20 July 2022
Gosport & Fareham Health and Wellbeing Fayre
Health and wellbeing experts from across Gosport and Fareham Boroughs joined forces to showcase their services to the public at the Gosport & Fareham Health and Wellbeing Fayre, which took place at Gosport Leisure Centre on Saturday, 9th July. The Fayre was organised by Community First and Gosport Voluntary Action on behalf of the Fareham & Gosport Voluntary Sector Health Forum (composed of some 100 local health-related charities), and supported by the Hants & Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, the Asda Foundation, Huhtamäki, Places Leisure (specifically, Gosport Leisure Centre), St. Johns Church (Fareham) and the Hampshire Cultural Trust.
The event, attended by approximately 180 members of the public over a four-hour period, brought together 33 organisations, who demonstrated the wide variety of physical and mental health support services available to local communities across Gosport and Fareham Boroughs. The Worshipful Mayor of Gosport, Cllr. Jamie Hutchison, Dame Caroline Dinenage MP for Gosport and Elizabeth Kerwood, Associate Director of Community Involvement (one of the representatives of the Integrated Care System) attended the event, as did some 50 staff members and volunteers from the event organisers and exhibitors.
Despite the soaring temperatures at the weekend, the Fayre was well attended, with several customers commenting favourably on the rich variety of organisations and thematic topics on display. The offering of free Covid jabs (no appointments required) by Solent NHS Trust proved particularly popular – especially amongst families with children aged five and above – with Solent NHS Trust administering around 50 vaccinations throughout the day, as well as engaging in numerous conversations with members of the public, signposting them as appropriate to other walk-in services planned for future dates in the area. In line with the missions and aims of charities Gosport Voluntary Action and Community First, many of the services on display had a focus on supporting older, disabled or vulnerable residents to continue living independently, healthily and happily at home. A wide number of stands also offered mental health support or practical resources for local residents of all ages and backgrounds.
Reflecting on the event, Kay Hallsworth, Gosport Voluntary Action CEO, commented: “I am delighted with the turn-out at the Health Fayre on Saturday, and thrilled about having been able to showcase such a broad range of mental and physical health support services available within our local communities of Gosport and Fareham. Be it assistance for those struggling with a bereavement, or for those trying to get back into the workplace after recovery from a mental health condition; support for those living with cancer; access to adult literacy support programmes and everything in between, this Fayre highlighted the vast array of services available to local residents in Gosport and Fareham Boroughs, often at low cost, or no cost at all.”
Ellie Corp, Administrator at Hampshire charity, Harbour Cancer Support, said: “Harbour Cancer attended the event on Saturday and it’s the first health and wellbeing event we have attended since before the pandemic! It was lovely to see some of our local organisations in attendance. I was able to network and meet old and new faces from local organisations, as well as find lots of new, up-to-date leaflets on services, which we can use to sign-post our clients when needed. Having a stall meant I was able to chat to a couple of new clients who would like some support but haven’t been able to pop into our centre yet. It was worthwhile attending and we will be at the next one.”
Richard Bourke, Manager at local charity, We CAN Read, added: “All of us at We CAN Read are pleased to have taken part in the Fayre. We gained some good leads for people we can help with the gift of reading and it was also a great opportunity to network with other like-minded organisations.”
Thanks to the positive feedback from both exhibitors and members of the public who attended the Fayre, talks have started in regards to the next Fareham & Gosport Voluntary Sector Health Fayre. For more information about any of the organisations who took part in the event – or if you represent a health or wellbeing organisation and are interested in becoming a member of the Fareham & Gosport Voluntary Sector Health Forum – please contact Jackie Hartless, on firstname.lastname@example.org.