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Preston Health Mela 2016 Report And Reflection Creative Communities Group RSS Newsfeed for Creative Communities Group Online art gallery newsfeed

~When we look back on our lives some things have greater significance than others. A maximum high could differ from a minimal low. Some moments may create great happiness whilst others simply fade into the background.

One event though that has stayed transfixed and inspired into the minds and hearts of Prestonians for the past seven days  is the annual mela. The yearly celebration took place at the Foster Building UCLAN last Saturday April 16th 2016 and as sources go, it was their best yet!

The Foster Building experienced a healthy well being makeover which enabled it to be used by :- 

NHS Staff, Senior Clinicians and over 50 UCLan student volunteers from The College of Health and Wellbeing, Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Media and Business.

It was a well attended day as members of the public were invited free of charge to have health MOTs and over 1500 community members took the opportunity to visit the University.

Health and well being was at the forefront of the day as well as mental health being on the agenda.

Organised by UCLAN’S Creative Communities Group ( CCG) alongside University staff, students honorary fellows and community members. This was the mela’s 15th year on behalf of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing – supported by the Rotary and the Gujarati centre in Preston.

Chair of the CCG,  Russell Hogarth speaks positively about the impact the Health Mela’s have on the community and the support his group has for the widespread popularity throughout Lancashire and the UK,

“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 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.”
Russell made reference to the input of students from UCLAN who endeavour to support the Health Mela’s to the best of their ability. Two UCLan journalism students reported on the day – Sarah Cann and Vaiva Kisunaite from the School of Language Literature & International Studies. They documented on the day which included,

*Treatments such as Reiki and acupuncture, supported by 50 UCLan student volunteers from across the University.

*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.

Additional support came very kindly from CCG member PVC Lynne Livesey who delivered the Welcome to UCLan at the Breakfast meeting.  Here is what Lynne had to say in response to such a monumental Health Mela,

"Saturday's Health Mela was an incredible event showing the strength of the partnerships that exist between colleagues from across all areas of the health and wellbeing sector. Opening the event, Sir Peter Dixon, Chair of Diabetes UK, summed it up when he commented that events like this empower people to take control of their own health. With diabetes alone set to cost the NHS £10 billion annually it is essential that people are guided from a young age on how to prevent or control such conditions.

The University's honorary fellow Russell Hogarth and his team of volunteers ensured over 1500 visitors to the event were able to speak to experts, access on the spot health checks and raise their awareness of the extensive channels of support available to them. Congratulations to everyone involved."

In addition the up-most thanks and appreciation go to staff across the University including FM, LIS, Security, Mail Room, Marketing, Car parking, Hospitality and Catering. Also, a huge thank you to Nigel Harrison and the College of Health and Wellbeing for sponsoring the catering throughout the day.


Other noteworthy people included Dame Heather Tierney Moore (MBE) and Sir Peter Dixon, Chairman of Diabetes UK. As Lynne mentioned earlier, Peter officially opened the event and speaks of the great work gone into preparing and presenting the mela for the public interest. He has fond memories of the day and has felt inspired by the health and well being facilitators that represented their field of work,

 “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 comin