Community Health Day – Major Tom to St Columb Major

Saturday 23rd September saw the first Community Health Day at the Columba Centre, St Columb Major, organised by a member of the Patient Participation Group at St Petrocs Surgery, Pat who also runs the Oasis centre. I was contacted by Pat to see if we could get representation from organisations and support groups that offer help and support for people to stay connected to people experiencing similar health issues. The enthusiasm of the voluntary sector to attend on a Saturday armed with leaflets, banners and displays together with acupuncture and massage therapists from St Columb Major was testament to the fact that there is a real willingness and desire to connect to the GP Practices and the communities they are a part of to ultimately support the health and well being of the people.

The public that attended were astounded at the range of support available from Diabetes UK , Copd Breathers Group, Cardiomyopathy, Stroke Association to name a few. All these have support groups, literature and most importantly someone that you can ring and have a conversation with. The Red Cross working in partnership with Volunteer Cornwall with the Welcome Home service to support people being discharged from hospital with volunteers making initial visits to check they have settled and are safe and secure, have their medications, shopping meals and can signpost to other providers for laundry, gardening and help with benefits for example.

Lucy the Red Cross representative also spoke about the Red Cross first aid app that I duly down loaded as it offers easy advice on 18 first aid scenarios from burns, diabetes, Stroke and allergies as well as tips on how to prepare for emergencies such as severe winter weather.

What was amazing is the way the voluntary sector can support from walking the dog part of the Cinnamon Trust, to helping with hearing issues Hearing Loss Cornwall. The ethos of being inclusive whilst offering specialist support and information was in abundance from Dementia Friends, Age UK Cornwall, Disability Cornwall and the Foodbank a much used and appreciated service.

The other notable inspiration from the day was the 2 lovely student nurses whose enthusiasm for the community sector along with studying and holding down jobs gave me hope that they will be the future of our Health Service and they were an absolute shining example with a positive outlook and vision.

Feedback already received proved that the aim of highlighting the community and voluntary support alongside health to promote optimal health, well being and social connectedness has begun.

Hi Carolyn,

'It was a pleasure to meet you and find out what you do. Both Sally and I had a great morning learning so much that can benefit our communities and increased our very limited knowledge on what is available to our patients and where to send them.’