Building on successful events in Blackpool (2013) and Fleetwood (2014) the annual Health Mela completed its round of Fylde Coast destinations with another vibrant, family focused Fair in Lytham St Annes on Saturday 3rd October 2015.

Organised by the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing in collaboration with the Rotary Club of St Annes on the Sea and the Rotary Clubs of Blackpool, Lytham and Fleetwood, the event was hosted by Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College. The day attracted hundreds of visitors of all ages. It was a real feast of information and ideas for those interested in developing and maintaining their own family health and wellbeing and that of the community.

The day commenced with a breakfast meeting at which the Chief Guest, Adrian Leather, Chief Executive of Lancashire Sports, made a powerful case for the importance of physical activity, not only in the promotion of personal health and wellbeing, but also because of its potential to reduce the demands made on our increasingly stretched NHS.

The Mayor of Fylde, Cllr. Peter Hardy, welcoming the Health Mela to the Borough, acknowledged the importance of the event and wished the organisers well in their concern to promote the health and wellbeing of local citizens.

Visitors attending found a wide range of stalls and were able to access the information and advice available from experts representing over fifty health related organisations. They went on to enjoy taster sessions in complementary medicine, (Reiki). The musical entertainment provided by pianist Georgia Rodwell, a student of the College, was very much appreciated.

Another popular attraction was the ‘Smoothie Bike’. By donating a little bit of pedal power, visitors were able to turn fruit (provided courtesy of Booths Supermarkets) into a delicious smoothie drink. Many visitors took the opportunity to visit the Cyber Bullying presentations by DJ Lionel Vinyl..

Central to the theme of the Mela Health Fair) was the opportunity for visitors to participate in a completely free check-up, the ‘Health MOT’, followed by professional health counselling and where appropriate a referral to their GP. 70 individuals took the MOT. As a result 5 (7.1%) were identified with high blood glucose levels, 17 (24.3%) with high cholesterol levels and 3 (4.3%) with raised blood pressure.

Members of the Rotary Club of St Annes on the Sea were delighted to receive lots of positive feedback from visitors who had enjoyed the diversity of interaction with health fair exhibitors. They expressed their gratitude to all the many individuals and organisations contributing to the success of the event.

Speaking of the day, Mr Ramesh Gandhi, OBE, Co-Chairman of the organising committee said.

‘Three years ago we set out an ambitious programme to bring the Health Mela to all parts of the Fylde Coast. I am so pleased that we have today achieved this goal and that so many people have engaged with us in the promotion of the health and wellbeing of our communities.

We look forward to developing the ideals of the Health Mela as an integral component of the Fylde Coast’s strategy for a healthy future.’

Professor Romesh Gupta, OBE, Chair of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing, added,

‘The success of the three year programme on the Fylde Coast is very good news. It illustrates the strength of the ‘Health Mela’ and how it is possible to cascade the model to new areas and populations. We are already planning for future years and look forward to exciting new developments on these lines across the North West and further afield.’