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Surya Foundation Update Dec 2010
    What have we been up to?  
  Where have we come from?  
    We thought it was high time to make contact with all of our valued supporters and let them know what’s been happening behind the scenes.

Following Surya Foundation’s inception in 2003, we have made strong strides in getting ourselves on the map through some memorable and successful fund-raising events during 2004 to 2006. The Bollywood Ball, The Jaipur Ball and The Butterfly Ball at Syon Park events were well supported by everyone. From the generous donations and funds raised, we backed diabetes research and diabetes education projects relevant to South Asian Diabetes management and outcomes. To date, we have raised and invested £50,000 in key projects. Our focus tends to be around Diabetes Type 2 as this is the more common Diabetes type affecting people today.

Since those early beginnings, our central goal has been to create a strategic and sustainable charity, dedicated to making a difference to Diabetes Outcomes in South Asians in the UK. From 2006 to 2008, we decided to focus on building our strategic vision and capability. The steering team has been pivotal in shaping Surya Foundation for the future. Our sincere thanks go Dr Anju Gupta, Harbinder Sunsoa, Namrata Patel, Sabina Syed and Sanjay Patel for giving us their talents and expertise on a voluntary basis to ensure that Surya Foundation was injected with purpose and meaning for the long-term.
  Where do we plan to go from here?  
    In 2009, Surya Foundation embarked on one of its most critical activities to date. Partnering with Centre of Gravity, a brand strategy organisation which understands the social change sector, Surya Foundation commissioned Insights Research into the Attitudes and Beliefs of South Asians to Health and Diabetes Type 2. This has resulted in unique and ground-breaking knowledge which has the power to inform future interventions for Diabetes Type 2 management in the South Asian community. 2011 will be the year of promoting this significant work known as” Surya Foundation Insights”. Thank you to all the participants who helped to make this possible and a special thanks to Monika Gera and the Centre of Gravity team who drove the project through with exceptional determination and focus.  
  Our 3 Year Goals  
    We now have a plan crystallised on where Surya Foundation wants to be 3 years from now.

  • Essentially we want to be a highly credible Knowledge and Insights source on Diabetes Type 2 in South Asians, across the spectrum of prevention to management.

  • We then want to move towards grass-roots impact through direct translation of this knowledge and insights to deliver intervention programmes to the South Asian communities through in-community centres (PODS). We are calling these PODS to convey their “travels to community”, out-reach character.
The 2 intervention programmes we will be focussing on over the next 3 years are:

Work Place Interventions

Emotional Support

These are 2 action areas identified as gaps and opportunities when it comes to making a difference to Uptake of Diabetes Interventions, Diabetes Education and Diabetes Management. More information will follow as projects get scoped, funded and make progress.
  What will help us get to our rainbow destination?  
    In order to deliver on our vision, it is clear that we need to develop as an organisation. Attracting the right people and securing funds are crucial aspects to our long-term success.

To accomplish a transition to the next level as an organisation in a sure-footed way, Surya Foundation has created a Transition team, involving 2 established Executive Committee members Achala Patel and Dr Natasha Patel and welcoming a new member, Pramod Chotai. The prime goal of this team will be to move Surya Foundation to the next level of development through generating funding, formally appointing volunteers/ staff and building organisational capability.
  How can you help and get involved?  
    We would love to hear from you with feedback on our plans and innovative ideas for fund-raising in our community. Would you like to volunteer with us? Would you like to join our Executive Committee? Get in touch by email or phone and we would be happy to discuss how you can get involved.

You can donate your ideas, time or real cash! Look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,

Ms. Achala Patel
Dr. Natasha Patel
Mr. Pramod Chotai

More about the Executive Committee

Ms. Achala Patel, Bsc (HONS), DipM
Executive Committee Member (Chair)

E mail Address: achalapatel@btinternet.com
Tel.No: 07917 007859
Achala is Founder and chair of Surya Foundation and was responsible for kick-starting the organisation back in 2003. Since that time, Achala has been responsible for developing the charity’s purpose and capability with the support of an invaluable crew of talented and passionate supporters. Achala strongly believes in the possibility of a brighter future for the health of our South Asian communities. Achala brings know-how in sales & marketing, organisational management, team building, communications, social marketing and consumer engagement to support the achievement of Surya Foundation’s goals.


Dr. Natasha Patel, BSc Hons MBBS MRCP
Executive Committee Member (Co-Chair)
E Mail Address:
Tel. No: 07534 404867
Natasha joined the Surya Foundation action team in 2004 and was appointed as Co-Chair in 2006 to further the organisation’s scope and reach. Natasha has a deep professional and personal commitment to supporting people with Diabetes and changing how we approach Diabetes management for better outcomes. Natasha works at St Georges Hospital, as Consultant in AMU and Diabetes and is close to the challenges and positive possibilities of improved Diabetes management. Natasha has a strong interest in improving Diabetes outcomes through rigorous evidence-based practice and innovation in patient engagement, education and empowerment – critical approaches which she will continue to champion through Surya Foundation’s work.


Mr. Pramod Chotai, BSc (Hons), MBA, FCIM
Executive Committee Member
E Mail Address:
Tel. No: 07975 949001

Pramod joined SURYA Foundation in October 2010. After working for over 28 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he has extensive on hands experience in general management and organisational development. Pramod was based in Switzerland for the last 18 years where he worked for Wellcome, Roche, and in the past 10 years was a Business Director for Merck Sharpe & Dohme-Chibret AG. Pramod also brings experience from non governmental organisation (NGO) where he was a non executive director between 1995-1998, for Aids Hilfe Schwiz, and was instrumental in getting HIV diagnostic tests reimbursed for HIV infected people. Pramod brings diverse expertise to Surya Foundation and will focus in leading organisational development, capability building and driving critical fund-raising strategies.
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