Over 1700 people attended this year’s Health Mela at the University of Central Lancashire.

The event is one of the biggest of its kind in the region now and attracted people from across the city.

The health fair is organised by the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing in collaboration with UCLAN, local NHS Trusts and a wide range of voluntary organisations.

A ‘Bollywood’ Dance sponsored by the Gujarat Hindu Society opened the Mela.

On the day people took part in a ‘Health MOT’, guidance and information on sight, hearing and dental health and under the supervision of a Reiki Grand Master – 35 visitors pedal towards a healthy drink on the smoothie bike.

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Chair of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing, Professor Romesh Gupta OBE, said, ‘Most significant of all is our focus on engaging children to take an interest in and responsibility for their own health. It’s in the minds of children that we can construct a healthy nation and a sustainable future for the NHS.’

The Mela’s unique ‘Children’s Drop In Theatre’ was designed to engage with and enthuse the younger generation and to help them develop a deep and enduring understanding of the importance of adopting healthy life styles and the idea of a health community.

More than 250 individuals visited the theatre event including a high proportion of children.

During the afternoon programme, short and lively sessions on oral hygiene, bone health, relaxation etc. were combined with the enthusiastic presentations of the children who were the real stars of this inspiring show.

There was a thought provoking contribution and video presentation showing children from the Al-Huda Academy Preston undertaking their award-winning project.

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Other inspiring contributions came from musician, Alice Robson, poetry readers, Fatima and Zainab from Blackburn and children from the Madni Institute, Preston.

Nigel Harrison, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, UCLAN 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.’

Sue Musson, Chair, Lancashire Teaching Hospitais NHS Trust said, ‘Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has had a proud association with the Mela for many years.

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“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.”

Seth Crofts, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of Health and Social Care, Edge Hill University said, "The Preston Health Mela provided a very effective example of community partnership with statutory and voluntary services.

"A wide spectrum of people came together with a focus on improving health outcomes for children and young people.

“This event demonstrated that there is great capacity that can be harnessed to support innovation of services and form a true partnership between communities and service providers.

“I believe there is a major role for education providers to play in this process. We can support the development of a new workforce to allow for innovative services and we can also support members of local communities to develop and achieve their potential to train and work for their peers to transform health outcomes.”

The organisers wished thanks to all the student and other volunteers who played so many vital roles in securing the success of the event.