The Eighth Bolton Health Mela began with a breakfast meeting for invited guests chaired by Professor Romesh Gupta, OBE, Chair of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing and Director of the University Centre for Research into Health and Wellbeing. The meeting picked up the Mela theme ‘Play Well – Live Well.’

The wide ranging discussion which took place highlighted the importance of sport and exercise in sustaining a healthy community. Contributors included the Chief Guest, Dr Chris Brookes, Executive Medical Director of Salford Royal Hospital and Medical Director Rugby League England,  the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr. Lynda Byrne and her consort, former Mayor Cllr. John Byrne, Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of  NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group and Joanne Smith, Faculty of Wellbeing and Social Sciences representing the University. Some of the initiatives taken in Bolton to support healthy physical acivity, including the provision of outdoor exerciser equipment were highlighted.

On conclusion of the meeting the Health Mela was formally opened to the public by Dr. Chris Brookes. Scores of visitors watched a welcoming dance performance. They then went on to check out a fascinating array of stalls to find out what advice and services were on offer from local hospital and care Trusts, GP services and a wide range of voluntary organisations..

44 individuals took the opportunity to undergo a relaxed ‘Health MOT’ with checks on blood pressure, body mass index, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, followed by personally tailored counselling from friendly health professionals. As a result of these tests 7 individuals were referred to their GP for follow-up checks. 14 individuals tried out a taster session of Reiki.

Throughout the day members of Bolton Rotary Clubs welcomed  and  provided help and information to visitors.

Speaking after the Mela, Chief Guest, Dr Chris Brookes said.

‘The Bolton Health Mela was a truly fantastic event exemplifying all that is good in health care. Its focus on prevention, health and well- being and using activity as a stimulus for a contented and fulfilling life was inspiring.

To meet the challenges of an ageing and increasingly frail population, engagement with people in a way which allows them to take charge of their own health is critically important. The palpable enthusiasm of the event participants struck a chord in galvanising them to encompass the principle of ‘start well, live well and age well’ as fundamental to their lives, this approach being the bedrock of their  physical and mental health.

I will certainly recommend this event to colleagues and members of the public alike especially if they wanted to drink their own delicious smoothie crafted by pedalling a bicycle!’

Photographs in the attached link give a flavour of the event.

You can find out more about NFHW by contacting:

Derek Ormerod, Public Relations

Sarifa Kabir, Secretary