The sun smiled on Carlisle as the Rotary Club of Brampton and Longtown along with other local Rotary Clubs from Lancashire and Cumbria, the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing and Sustainable Carlisle held their first Health Mela (Health Awareness Fair) in Carlisle on Saturday 14th May 2016. The event was held in the Town Centre in association with several other organisations.

It was a vibrant health fair bringing all the latest news on healthy living to Cumbrian shoppers and their families as they strolled through the busy town centre.

Councillor Steve Layden, Mayor of Carlisle, opened the event. In the vibrant carnival atmosphere, he met representatives from all the NHS and voluntary organisations present as he toured their colourful stalls packed with information and advice on healthy living.The Health Mela presented adults and children alike with opportunities to take on board a huge range of experiences.

These included:

  • watching CPR sessions staged by the North West Ambulance Service
  • practising first-aid skills to help a heart attack victim
  • learning how to choose, grow and cook the right foods to keep fit and healthy
  • listening to tips and competitions on the theme of healthy living broadcast live on CFM radio
  • visiting the marquee to join in a taster session of relaxing Reiki provided by the Holistic Living Group from Preston
  • enjoying the music and dance displays
  • joining in an exercise session organised by DW Sports or smiling along with Keith Adams in laughter therapy.

Central to the day’s event was the ‘Health MOT’ which really is at the heart of the Health Mela. This was carried out in a friendly, informal session held in relaxing surroundings of Carlisle’s attractive Old Town Hall building. The Health MOT offers visitors a comprehensive health check including blood pressure, body mass index readings, blood cholesterol and sugar levels followed by counseling by health professionals where appropriate. Members of offered by the ‘Blood Drop’ team from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust supported by volunteer medical students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Manchester Medical School participated in carrying out the Health MOT. Professor Satyen Rajbhandari, Dr Abhay Vaidya and Mr Martin Myers provided additional support.

No fewer than 115 visitors took the opportunity to take part in the tests and 41 of them had abnormalities recorded. These included 31 cases of raised cholesterol, 10 of abnormally high blood pressure and 6 of impaired blood glucose.

Summing up the day, Professor Romesb Gupta, OBE, Chair of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing said

“It’s been a real delight to see just how enthusiastically our partners in Cumbria have taken on and developed the concept of the Heath Mela. These events are designed to enthuse and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own and their family’s health which is essential to maintaining the viability of our unique National Health Service. We really look forward to continuing our collaboration with our colleagues in Cumbria to build on today’s success.”

The event was widely attended by public who enjoyed the several health related displays and basic life support hands on experience, health assessment and several other health related activities..

Here are some of the photos of the event where as some video clips can be viewed at

Visit to Carlisle Health Mela Bill Laurie