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NHS 70: Hundreds celebrate the health service at festival

BIG NOISE: Tony Chess and Sons of Africa Drummers, main; inset right, Zeta McNally, left and Nickelle Henry, right, at the event

HUNDREDS of people came out to celebrate the contribution that migration has made

to the NHS and receive invaluable health advice at the same time.

The event, held at Alexandra Park in Moss Side, brought together all sectors of the Manchester community with numerous health stalls and celebrations of song and dance.

Jointly organised by Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN), Manchester Local Care Organisation and BUZZ, the Health Walk and Festival provided an opportunity for people from all walks

of life to get together and learn about health from the numerous medical experts and information stalls.

And for those who wanted to get started on a wholesome lifestyle right away there was a health walk around the park.

Chair of CAHN, Faye Bruce, said: “We wanted to recognise the many people in our community who have been the life and blood of the NHS in many ways and give them an opportunity to celebrate that.”

CAHN is a non-profit organisation that works with the Caribbean and African community to impact change for health and wellbeing.

The free event featured singers, dancers and musicians including Tony Chess and the Sons of Africa Drummers and live reggae band, Trevor Roots and The Collaborators.

SPEECHES

Healthy food options were provided by Dougy’s Caribbean Takeaway, which has establishments in both Moss Side and Chorlton.

Among the speakers at the event was clinical director of Manchester Health and Care, Dr Manish Kumar, who re- counted tales of her parents’ own passage here from India and how, in overcoming the barriers they faced, they helped to pave the way for future generations.

There were also speeches from Sonia Stewart from the Jamaica Society of Greater Manchester, MPs Lucy Powell and Afzal Khan, Associate Director of Manchester Foundation Trust Mags Bradbury and the Lord Mayor June Hitchen.

Eleanor Etim from Old Trafford attended on the day to find out what healthcare provisions were available to her.

She had a free health check, courtesy of Kapoor Pharmacy Services who provide these services freely at their pharmacies in Chorlton and Rochdale in Greater Manchester. “I normally have to book to see my doctor if I want my blood pressure checked and it can be difficult to get an appointment, so it’s good to know that there’s a chemist nearby that I can walk into and have this done,” said Eleanor.

“I also spoke to a podiatrist at one of the stalls and I’ll be going to have my feet treated soon.”

At other stalls, among a host of other service providers, visitors were able to sign up with the Manchester Blood Donor Centre and find out about fostering and adoption services with Caritas Care and Adoption Matters.

This is the first event of its kind, but there are high hopes it will continue as an annual Windrush community festival.

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