Happiness is a dry wedding reception

EVENTS ORGANISER

Energetic Anita Patel organises Asian weddings and business events. Based in Leicester, Anita's company, Tania Tapel Promotions, plans the happy day for couples all over the UK. Asian weddings can be huge, with as many as 2,000 invited guests and a budget of pound;20,000 for venue, food and entertainment, so careful planning is crucial.

Ms Patel says: "Muslim weddings have no alcohol and a lot of meat dishes. Sikh weddings have a lot of alcohol, but Hindu weddings have no alcohol and all vegetarian food. I'm a Hindu myself, and you can always spot me at these events because I'm the one who's running around in a sari."

Anita has been a business mentor in John Ellis community college for the past three years. In that time, she has worked with five pupils - all Asian.

"I act as a role model to Asian girls and help them to build self-confidence and ambition," she says."Children, especially those from an Asian background, have restrictions placed on them at home. I was quite rebellious when I was young, but being a rebel doesn't always help to solve the problem - particularly at school. I help pupils realise that there's no barrier to what they can achieve - it's up to individuals to make something of themselves.

"Being an academic success isn't everything, but without exams it's a lot harder and it takes longer."

Useful Contacts National Mentoring Network Tel 0161 787 6132 www.nmn.org The European Mentoring Centre Tel 01628 661 919 www.mentoringcentre.org Community Service Volunteers Tel 020 7586 2914 businessdynamics Tel 0207 620 0735 www.businessdynamics.org.uk

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