Kevin Walsh with Prof Romesh Gupta OBE

Kevin Walsh with Prof Romesh Gupta OBE

National Forum for Health and Wellbeing and Rotary International have agreed to work together to promote the concept of Health Mela in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Chairman of NFHW Professor Romesh Gupta met with Rotarian Kevin Walsh, immediate past District Governor of District 1190 in Kendal on Thursday 16 October to discuss the how the partnership could be strengthened and concept rolled out to empower the communities within these two counties to take control of their health. Also attending the meeting were Dr Abhay Vaidya of NFHW and Rotarians Larry Branyan Assistant Governor Central, Catherine Doyle district community and vocational chair, Katherine Robinson secretory Rotary club of Lancaster Loyne and Ian Forth of Brampton and Longtown club.

Opening this informal meeting, Rotarian Kevin gave a brief description of the Health Mela including its origin and the progress it has made so far with Professor Gupta chipping in to fill in. Kevin said he was impressed by the concept and community engagement. He felt it fitted in well with the ethos of the Rotary International and was therefore pleased that the Rotary International had deemed it worthy of funding the project along with its scheme of providing defibrillators within the community.

After the presentations, all the members agreed that it was a worthy cause and holding such health related events within the community would not only help the communities but also empower them to take control of their health and wellbeing. Various options about holding the Mela were discussed and all agreed that building partnerships with the various local, NHS, educational and voluntary organisations would enhance the delivery of such events within their respective areas. Given the limited resources, it was suggested that initially various Rotary clubs could hold the Melas on a rolling basis. It was suggested that efforts should be made to hold first of such an event around June 2015 in the East Lancashire area. Rotarian Catherine Doyleagreed to take the lead and work with the other Rotary clubs to explore the possibility of holding the event in Burnley. Other Rotarians also agreed to explore the possibilities of developing links and partnerships within their respective areas.

During the meeting Professor Gupta informed the colleagues that he would soon be attending first Indian Health Mela in the town of Baskhari in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He said this was only possible because of the keen interest of the Principal of the local Westridge Hilton school Mr Mohsin Khan Who had even started a new Rotary Club to facilitate the organisation of the event. This, said Professor Gupta, demonstrates the commitment of the local community and would, in longer run, help spread the Rotary International within this area. He also said he was due to give a brief presentation about the NFHW in Rohtak, Haryana to his classmates and other colleagues during the 50th reunion of the his batch mates.

The meeting concluded on a very positive note with all agreeing to meet again to exchange ideas and discuss the progress made.