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City's health in good hands at Mela

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People from across Lancashire have visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for the 15th annual Health Mela to learn more about positive health and wellbeing.

UCLan hosts annual health and wellbeing event

People from across Lancashire have visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for the 15th annual Health Mela to learn more about positive health and wellbeing.

More than 1,500 visitors came to the University for the free event which transformed the campus into a hub for more than 75 stalls with information and advice from NHS staff, senior clinicians and alternative therapists demonstrating treatments such as Reiki and acupuncture. These were supported by 50 UCLan student volunteers from across the University. The day also offered a Health MOT Programme for people to check their blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol alongside eyesight, hearing and oral health checks. Younger visitors made healthy refreshing drinks on the smoothie bike, tried their hand at bandaging an injured teddy bear and enjoyed a colourful dance performance.

The event was organised by the UCLan Creative Communities Group (CCG) on behalf of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing (NFHW) and supported by the Rotary Club and the Gujarati Hindu Centre in Preston. Russell Hogarth, co-founder and chair of the UCLan CCG, commented: “The UCLan Health Mela has yet again been a tremendous success and is a shining example of community engagement. It was a pleasure to see so many students from across UCLan working in partnership with our University staff, honorary fellows and community members.

Taking health and wellbeing awareness into the community via the Health Mela is now a major part of the UCLan Creative Communities Group activities. The UCLan CCG now supports the seven Health Melas held throughout the year across Lancashire and Yorkshire

“Taking health and wellbeing awareness into the community via the Health Melas is now a major part of the UCLan Creative Communities Group activities. The UCLan CCG now supports the seven Health Melas held throughout the year across Lancashire and Yorkshire.”

The chairmen of the NFHW, Professor Romesh Gupta OBE, said: “Now more than ever, we need to make the very best use of our precious NHS resources. NFHW has always firmly believed that an essential way to do this is by providing a friendly, informal setting in which health professionals, voluntary bodies, NHS organisations and individuals can mutually address health related issues and tackle problems at an early stage and in the community. We are delighted that so many organisations share our view and we acknowledge the support we have had for this, our 15th Health Mela, from our local NHS Trusts, Community Groups and Voluntary Bodies.

“Finally but not least, we are also grateful to the support we have received from UCLan. They not only provided the excellent venue and flawless logistical support essential to the success of a venture on this scale but committed the enthusiastic support of their health faculty students and volunteers to ensure the success of the event.”

The event was officially opened by Sir Peter Dixon, Chair of Diabetes UK, who praised the Health Mela for its pioneering work and offered his support in its programme to extend the range of Health Melas both regionally and nationally.

He said: “I was incredibly impressed by the Health Mela and the organisation that had gone into it. It was good to see such a wide range of collaborators and participants coming together to present what was, for me, a unique way of bring healthier living to the community. I could very easily have spent much more time talking to the very enthusiastic participants and visitors. Between all of you, you have created something very special.”

View images from the event on Flickr, watch a report from That’s Lancashire TV and read an in-depth write up from UCLan journalism students Vaiva Kisunaite and Sarah Cann who attended the Health Mela.


Hela Group Photo

Lyndsey Boardman | 20 April 2016