Fratton Park hosts Portsmouth's first health and wellbeing fayre complete with expert advice and free liver screening

THE health of Portsmouth’s residents took centre stage at the city’s first ever wellbeing fayre in Fratton Park – complete with experts from various organisations and a free liver screening from clinicians.

Saturday, 30th April 2022, 11:00 am

People flocked to the Victory Lounge, at the home of Pompey, to learn more about what free physical and mental health services are available to them, as well as checking if they could be at risk of liver disease or other problems.

Among the groups promoting their work were the Solent NHS Trust, council-run Portsmouth Wellbeing Service, Diabetes UK, Veterans Outreach Support and many others.

Organiser Jo Mitchell, from Pompey in the Community, said she hoped the event could happen again believing it aided not only residents but the different bodies which were able to network.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Health and wellbeing fayre at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Steve Fletcher of Solent Sports Picture: Habibur Rahman

Read More

Read More
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and constituent fight to end 'cruel' IVF 'postcode ...

She said: ‘It’s been really good. We’ve got about 20 groups here providing information to people and sharing what they can do.

‘It’s also for the public to come in and get some advice on anything that’s worrying them, from housing to diabetes to nutrition to weight management and mental health.

‘During Covid people really struggled so it’s important they can now come and get the help they need and we offer some really good things in the city with Portsmouth City Council and the NHS, between us and some other groups that have set up. ‘

Health and wellbeing fayre at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Rebecca Simmons of Spark Community Picture: Habibur Rahman

The British Liver Trust brought their ‘love your liver’ unit to the club and soon had queues forming of up to 30 minutes as people went to get checked.

Emma Bowering, from the trust, said: ‘We are giving people a questionnaire to fill out that asks them about things such as diet and alcohol consumption to see how at risk they are. Then they can have a fibroscan, which is a non-intrusive scan a bit like an ultrasound to detect the elasticity of your liver.

‘If we find anything that we think puts you at risk we will send a letter to your GP to take it further.

‘About 90 per cent of liver disease is preventable so it’s so important to catch it early if you can.’

Health and wellbeing fayre at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Liver screening at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Liver screening area set up oustide PFC Picture: Habibur Rahman

Eastney resident Lynne Harvey, 69, was among those to get a scan.

She said: ‘I came along to the fayre to see what was happening because I heard about it through the Chat Over Chai group.

‘I wanted to come and have a liver scan because it’s an important thing to do.

‘Luckily they said all is well, which is really reassuring.

Health and wellbeing fayre at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Matt Taylor and Adam Bland of Andy Mans Club Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I think it’s something we don’t talk about very much – we know about keeping your heart healthy but not everyone thinks about the liver.’

Anne Jones, 67, from Southsea also had a scan.

‘I thought here’s the opportunity to get it checked so I should take it,’ she said.

‘I’ve been told it’s all fine.’

Chairman of the Breathe Easy Southsea group, Paul Lipscombe, also attended the fayre to raise awareness of physical health.

As part of the Asthma and Lung UK charity, he was there to share details of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) classes available in the city.

Health and wellbeing fayre at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Arthur Harmer and Paul Lipscombe of Lung Health Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘Portsmouth has a high number of people affected with breathing issues.

‘There are between 30,000 to 40,000 residents living with COPD in the city and a lot more who are undiagnosed.

‘There’s research at QA Hospital that shows how exercise classes can help.’

Stalls were also set up to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Bethany Grenfell, from Solent NHS Trust, attended on behalf of its Talking Change service.

‘We’re the primary mental health service for Portsmouth,’ she said.

‘We deal with a range of issues from depression to anxiety to OCD.

‘It’s important that people reach out to us if they need help.’

And Adam Bland came to the fayre to promote the Andy’s Man Club, a national charity that has a Gosport-based branch and encourages men to talk to each other about their mental health at weekly sessions.

He said: ‘Primarily we’re about suicide prevention.

‘Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.

‘We’re giving them a platform to talk and share their experiences in a peer support group with no judgement.’

Information about any of the groups mentioned can be found online.

Or to find out more about Pompey in the Community visit pompeyitc.co.uk.

Health and wellbeing fayre at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Bethany Grenfell of Talking Change Picture: Habibur Rahman
Liver screening at Fratton Park, Portsmouth on Friday 29th April 2022 Pictured: Dr Kate Glyn-Owen using a Fibro Scan on Lynne Harvey to check on her liver Picture: Habibur Rahman