Healthy living is for us all

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HEALTHY living was the focus of a special event at Scarborough Spa for people with learning disabilities.

The free event attracted around 150 people and featured a number of stalls, activities and guest speakers.

During the morning visitors took part in a fitness session led by Nick Ingham of Compass Gym. This was followed by a session in eurythmy - an expressive movement art where people move their body to music.

North Yorkshire Sport led a session on curling and boccia - a target ball sport which features in the Paralympics.

There was also a dancing session with Peter and Georgina from Mencap.

After lunch the event featured a number of speakers including consultant psychiatrist Dr Phil Bennett, who spoke about mental health and learning disability.

He said: “This has been a great event with a fantastic turnout. Any event that brings to public attention a focus on learning disability has to be a good thing.

“Sadly, even these days, people with learning disabilities are often not getting the help they need.”

Dr Bennett, who is based at Eastfield Surgery, added that it was it was fantastic to see so many people of different ages along with their carers, family and friends.

Another speaker was Tracey Wright, who is matron for surgery and the lead for learning disability at Scarborough Hospital.

She spoke about what is happening at the acute trust in areas such as training and care.

Mrs Wright said: “It’s been a really good event today which is a testament to all the hard work everyone has put in.”

The event also featured information stands about sexual health, the learning disability focus group and the library service.

The focus group distributed copies of its first ever newspaper, which gives details of events, groups and useful contact numbers.

There was also chance to taste healthy soups, juices and smoothies which had been made on site.

Health facilitator Lynne Taylor, who organised the event, said: “It’s been great.

“We’ve had some good feedback and everyone has really enjoyed it.

“A lot of people with learning disabilities do want to change their lifestyle by perhaps going to a gym or changing their diet. Hopefully after today they’ll see that there’s nothing to be afraid of.”