Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square is taken over for a healthy party for NHS70

Geoffrey Joy, 77, from Hilsea, wants to thank the NHS as it turns 70 for giving him treatment for 63 years of its existence. Picture: Sarah Standing (180546-8718)

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THE centre of Portsmouth was turned over to a centre of healthy living for the day in honour of the NHS’s 70th birthday – with advice for all on exercise, a good diet and other ways to stay in tip-top shape. 

The event was chance for people to learn how to get active, to educate themselves and receive healthy living tips.

There was also a chance to celebrate the NHS Achievements.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Lee Mason was taking part and said “The NHS is a free beneficial service, it’s a part of all our lives.

‘I really appreciate the reassurance of having it there whenever we need it.’

Portsmouth City Council and the local NHS teamed up to help celebrate the hard work and dedication of NHS staff.

Suzannah Rosenberg, director of quality and commissioning for Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, explained why the NHS

means so much to her.

‘It is a fantastic organisation that has helped millions over the 70 years. I myself have had cancer and I received fantastic treatments.

“My whole family has benefited massively from the NHS.’

Children from primary schools, dressed in their best medical profession costumes gathered in Guildhall Square and were later joined by council and NHS staff on their lunches to take part in large low-impact exercise ‘Flash mob’ session, which was run by The Gym Group.

Cllr Mason, who has launched a fitness challenge as part of his year in office, added: “We’ve had a flash mob exercise, and many

stands here. We are also promoting ‘small change big difference Portsmouth’ to get the city healthier, and to keep the burden off the NHS.’

Expert advice and interactive lessons were given for most areas that could be a concern. 

Those included: smoking, weight management, teeth cleaning, mental health, and alcohol consumption.

Ms Rosenberg explained: ‘We wanted to do something different, to bring positive health messages and talk about what is so great about our NHS.’

A team from South Central Ambulance Service was available to teach life-saving tips and CPR.

Portsmouth Dental Academy gave expert advice on oral health, and Solent Mind and well-being service were also in attendance to give guidance to those who might need it.

The event also included a ping pong table, a rowing machine and a smoothie-making exercise bike, all available for attendees to have a go at. For those who worked up an appetite free fruit was on offer.