Healthy Hodnet – a worthwhile event

On Tues 24th Oct Hodnet Medical Centre Patient Participation Group, in conjunction with Shropshire Council Community Enablement Officers, hosted a successful health & well-being drop-in event at the Lyon Hall in Hodnet. Billed as “an event to showcase what is available to help you keep healthy”, the organisers sought to provide a range of useful information and encourage people to continue living active and interesting lives, fully engaged with their own communities, even as they get older.

Visitors could look around the Help 2 Change bus which was parked outside and receive free health checks/advice. (H2C aims to motivate people everywhere to achieve the changes they want in order to live a healthier life.)

Refreshments were provided by Hodnet Women’s Institute. Sir Algernon and Lady Jane Heber-Percy of nearby Hodnet Hall were amongst the thirty or so people who visited the event. Both local and national organisations were represented.

Exhibitors included: Shropshire Choices, with their very useful directory of adult care and support services; Healthwatch Shropshire – “the patient voice for people of this area”. Call them on 01743 237884 – they really want to hear what you think about all health and social care services! People2People were represented too – they advise on community resources in the area of adult social care, and Age UK – the UK’s largest charity for older people, with their extensive range of useful booklets on so many topics.

It was fascinating to see some of the aids devised for individuals with disabilities by volunteers from Remap, a very inspiring charity producing customised equipment for disabled people. (They would love to hear from people with skills and time to contribute in designing/constructing ingenious solutions to everyday problems. Contact their local Chairman John Graham on 01743 341626.) Visitors could also view a wide range of health-related resources available through the local library, including 4 different collections of Books on Prescription, using self-help reading to help people better understand and manage their health & well-being issues.

Hodnet & District Garden Club’s lovely display carried a leaflet on the health benefits of gardening along with their programme for the coming year. Walking for Health were teamed up with the Hodnet Footpath Group, trying to gauge interest in establishing a local Walking for Health Group, the nearest ones at present being in Market Drayton, Whitchurch or Higher Heath. (These groups do not cover miles and miles, but provide a gentle introduction to more regular walking alongside the social benefits of meeting up with others. Anyone interested in knowing more, please contact the Footpath Group.)

Practical and emotional support plus a regular programme of events for those with caring responsibilities were highlighted on the Carers Trust 4 All stand – call 01743 341995 for more info. Trustees from Drayton Action for Health were there to raise awareness of assistance available to local residents re health care needs not available through the NHS, this through funds accumulated by Market Drayton Cottage Hospital League of Friends prior to its closure. The local Compassionate Communities scheme, running in conjunction with the Medical Centre, were there to spread the word about their volunteer befrienders who visit socially-isolated elderly people, helping them to keep in touch with their community.

The slideshow below includes photographs of all exhibitors present.

For comments or enquiries following the event, please see the PPG Facebook page or email them.

Feedback is always appreciated – it’s good to hear what local residents would like to see happening in future in regard to community health events.