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#BeWellFest will help people rediscover the art of living well

Debbie Wilde, Chaplain Team Leader at FGH with Rachel Tunn, Facilities Coordinator at UHMBT.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is joining forces with health and wellbeing organisations in Cumbria to stage a fun festival promoting all aspects of health.

The ‘#BeWellFest: The Lost Art of Living’, will take place on Sunday, October 6, from 10am to 2pm at The Forum and Plaza in Barrow.

‘Love Barrow Running Festival’, hosted by Life Leisure Barrow Park and ‘Silver Sunday’, organised by The Forum and Barrow Integrated Care Community (ICC) are also key partners in this year’s #BeWellFest.

The running events will include a 10k, a ‘Mental Health Mile’ in association with Mind in Furness and a Timed Mile for competitive runners.

Silver Sunday will have lots of free activities for older people such as bingo, beauty treatments, dancing and food at The Forum from 11am to 3pm. This event is part of a national initiative designed to combat loneliness and isolation as well as celebrating older people.

Debbie Wilde, Chaplaincy Team Leader at Furness General Hospital and Rachel Tunn, Facilities Coordinator, are the main organisers of UHMBT’s contribution to the #BeWellFest. Activities will include health information, dance, children’s activities, mini health MOTs, singing and tasty and affordable recipes from Tracey Litt, the Catering Manager at Furness General Hospital.

UHMBT’s Chaplaincy Team, Bay Hospital Charity, St John Ambulance, the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), Parish Nurses within the local community, the Rotary Club, Age UK, Furness Carers and Mind in Furness are also going to be there with information and advice.

Debbie and Rachel are keen for more organisations and businesses to get in touch to take part in the #BeWellFest.

Debbie said: “This year we are working in partnership with other organisations on the #BeWellFest.

“The festival is for people of all ages and it will be an opportunity for people to have fun and think about how they can be responsible for their own health. We’ll have lots of information on how people can receive support and how they can support each other.

“The main focus will be on how developing a healthy lifestyle can actually be enjoyable and a good thing. We have taken the theme ‘The Lost Art of Living’ around the Bay because we are encouraging people to have a rethink about how they are living; to think about the environment and the impact we are having on each other.”

Tracy Litt said: “We will be sharing recipes including meals for a family of four for under £3. We’ll also be looking at locally sourced products and healthy eating. As a catering team, we do a lot of work with local schools on healthy eating and we have a healthy eating recipe book that we will be promoting on the day.”

UHMBT has organized a health festival in Lancaster for the last three years and there are plans to introduce a similar event in Kendal. This year’s Lancaster Health Festival will take place over four days from September 19 to 22 and full details are available at www.thelancasterhealthfestival.org.uk

Rachel said: “The #BeWellFest in Barrow is the epitome of what needs to be sorted out. People can live much better when they take their health into their own hands.

“We can point people in the direction of organisations that can help them to improve their health.

There’s a lot help in the community but people need to know how to access it. Cumbria is a lovely friendly area and people don’t need to feel that they are on their own. Support is out there.

“The day of the festival will be an ideal time to bring people together because there will be a lot going on in Barrow on that day.

“We are trying to pull together as many different communities and organisations as possible to promote holistic health and wellbeing for the people of Cumbria. We’re keen for all organisations to play a part. Essentially, we hope to create a space for conversation and to bring communities together.”

Emma Broadbent, Community Development Officer for Cumbria County Council, said: “The Love Barrow Running Festival and #BeWellFest’s aim is to promote good mental health, focusing on strategies to improve people’s mental health with an emphasis on prevention.

“By working with lots of local partners who are doing amazing things in our communities, we will be showcasing lots of opportunities for local people from litter-picking and running clubs to music, gardening and volunteering. There is something out there for everyone.”

Details of the running events are available at https://www.lifeleisurebarrowpark.com/lovebarrow-running-festival/ and on Facebook and details of Silver Sunday are available at www.theforumbarrow.co.uk or call 01229 820 000.

For further information about the#BeWellFest: The Lost Art of Living, please email: BarrowHealthFest@mbht.nhs.uk

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