City keeping its health in check thanks to annual Health Mela

17 April 2018

UCLan hosts event for fourth year running

The people of Preston were once again treated to a free health MOT at the city’s annual National Forum for Health and Wellbeing (NFHW) 17th Preston Health Mela hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Visitors to the 70 plus health related stalls were able to check their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol through free health checks, receive advice from a variety of healthcare professionals and experience holistic therapy such as Reiki.  Younger attendees enjoyed themselves by visiting the Teddy Bear Clinic, examining the inflatable walk-in mega-brain and testing out the smoothie making bike.

It is the fourth year that UCLan has teamed up with the NFHW, with support from the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trusts and a wide range of voluntary and statutory organisations, to bring the event to Preston. It focuses on awareness of drugs, alcohol and homelessness and works with the local community to promote positive health and wellbeing.

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: “Taking the benefits of good health and wellbeing direct to the public via the Health Melas is a great initiative that I feel should be rolled out across the country. If we can play our small part in keeping people well in the community, it helps to take some of the pressure off the NHS.

“It’s always a pleasure helping to organise this annual event with our UCLan Creative Communities Group members. It’s the fourth year we have hosted the Health Mela at the University and we must thank the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing for kindly sponsoring the event again this year.”

"Taking the benefits of good health and wellbeing direct to the public via the Health Melas is a great initiative"

NFHW Chair Romesh Gupta said:  “It was once again a very successful event. The enthusiasm and the willingness of stall holders to engage with the community was ever intense. The discussion at the breakfast meeting addressed the homelessness and alcohol induced ill Health and its effect on NHS resources.

“In total, more than 100 visitors had full health MOT and surprisingly a third revealed abnormal results in terms of raised BP, cholesterol and sugar levels. This is a clear indication that Health Mela is able to engage the hard to reach communities. We need to change the way health services are provided and make an attempt to reduce self induced fatal illnesses.

“This year many lectures were delivered in the hall covering variety of topics impacting our wellbeing. The Digital well-being was an eye opener and James Glover offered practical tips to protect our children from harmful digital environment.

We will continue to work with our partner organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of our local communities.”

During the opening ceremony, Fellowship Awards of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing were presented to Professor Nigel Harrison, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, and UCLan Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Lynne Livesey in recognition of their outstanding support for the work of NFHW and the Preston Health Melas.

The event was formally opened by Dr Kieran Moriarty, CBE, consultant physician and gastroenterologist at the Royal Bolton Hospital and alcohol lead for the British Society of Gastroenterology, and Dr Chris Moulton, consultant in emergency medicine at the Royal Bolton Hospital and Vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. Mayor of Preston, Councillor Brian Rollo, also attended the event.

View images from the day on the UCLan Flickr Gallery.

Preston locals joined in the fun at UCLan
Preston locals joined in the fun at UCLan