As part of Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, today we see the launch of the #SmearForSmear campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the risks of cervical cancer and encourage women to attend smear tests.

Now, let’s get this out of the way first – cancer does not discriminate. Anyone who’s had a loved one suffer from any form of cancer will tell you that it’s harsh, destructive and incredibly cruel, yet, if caught early enough it is treatable and a potentially harrowing journey can be stopped in its tracks.

1 in 4 women in the UK don’t attend their scheduled smear tests and that drops to 1 in 3 for women between 25 and 29. This needs to change.  A study from the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust found that embarrassment was a key reason for not getting tested.

Whether male or female, the prospect of letting someone clinically analyse your bits and bobs can be daunting and can feel embarrassing, but just remember, they couldn’t care less! Doctors and nurses aren’t there to pass judgement or criticise; when it comes to smear test, their job is to potentially save your life.

Get tested. Be safe. Be happy.


Global Gift Gala Dubai

The Global Gift Gala returned to Dubai for its fifth consecutive year on Thursday. The star-studded event was held in the Palazzo Versace in aid of Dubai Cares, Harmony House and victims of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The Global Gift Gala is a unique international initiative from the Global Gift Foundation, a charity founded by Maria Bravo that is dedicated to philanthropic events worldwide; to help raise funds and make a difference towards children and women across the globe.

Guests were treated to performances of ‘Despacito’ from international star Luis Fonsi, a rousing rendition from Asian soprano Seia Lee, and a special performance from the Emirates Community Symphonic Orchestra. Those lucky enough to attend the sold-out event also enjoyed cuisine from two-star Michelin chef, Mansour Memarian.

The Global Gift Gala, presented and sponsored by CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel, Huda Beauty, and Cocobay Vietnam, hosted international stars such as Adrien Brody, Vanessa Williams, Luis Fonsi, and Alesha Dixon at the annual black-tie charity evening, with Tom Urquhart emceeing the event. The event as attended by stars and entrepreneurs including Founder, Maria Bravo and EastofEden’s very own Nick Ede, who is the worldwide ambassador of Global Gift Foundation.

Hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars was raised from the charity auction, with an artwork by famed British artist Sacha Jafri taking the highest bid and a painting from Adrien Brody, which sold for $42,000.

2017 is the ‘Year of Giving’ in the UAE, and in keeping with the motif 100% of funds raised during the Gala will go towards supporting programs in five different continents making it a truly global gala in partnership with Dubai Cares. Together with Global Gift Foundation, both entities will see projects in India (Harmony House), Europe, America and Asia benefitted, and a donation being made on behalf of Global Gift Foundation to Puerto Rico which was recently left devastated by Hurricane Maria, with 100% of proceeds going to charity.

Special awards were handed out to Vanessa Williams, Lucy Bruce, and Charlotte Knight for their philanthropic pursuits. British singer, model & TV presenter and Honorary Chair Alesha Dixon presented Vanessa Williams with The Global Gift Excellence Award for her continuous contribution to philanthropic causes, while Charlotte Knight was honoured with the Global Gift Philantropreneur Award, and Lucy Bruce was recognised for her work with Harmony House as the Global Gift Philanthropist Award.

A fabulous end to a year that has seen the Global Gift Gala and EastofEden travel everywhere from Edinburgh, to Dubai, London to Marbella.

Christmas: A Gift For Your Gut

As November became December, we had our first real cold snap of winter and those shorter days suddenly seemed much more apparent. Coupled with Christmas lights twinkling up and down the country, the sense of festive frivolity has certainly started to take hold. It’s a magical time of the year and what makes it extra special in my eyes is the amazing food we share.

Let’s be honest, the festive season is synonymous with over-indulgence and the impact of this is something to worry about the day after. For most, this results in slight and temporary discomfort, but for those with bowel conditions such as Bowel Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and IBS, Christmas can be a plaguing time, with sufferers often feeling left isolated and alone.

To shine a light on what it’s like for the 340,000+ individuals coping with these chronic conditions, leading authority Bowel & Cancer Research have teamed up with expert nutritionist Lily Soutter to offer tips and tricks that will help the wider community to create a festive environment that everyone can enjoy whilst also keeping our gut health in optimum condition…

In addition, Bowel & Cancer Research are calling upon well-known and aspiring foodies to create alternative dishes for those with bowel conditions, using ingredients that are friendly to the digestive system and yet offer wholesome, delicious and fun foods, perfect for the party season.

As many as 40% of people within the UK have at least one digestive symptom at any one time. Fortunately, this campaign explores 10 simple things to consider that will be a gift for your gut this Christmas.

You can check out the top 10 tips here.

The Paul Strank Charitable Trust Gala

Fleur East, James and Ola Jordan, Martin and Shirley Kemp, Tiffany Watson, Georgia Toffolo and more join in support of the Paul Strank Charitable Trust Gala

A night of inspiration and celebration took place on Saturday night (23rd September) at the Paul Strank Charitable Trust Gala.  Hosted by James and Ola Jordan, guests included Martin and Shirley Kemp, Beverley Knight, Tiffany Watson, Georgia Toffolo,  Gemma Oaten, Nadia Essex, Tina Stinnes, Nikki Grahame, James Bennewith, Chloe Sims, James Lock, Yazmin Oukhellou, Frank Bruno, John Partridge, Natalie Casey and Theo Paphitis.

The Gala took place at Bank of England Sports Centre, London where guests enjoyed a three course meal and entertainment throughout the night. XFactor chart topper, Fleur East headlined on the evening as did X Factor contestant Danyl JohnsonJames and Ola Jordan hosted the evening and performed a special routine for guests, and BGT runner up, Stavros Flatley also took to the dancefloor to perform his iconic routine at the end of the evening

The gala raised money for the Paul Strank Charitable Trust, a Wimbledon-based grant-making charity.  The Paul Strank Charitable Trust supports local charities including Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice, Children in Need, AFC Wimbledon Foundation, Croygas Pirates Mixed Pan Disability Youth Football Team among other great local causes.

Our amazing clients, Paul and Irene Strank have been raising money for a variety of good causes over the years; using their business, Paul Strank Roofing, as a springboard, they have helped thousands of people in and around South London, as well as the wider UK. Their sustained fundraising efforts were recognised in 2013 with Paul receiving an MBE for services to charity and the community in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Through their drive and passion for helping others, it is estimated that the pair have raised, donated or sponsored more than £2m for charity and the community over the past 30 years and the Paul Strank Charitable Trust has now been set up enable their fundraising to climb to new heights.