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Pioneering health and wellbeing event is a big success for town

A PIONEERING event which combined health and care information around Bognor Regis is set to be repeated.


The first Regis BIG event was said to have achieved its goals for helping people to keep healthy, stay well and feel good.


Last Saturday’s occasion was organised by the NHS and brought together 44 organisations in a one-stop shop at the Arun Leisure Centre.


It was staged by the Regis local community network of health and wellbeing service providers. Its partnership manager, Michaela Hawkes, said: “This was the first event of its kind to be held in the area.


“It has been driven by the community for the community and enjoyed by the community.


“We are getting good feedback from everyone. It’s a good opportunity for all the groups here to get involved and to find out about each other.


“The plan is to repeat this event. Everyone here is keen to do it again. We will be having a meeting soon to discuss things.”


The partnership is chaired by Dr James Bramall, senior partner at Grove House Surgery in Rose Green.


He said: “Today is all about breaking down the barriers between different organisations. They don’t often know about each other. We, as GPs, don’t either.


“It’s better if we work closer on matters and that goes for the NHS’ community trust and hospital trust as well.”


He cited examples of combined work on children’s mental health and falls prevention. Both required the intervention of a range of authorities to provide the best solutions, he said.


Scores of residents went along to the event. Taster sessions and activities which were available throughout the leisure centre included NHS health checks, yoga and t’ai chi and fitness activities.


Among those who went along was North Bersted resident Kirsty Parker, with her husband and their two children.


She said: “I thought it was a really good event. There were lots of different stalls giving out information and it was really interesting.”


The stalls on show included Cancer United. Its founder, Jan Sheward, used its presence to highlight the charity’s sessions at the Laburnum Centre in Bognor Regis for anyone affected by cancer.


She said: “This is about raising awareness of what we do. It’s about reaching out to people who don’t know about us.


“It also gives us the chance to meet other groups and reach out to each other.”


Bognor Regis District Scouting was also present. Its district commissioner, Vicki Goodland, said: “This is a good experience for us.


“We are showing what young people can do when they join us. There are different activities for all ages.


“They learn skills for life, meet different people, work together in teams and find out about healthy relationships.


“We have about 750 young people in Bognor Regis and anyone can join us.”


Colin McCulloch, membership secretary of the Bognor Regis branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A), said: “We are explaining what we do and how we go about it.”


It has more than 60 activities in which some of its 550 members pass on their knowledge to others in subjects as diverse as English history and family history or enjoy pastimes such as Scrabble and table tennis.

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