City keeping health in check at annual Mela

3 April 2017

UCLan teams up with National Forum for Health and Wellbeing for annual event

More than 1,500 Prestonians received a health check MOT at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this weekend as part of the annual National Forum for Health and Wellbeing (NFHW) 16th Preston Health Mela.

Visitors to the 70-plus health related stalls were given free health checks and advice from a variety of healthcare professionals while younger attendees enjoyed themselves with a visit to the Teddy Bear Clinic and testing out the smoothie making bike.

It is the third year that UCLan has teamed up with the NFHW and other partners to bring the event to Preston and work with the local community to promote positive health and wellbeing.

UCLan Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing Nigel Harrison said: “We were delighted to host the Preston Health Mela again at the University, working collaboratively with a range of organisations to promote health and wellbeing across Lancashire.

“The event complements the education, research, innovation and enterprise we provide at the University.  We continue to be committed in our work to find solutions to tackle health inequalities that exist in Lancashire and look forward to being part of next year’s event.”

Chairman at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Sue Musson commented: “Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has had a proud association with the Mela for many years.  As the new Chair of the Trust, I was delighted to attend and lend my support to this outstanding event.  The Mela is an inspiring opportunity to bring health and wellbeing services out to the communities we serve.

“I would like to congratulate and thank all those who put so much effort into making the Mela a hugely successful and joyous celebration. This was a wonderful showcase of partnership working at its very best.”

Chair of the UCLan Board David Taylor added: “The Health Mela goes from strength to strength and UCLan is proud to host it. Part of our mission as a University is to build lasting links with our communities and the Mela helps us to do this.”

UCLan’s Creative Communities Group (CCG) again played a key role in working with the NFHW and local organisations to bring the Mela to Preston.

Russell Hogarth, co-founder and chair of the UCLan CCG, said: “The event was a tremendous success and I was delighted to see so many people attend.  In addition to more than 1,500 community visitors who registered on the door we also had dozens of stallholders, University staff, students and Creative Communities group volunteers.

“The variety of stalls giving free health and wellbeing support was truly inspirational. The free community health checks were, as always, very popular with people turning up for assessments right up until four o'clock in the afternoon.  A special thank you to the CCG co-ordinator Nigel Farnworth and his fellow volunteers who again helped to make this event possible this year.”

View images from the event on the UCLan Flickr gallery.