The National Forum for Health and Wellbeing has been working in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and its School of Medicine and Dentistry to hold annual Health Melas at UCLan’s Preston campus. Encouraged by success and impressed by the impact on the Health Melas in the local community, NFHW once again in partnership with UCLan and the School of Medicine and Dentistry organised its first ever Health Mela at Victoria Mill campus Burney on Saturday 11 May 2024.

As hundreds of members from across the local community attended the Health Mela, they had the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from nearly 50 health related stalls which provided a wide-range of information on how to improve health and wellbeing.

The event was graced by the attendance of Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, local MP Antony Higginbottom, Dame Sue Ion, UCLan Pro chancellor and chair of the university board and several other well known public figures and dignitaries.

Traditional breakfast meeting discussion centred around important issues including the benefits of collaborative working between both NHS members and the local community. Professor Romesh Gupta, chairman of NFHW, welcomed and introduced the guests. He spoke briefly about the aims of the forum and its role in empowering the community in health related issues before the discussion began. Attendees included distinguished guests, senior clinicians, university staff and students and members of the local community.

The event was open to the public at 11:00 AM with a Bollywood dance followed by Ken Lee, UCLan chief people officer who welcomed visitors to the event.

Dame Sue Ion formally opened the event in the presence of Professor Romesh Gupta, chairman of NFHW, Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, local MP Antony Higginbottom, other guests and visitors.

In  her remarks Dame Sue highlighted university’s role as the largest provider of university healthcare education in Lancashire within the community and the key role in plays in the health and wellbeing of the community. She praised work of the NFHW in reaching out the community in a novel and innovative way and partnership between the two organisations.

Throughout the day the visitors, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, and local MP Antony Higginbottom were able to take advantage of free health checks for a range of conditions including diabetes, cholesterol and body mass index.

We also carried out over 70 blood drop tests and health MOTs.

Volunteers from Blood Drop team carried out the blood tests whilst volunteers from Holistic Living Group provided Reiki taster sessions.

The event was supported by staff and students from across the University, including the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and students and staff from the American University of the Caribbean [AUC].