Fourth Annual Leyland Health Mela shows healthy living can be fun!
More than 1000 visitors, exhibitors and students combined to ensure that the 4th Annual Leyland Health Mela held on Saturday 12th September at local secondary school, Academy @ Worden, was a roaring success.
The event, jointly sponsored by NFHW, the School and the Rotary Club of Leyland focused on eye and heart health. It commenced with a breakfast meeting opened by the Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Mary Green, who expressed her delight that so many people and organisations had got together to offer such a wonderful opportunity for health improvement to the people of South Ribble.
Chief guest for the day was Professor Caroline MacEwen, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists accompanied by her husband the distinguished cardiologist Professor Stuart Pringle.
Professor MacEwan noted the increasing demands being made on ophthalmology services in the UK, with a 30% increase recorded over the last five years and welcomed the fact that the Mela was providing a platform to promote the importance of eye health. Both Professor MacEwen and Professor Pringle emphasised the importance of getting people to take responsibility for their own health. They expressed strong support for the role Health Melas can play in achieving this.
After the formal opening ceremony, the audience was entertained with a lively display from Worden’s own award winning team of Cheerleaders and then given the opportunity to visit stalls representing over 60 organisations including NHS Trusts, voluntary bodies and other health related groups.
Visitors of all ages were invited to take a Health MOT and well over 150 took advantage of the range of health test and professional health counselling opportunities on offer. As an example, in the blood testing programme, over 106 visitors were counselled and 39 (36.8%) were referred to their GP for further investigation.
The many other attractions on offer included; the chance to try out activities associated with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, learning how to cook healthy meals, participating in a Reiki session or checking out the health of a favourite playmate at the Teddy Bears’ Clinic. The smoothie Bike was in constant demand throughout the day as visitors pedalled their way to a nutritious and refreshing drink.
A popular, if somewhat gruesome, alternative to face painting was provided by the young artists who provided visitors with realistic wounds for treatment on the First Aid Injuries stall.
Throughout the day visitors were welcomed, guided and entertained by a team of enthusiastic cheerful and very well informed volunteer students from Academy@Worden.
Speaking of the Health Mela and the contribution of the students, Professor Romeah Gupta said “In bringing the Health Mela to a local secondary school we knew that we would get our message right into the heart of the community. Our expectations have been completely fulfilled and we are really grateful for the amazing support we have had from the school. The volunteer students did excellent work. They are superb ambassadors for the ideals of community health and wellbeing.”
Reflecting on the day, Professor Caroline MacEwen said
“Many thanks, again, for inviting Stuart and me to the very successful health mela on Saturday. We both found it enjoyable, informative and an excellent day of health promotion. You, your team and all stakeholders deserve full plaudits.
“The Leyland health mela was an excellent day for recognising that good health is not a passive state, but one which involves active participation and enjoyment. The emphasis on involvement of the entire community was imperative and including eye health emphasised to all ages that our eyes and vision are to be valued and treasured. This health mela is an exemplar of true community involvement in health promotion and its success is reflected in the numbers who attend and the year on year demand.”
Professor Stuart Pringle, President of Scottish Cardiac Society added
“It was real privilege to be involved Leyland Health Mela. The NHS is currently stretched with a finite budget and increasingly expensive modern healthcare. This make is all the more important for individuals and communities to take responsibility for their own health to reduce the risk of heart attacks and other forms of cardiovascular disease with a major emphasis on Disease Prevention and Health Maintenance. I had read about last year’s Leyland Health Mela and to witness it first hand this year was a real treat. I was particularly struck by the enthusiasm of the participants and the attendees. What a wonderful example of a community working together with a common purpose for the benefit of all. This was multidisciplinary team working at its best.
“Congratulations to all for making this event so enjoyable and successful. I will take lessons learnt back for discussion at the Council of the Scottish Cardiac Society.”
A short video of the breakfast meeting can be viewed at
Leyland Guardian’s report on the event may be viewed at
The report from the DG Arthur Jones of the Rotary Cumbria and Lancashire is attached.
Pre Mela publicity may be viewed at