COMMUNITY AND HEALTH MELA IS A KNOCKOUT
The 2016 One Voice Mela proved to be a resounding success with well over 2,000 members of the community enjoying the day at Corporation Park.
The One Voice Mela, incorporating the Baiter Sehat project in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council was sponsored by Community Integrated Care and Blackburn College.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, launched the event in Corporation Park, Blackburn alongside Phil Benson, Service Manager at Community Integrated Care’s EachStep Blackburn specialist dementia care home and Student Ambassador Aysha Mahmood from Blackburn College.
The health event included over a dozen health stalls and fun activities including an assault course, a bouncy castle, a giant slide and a shooting range. The centrepiece of the Mela was an ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition and an obstacle course courtesy of Community Integrated Care. The highly contested ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition was won by Brookhouse Primary School.
Phil Benson, Service Manager at Community Integrated Care’s EachStep Blackburn – who sponsored the One Voice Mela, said,
“We sponsored the One Voice Mela to raise awareness of dementia issues and introduce people to EachStep Blackburn, and also celebrate our brilliant partnership with One Voice, who have helped us to support our vision of making EachStep an inclusive and community-focussed home. This event enabled us to meet thousands of people and also be part of a very special event for the local community.”
The One Voice Mela was also sponsored by Blackburn College. Aysha Mahmood, student ambassador at Blackburn College said,
“It has been fantastic today. So many visitors are asking about our courses. A lot of people have been enquiring about the adult courses and the University Centre. Young people have been asking about applying for various courses and what level of support they could receive.”
Health experts were on hand at the One Voice Mela to meet and greet the public and offer advice and information.
Lynn Lowe, Dementia Advisor for Alzheimer’s Society said, “I’ve enjoyed talking about our services and helping people to be more informed about dementia here today at the One Voice Mela.”
Maryam Choudhry from Macmillan Cancer said,
“The One Voice Mela has gone really well. From our experience, people can be a bit defensive when you mention Cancer, but we got a lot of questionnaires filled out and we gave out a lot of information, so we’re pleased with that.”
The One Voice Mela is part of phase four of the Baiter Sehat campaign. The aim of the project, which is in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, is to deliver both community and education initiatives, and integrate information into existing health promotion activity in the local BME community.
Alex Gold from Lancashire Mind said,
“It’s really busy here today at the One Voice Mela and we’ve had a lot of interest from visitors so it’s been really good.”
Clare Moran from Healthwatch BwD reiterated these sentiments.
“Today’s event has been really successful. We’ve had the opportunity to engage with lots of residents from Blackburn with Darwen. We’ve been able to talk about the projects that we’ve been involved in and help promote Healthwatch BwD.”
Elaine from AgeUk BwD was equally pleased with the event.
“It has been a lovely afternoon. We have spoken to so many people about our services. It has been great and we are hoping to come back next year.”
Also present at the One Voice Mela were representatives from Organ Donation and the team from CGL inspire and GO2 who spoke to visitors about their drug and alcohol services.
Advocacy Focus, who provide independent, person-centred advocacy for people who feel disempowered by health or social care issues also attended the Mela. The team from Kumon were present talking about the facilities at the Central Study Centre in Blackburn.
Maryam, Educational Worker at women’s refuge Humraaz said,
“It’s been a great day today at the One Voice Mela. We have met many people from the community. We have expanded the knowledge of the work we do in Humraaz. This will hopefully see more involvement from the community in the future of Humraaz.”
The WEGS and 2020 Vision were on hand at the Mela as well as the eager 1V Scouts and their leaders.
One Voice Chairman Abrar Hussain said,
“The One Voice Mela has become an annual event that is highly anticipated by the local community. This year, like previous year’s proved to be a great community event and a fun day out for the whole family. We would like to thank all the visitors to the One Voice Mela and to the many health and activity stalls for their involvement and engagement with the community. And, of course, a huge thank you to the volunteers on the day whose support was unparalleled.”