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Forum championing health for all across boroughs

THE Fareham & Gosport Voluntary Sector Health Forum invites members of the public to come along and explore a host of free health and wellbeing stands, presentations and taster sessions today, Saturday July 9, from 10.30am to 2pm at the Gosport Leisure Centre.

The fayre will aim to showcase the many free or low-cost services available to help support and boost residents’ health and wellbeing to help them maintain their independence.

The event is being delivered by Gosport Voluntary Action and Community First, with both organisations also having stalls to promote their services to the people of Gosport and Fareham. It will be supported by the NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, the Asda Foundation, Huhtamäki and – as hosts of the event – Gosport Leisure Centre.

GVA projects and programmes on display will include its non-profit services, such as the ‘Dustbusters’ domestic support service and the ‘Mend and Tend’ gardening and DIY support service.

GVA’s voluntary support services, including Befriending, Advocacy and ‘Go Volunteer’, are other examples of its community engagement work that will be shown.

Community First will be represented by teams such as itsHome Services and Community Transport teams, promoting  independence maintaining schemes. These include Home Help, a service to help those unable to do their own basic housework and/or shopping. Its Community Transport services will include Dial-A-Ride, the door-to-door minibus transport service to places such as the shops when bus stops are too far away.

Visitors to the fayre will be able to explore a diverse range of local health and wellbeing support services, including help for people living with a disability, COPD, chronic illness or pain, anxiety or depression, to name but a few. Taster sessions for services such as accessible ‘Healthy Walks’ programmes and indoor sports will be included in the day’s offerings.

Kay Hallsworth, GVA Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Fareham & Gosport Health and Wellbeing Fayre is for everyone, no matter age, background or fitness level. We completely understand that health and wellbeing is a personal and sometimes emotive topic, which is why the fayre is designed as a friendly, informal, and welcoming space for everyone in our local community to come along, ask questions, and see what our local health services, charities and community groups have on offer to support you or your loved ones to feel healthier and happier.”

Added Tim Houghton, Community First Chief Executive Officer: “Community First is delighted to be co-hosting and supporting the Fareham & Gosport Health & Wellbeing Fayre.

“Recognising the pressures on our NHS and social care services, it is vital that we showcase and promote the great work and support that our voluntary sector and other partners can offer to help residents live healthy and happy lives and stay well and independent.

“There’ll be something for everyone, ranging from support for young peoples’ mental health to physical activity for older people, and it’s a great opportunity to pop in and find out what’s available on your doorstep.”

 And Dr Zaid Hirmiz, a local GP and the Clinical Director (South East Hampshire) said: “There is some amazing work ongoing in the Fareham and Gosport area to try to improve the health and wellbeing of local people, and the Clinical Commissioning Group  is delighted to support this showcase event, which will give visitors a wealth of useful information, and could literally change for the better someone’s life.”

For a list or organisations anticipated to participate in the fayre, please visit the GVA website: https://www.gva.org.uk/news/fareham-gosport-health-and-wellbeing-fayre-sat-9th-july-2022/