dr Michelle Cordingley nominated for ?Most helpful feedback? and ?Outstanding Academic Support Staff ? with me and I applied for my nurse training. The rest, as they say is history. I have seen changes for good and bad, but nothing changed my commitment to providing the best patient Dr Christopher Jones nominated for 'Mental Health care I could. I passionately believe in the value of learning Champion? from experience in terms of personal and professional Prof Steven Jones nominated for 'Most Helpful Feedback' development: this new role gives the opportunity to translate Dr Svetlana Mysina nominated and shortlisted for 'Most Helpful Feedback' some of what I have learned from the shop floor into a meaningful training package. Prof Eustace Johnson nominated for 'Most inspiring Lecturer ' Outside of work, I enjoy photography, Second World War history, travelling to anywhere hot and most importantly spending time with our rescue dog Jock, Prof Steven Jones recently gave a TEdx talk on suicide and I was mentor for student nurses on their practice placements. I self harm work. Click here to watch the talk via Youtube. enjoyed this, the inquisitive mind of a learner, kept me on my \"Suicide is a global issue. Global evidence to operationalise toes. It was a pleasure to see students I had mentored locally is the challenge . Our approach from work in India and subsequently qualify and move into their career of choice, UK approach is that both cultures learn from each other. International work ethic - must have direct patient and family although it was a not always welcome reminder that time was benefit. Importantly see the person and not the diagnosis. A passing and I was getting older!\" sensitive subject and one that requires compassion and understanding. Suicide has many facets to it, that cannot all be addressed but not talking about suicide was not an We are incredibly proud to announce that our first cohort option.\" of Physician Associate Studies (PA) students have graduated from the School. Many of the graduates have taken up jobs in the local NHS trusts and are enjoying their new careers as fully qualified PA?s. We are wishing them all the best in their future careers within the NHS.

KEY DATES 1st - 29t h Ju n e | Pr ide M on t h - An Annual LGBT Pride Celebration Every year, during the month of June, the LGBT 19t h M ay | Fr ee Lin kedIn w ebin ar at 1pm called community celebrates in a number of different ways. 'St u den t Su ccess w it h Lin kedIn : Sk ills t o Th r ive in 2022' 7t h - 12t h Ju n e | Wor ld Hear t Rh yt h m Week , Car er s The world's largest online professional network, LinkedIn, Week an d Nat ion al In t en sive Car e Week 2022 can support you in your career in many ways, such as finding the right job or internship, connecting and 9t h Ju n e | In t er n at ion al Biom edical Scien ce Day strengthening professional relationships, and learning the skills you need to succeed in your career - but do you know 22n d Ju n e | Collabor at ion in Can cer : an how to use to its full potential? In t er pr of ession al St u den t Sym posiu m in On cology - This free annual one-day symposium is structured around Our free webinar will teach you how to use the platform, real patients with cancer, highlighting their overall journey and LinkedIn Learning (which is free to all University of and their interactions with healthcare professionals. The Chester students) to successfully find and develop new topic for this year 's conference is breast cancer. The skills and connect with job opportunities. Register here session will draw the expertise of various specialists in the multidisciplinary team, facilitating open and interactive 19t h M ay at 6pm | In au gu r al Lect u r e, \" Un der st an din g discussions regarding their roles. For more information and an d opt im iszin g h u m an m ovem en t : Lesson s lear n t details of how to register, please click here. f r om t h e lab, h igh per f or m an ce spor t an d lif e\" by Pr of Pau l Wor sf old - Information about the lecture can be 24t h Ju n e | Deadlin e t o apply f or 2022/ 2023 st u den t found here f in an ce - it is important to apply as early as possible to make sure you get your money in time for starting your 19t h M ay | An Even in g w it h Dr Car olin e Wilk in son course. If you apply late, your money might be late too! Apply now. This special event, taking place at the incredible, newly-refurbished theatre at Reaseheath College, Cheshire, 10t h Ju n e, 09:00-16:00 | Pr act ice Sym posiu m - This one will allow us to gain an insight into the wonderful work that day event will explore, expand and enhance our ideas and takes place at the Manchester Institute, and the research approaches to Practice Learning; this will also be an currently happening at Cancer Research UK ? because of opportunity to celebrate the best of practice with our supporters like you! Practice Excellence (CAPE) Awards There will be presentations and workshops; opportunities to discuss More information and details of how to register can be new projects, staff development and innovations. To found here register please click here 19t h an d 20t h M ay | Alcoh ol: Sh ar in g t h e Tr u t h vir t u al 18t h Ju n e | UG an d PG Open Day f or all Ch est er sit es co n f er en ce The Open Day will run from 12pm ? 4pm for PG visitors to Local charity Share Shrewsbury is holding a virtual two-day Exton Park. There will be two registration periods for UG conference this week on the topic of alcohol dependence visitors, 10am and 12pm. Please contact and the impact it has on individuals, families, and [email protected] if you would like any further society. Find out more and book your tickets . £3 per ticket. in f or m at ion . Over the course of the conference, you?ll hear about the 30t h Ju n e - 1st Ju ly | PGR Sym posiu m latest breakthroughs in research and treatment of alcohol dependence, and from a number of world-class speakers, Featuring past and present PGR students with external who will share best practice in recovery and talk about how speakers including those from Chester Zoo & Tate families can be central to this. Liver p o o l. 28t h M ay | Cosm ic Cape Fest ival - Love discovering new The deadline for registration is Friday 3rd June. Delegates music? The Cosmic Cape Festival could be just up your can attend in-person at Exton Park Campus, Parkgate Road st r eet . or virtually via Teams. Taking place in Capenhurst on Saturday 28 May, the Click here for details of how to register. Festival will be hosted by BBC Music Introducing's Dave Monks and will champion the very best new music, art, and street food from across the North West. University of Chester students and staff can get a 40% discount on single tickets using the code CHESTERUNI40, however please note, this code isn't available for group bookings. You can find the full line up here - and book tickets here.

OPPORTUNITY Callin g all st u den t s w h o ar e par en t s! - This is a call out to all students who are juggling studies with parental or caring Sh ou t ou t t o m at u r e an d com m u t in g st u den t s - We are responsibilities for children: We want to help create an looking for students to feature in the new information environment where you feel supported, empowered and videos for introductions to the future mature and connected with other students who might have shared commuting students. similar experiences to you. If you?d be interested in joining us in a conversation about how we can make that happen, If videos are not your thing, we also have opportunities for please email [email protected] to register your written case studies for our new guides. interest and someone from the wellbeing team will be in touch with further information. We want to hear your stories and tell fellow future students more about the university experience. For more information, please email [email protected]. Callin g all st u den t volu n t eer s! - Want to inspire fellow LEARNING AND TEACHING students to take part and give back? Share your volunteer story with us today! Fr ee digit al sk ills cou r se - Developed by Santander Universities UK, the Institute of Coding and the TechUP As the Volunteering and Mentoring team look forward to initiative based at Durham University, the course has been their first in-person celebration since 2019, they are asking developed to support people who want to take the first any student who is volunteering (or has volunteered in the step on the pathway to building their digital skills. past) to share their experiences on their social media pages (Instagram and Facebook). It's taught at introductory level and provides up to eight hours of bespoke digital skills content across three Keen to encourage others to take that volunteering step? pathways online. Email a completed template (attached to this announcement) to [email protected]. 88 grants worth up to £2,500 each are available to those who successfully complete the course and post their CSU su r vey - w in a cam er a or t ast y dou gh n u t s! - Fancy certificate on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. These grants winning a Polaroid camera or some tasty vegan will be available to use on the tailored Santander Aspire doughnuts? All you need to do is fill in Chester Students? webstore to buy a variety of resources including laptops, Union?s Annual Membership Survey here to be entered into tablets and Chromebooks. the competition. The deadline for registrations for this course is Wednesday It's important that CSU is student-led, and giving your 29 June. Find out more about the programme and how to feedback means that CSU will be able to put your voice at apply for the free course here. the centre of everything it does. CSU wants to hear it all! Dr Chrissy Stanley, Senior University Teaching Fellow is By filling out the survey you?ll also be entered into a prize currently working on a research project allowing you to draw - the top prize is a Polaroid camera and film, with 30 influence teaching methods by telling us what works well smaller prizes available of vouchers for Doughnut for you. Whisperer. This is an independent bakery in Chester that specialises in plant-based treats (but they do deliver, so you Chrissy is interested in hearing about how you like to can claim your prize no matter which site you?re based at!). interact with the lecturer and other students in live sessions (in person or online) and what the barriers to this Have you f illed ou t you r st u den t su r vey yet ? No matter interaction might be. E.g. do you like using platforms such what level you?re studying at, your views and opinions are as Vevox that allow anonymous responses? Do you like to crucial to us improving as a university. have the opportunity to voice your thoughts or does the idea of speaking up in a larger group literally make you Check the list below to see which one you should be sw eat ? com p let in g: To do this, she is looking to to arrange a couple of short National Student Survey (NSS) - a statutory nation-wide (approx. 45min) sessions where you, and fellow students survey of mainly undergraduate students entering their from your programme/others within our faculty, can talk to final year of study (you will have been explicitly invited to another current level 4 student who is working on this complete this if you are eligible). project. This focus group will be held via Teams and there will be around six students per group. All your ideas and UK Engagement Survey (UKES) - all undergraduate students discussions will remain confidential, with your responses studying at the University of Chester who have not been potentially contributing (anonymously) towards research invited to complete the NSS. outputs such as publications or conference presentations. You could therefore influence your teaching, and that for Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) - taught other students in higher education, by participating in this postgraduate students studying a course mainly at Level 7. st u d y. Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) - research If you are interested in attending one of these groups (a postgraduate students studying a research course mainly one-off commitment), please email Chrissy at Level 8 (includes MRes students). ([email protected]) and she will email you some further information, e.g. who to contact to attend For more information about the surveys please visit our one of these sessions. Student Voice pages.

M Y RAM ADAN REFLECTIONS At iye Bak iler , Lect u r er in M edical Pr act ice an d is a pr act icin g Ph ar m acist in bot h com m u n it y ph ar m acy an d gen er al pr act ice. At iye is par t of t h e M u slim com m u n it y an d w an t ed t o sh ar e h er r ef lect ion on Ram adan - \"The last couple of years has presented us all with the challenges of Covid-19, irrespective of our backgrounds it has reminded us of the everlasting fact that we all are in this together. This year, we have witnessed a rare conjunction of Christian Easter, Jewish Passover, and Islamic Ramadan that are observed and celebrated religiously and/or traditionally by millions of people around the world. This conjunction of the holidays for the three Abrahamic religions gave us all faith and hope for a blessed and peaceful future. Many of you will have heard of Ramadan. In this first attempt at an amateur piece of writing, I am hoping to share with you my reflections and understanding of it as a practising British-Muslim woman of Turkish Heritage. I am not a scholar nor the perfect representative but humbled to have this opportunity and would like to start with a quote from a fellow British-Muslim Cat Stevens, aka Yusuf Islam: ?Blessed with another month of Ramadan. A time to get closer to our true nature as mindful beings? time to reconnect? During this holy month, Muslims around the world fast between sunrise and sunset. Fasting is an act of worship that has its place in several religions, and it is gaining popularity within contemporary practices. Islamic fasting involves many intentional acts; for example, abstaining from arguments, fighting, gossiping, and lying as well as eating, drinking, smoking, and some other earthly desires. No, water is not allowed either! Fasting requires self-discipline and it is also a way of remembering those in the world who don?t have enough to eat or drink. I believe fasting takes one on a journey of challenges to discover qualities such as resilience, mindfulness, empathy, and gratitude. It is important to remember that fasting is for those who are physically and mentally healthy enough to undertake it. There are several exemptions, these include children, the elderly, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating, and those who are traveling. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar, and it is believed to derive from the word ?Ramadi? which is the name given to the first rain after Summer, just as Autumn starts, that cleans/washes the earth from dust and dirt. Therefore, I believe that Ramadan does not only clean/wash away the bad habits and actions but lets the good habits and relationships be conceived and born. Ramadan is the time for spiritual growth and building a stronger relationship not only with the Creator but with all that is created; the most sacred one being other human beings. Muslims aim to achieve this through selfless and intentional acts of kindness, charity, and reflection throughout Ramadan to last a lifetime. As the great champion, Muhammed Ali said, ?do not count the days; make the days count?; I see Ramadan as a starting point in becoming a better version of myself as a human, citizen, mother, pharmacist, and a student. Some aspects of Ramadan may sound unfamiliar to many, however, having lived in the UK longer than in Turkey, I cannot help but see similarities between Christmas and Ramadan traditions. The first memories I have of Ramadan go back to my childhood when I begged my mother to join in with the fasting and demanded to be woken up in the early hours of the day for Sahoor, the meal just before sunrise to start fasting. I must also mention that I looked forward to eating delicious, traditional bread, Ramadan Pidesi, at Iftar when adults broke their fast. I now bake this bread for my children and guests. Iftar is a very special dinner and is eaten every night with family, friends and neighbours of different cultural and religious backgrounds throughout Ramadan and it reminds me of Christmas dinner. On the last night of Ramadan, just like on Christmas Eve, I remember being so excited about the new clothes, shoes I would get to wear in the morning of Eid, the celebration following Ramadan, and the pocket money and sweets, my friends and I would be given by family and relatives. As a child, I always wondered why we had to eat baklava in every house we visited on Eid and now concluded that there is an unwritten rule. Baklava is the must-have dessert of Eid (literally) because it is home-made and proudly served by the woman of the house. As I come to the end of my reflections, I would like to thank you for allowing me to start building a bridge between my culture and yours. I firmly believe that our ways of life, traditions, cultures, and religions do not separate us; they serve as bridges.\"

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