One Voice Mela

Published Tuesday 4 August 2015 at 9:27

Rain did not dampen spirits at a health event held in Corporation Park, Blackburn.

The One Voice Mela, incorporating the Baiter Sehat project in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council was sponsored by Blackburn College. Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, launched the event alongside Claire Berry, Marketing Manager at Blackburn College.

The health event included over a dozen health stalls, fun activities, and healthy food. Health experts were on hand to meet and greet the public and offer advice and information.

The centrepiece of the Mela was an ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition featuring local community groups. The fiercely contested competition was won by Abu Hanifah Foundation Scout Group.

The visitors were pleased with a mixture of health and fun. Salma Mohammed said:

“The kids have had a great time at the Mela. I got some important information from a group called Inspire and the Blackburn College trailer about adult courses.”

The health providers were equally praising of the event which is part of phase three 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.

Angela Ditchfield, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation found the event extremely useful as a tool to discuss organ donation with the community.

“The One Voice Mela resulted in another fantastic turnout from the local community.

“There was a lot of engagement with the communities and interesting conversations had and we hope to have further events such as the Mela to highlight the need for donors.”

Clare Carroll from The Stroke Association said:

“The Stroke Association was really pleased to be able to participate in the One Voice Mela this year. Despite the bad weather there was a great atmosphere and it was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of stroke and how to prevent this in the local community. We also made some really useful contacts with other local organisations and are looking forward to next year’s event.”

Claire Moran from Healthwatch BWD reiterated these thoughts.

“Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen were happy to support and participate with the One Voice Mela, it was a superb opportunity to engage with local residents and listen to their views and experiences on local health and social care services.”

Mel Cowan, Asset Based Community Development Worker for Inspire said,

“The event went very well and in spite of the rain and the cold, the fun and activities, including a badminton tournament, kept everyone warm. Members of the community also helped produce some artwork, which will be displayed, at one of our buildings in the coming weeks.

“Inspire, Integrated Prevention and Recovery Services formed links with One Voice and the wider community. It was a fabulous opportunity for consultation, and the message of visible recovery from our volunteers and service users was loud and clear.”

Shahida Hanif from the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme said:

“The Mela was a great day which helped engage with local communities and raise their awareness of Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. There was a great atmosphere and effort from all who organised and attended the event.”

One Voice Chairman Abrar Hussain was pleased with the event despite the challenges presented by the weather.

“We would like to thank all the visitors to the One Voice Mela in challenging conditions. We would also like to thank the many health and activity stalls for laying on such a fabulous display at the event. There is not much more we can say about our volunteers who were exceptional on the day.”

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