A number of organisations collaborated to hold a Health Awareness Day. The event gave opportunities to Statutory
Bodies and the Voluntary Sector to network and to engage with members of communities visiting the event. Overall
feedback received is good and guests want more of the same. In addition to the information stallholders there were a number of workshops.
The event started with opening remarks from our VIP guests Dr Kelechi Nnoaham, Service Director for Public Health and the Lord Mayor of Bristol Faruk Choudhury. Dr Kelechi Nnoaham tackled the topical question of ‘How do we create social justice in an age of austerity?’ He acknowledged there is a need for cuts in public sector services in order to meet shrinking budgets – the question is what are we to do and how shall we make cuts and still maintain services? How do we still create and preserve social justice? He highlighted Poverty as a social justice issue. As the public sectors shrinking budget and welfare reforms, however justified are worsening individual poverty. To mitigate some of the hardship Dr Kelechi suggested:
• To ensure we have a socially just society, we must ensure social safety nets are not completely removed
• To do this, both the public sector and voluntary/community groups must think and act differently
Finally he reminded us of the following to achieve the best outcome for our communities.
1.Ensure fairness – this is about ensuring resources are distributed in proportion to need – call it universal proportionalism or proportionate universalism.
2.Commission for social, economic and environmental value, not just for lowest possible cost.
3.Co-production with professionals and community groups.
4.Ensuring wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do. (health is connected to wider determinants of well being …education, transport, employment etc.)
The speech was applauded by the audience and many later requested the forum to invite Dr Kelechi Nnoaham again.
The Lord Mayor took the opportunity to raise awareness of his campaign around Blood and Organ donation. He informed
the audience all major religions in the UK support the principles of blood and organ donation and transplantation. However, only 4% of all donated blood comes from Asian and Black communities and only 5% of Asian and Black communities donate their organs, despite representing 27% of those on the transplant waiting list. Transplants have a much higher rate of success if the donor and recipient are of the same ethnic origin. See last page ‘The Lord Mayor’s Blood and Organ Donation Campaign’.
His aim to raise awareness and ultimately increase the numbers of blood and organ donors among those groups which are
under represented on the registers, and whose community members may have to wait longer for a life saving transplant.
The core planning team consisting of Farzana Saker-BMFF, Shiv Sama -Avon Indian Community Association, Narinder
Channa -Rethink, Kate Cooke -Health Promotion Specialist and Ben Bowskill-Community Active Travel Office worked hard
together with input from Donna Stark, Venue manager, City Academy. All worked together to deliver the event while overall
responsibility remained with BMFF. A total of 77 evaluation forms were received. All
giving good feedback and positive comments. One service provider commented ‘A very successful day. I know that many
people are keen to see the event run again next year’.