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Free event will help smooth the way to a healthier life

Free exotic fruit and smoothie sampling will be on offer at a health promotion event at Olton Library on Friday 21 September from 10am until 2pm.

Locals can take part in ‘make & taste’ sessions encouraging healthy eating and also receive general health checks and blood sugar level tests at the event organised by Solihull Community Services’ healthy lifestyle shop, You+, together with SUSTAiN’s health trainer service. Advice and support on weight management, stop smoking, physical activity and alcohol reduction will be on offer along with information on blood pressure and cholesterol.

Thenain Coulibaly, manager of the You+ shop in Chelmsley Wood, said: “Our ‘make & taste’ sessions, Size Wise weight management courses and stop smoking clinics have proved very successful and this is a chance to find out more about them and all the other help we can offer people to live healthily.”

Health Trainer Service manager Harpreet Sohal said: “The health trainers and other health advisors in the shop have helped many people become healthier and we want to help as many other people in the community as we can by holding events like this.”

Solihull Community Services is part of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which also runs Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals and Birmingham Chest Clinic.

For more information contact Thenain Coulibaly on 0121 712 7780.

The Olympics may be over but locals can keep the fame burning by taking part in an Olympic torch relay at a free family fun day hosted by Heartlands Hospital at Millennium Point in Birmingham on 22 September from 10am to 4pm.

Activities on the day will include a children’s corner, face painting and juggling, as well as an opportunity to meet Minnie and Micky Mouse and ‘Pat’ the Pets as Therapy dogs to name but a few. Free health checks and talks from Hospital’s medics on topics ranging from diabetes to heart diseases will be available on the day and an opportunity to hear from the Hospital’s Chief Executive and Chairman on the future of the Hospital.

Community Health Fair organiser, Sandra White, said: “We want to be able to support our communities in any way we can and that’s why we decided to hold a fun day so that families and locals of all ages have the opportunity to learn more about staying fighting fit and healthy. We do hope people will come along and join in the fun at Millennium Point, it’ll be a great day out.”

The event, held in association with Midlands Co-operative Society is taking place on Saturday 22 September at Millennium Point from 10am to 4pm. Those that arrive by 10am will have a chance to win one of 70 free entries to the ThinkTank.

For more information call Sandra White in the membership office on 0121 424 1218 or email

_KEV6862Good Hope Hospital patients with dementia have been given a trip down memory lane thanks to visits to the wards to play piano by volunteer pianist Christina-Jane Crossman-Barnes.

The 20 year old from Great Barr has volunteered on the wards at Good Hope since 2009.  Now studying for a Biomedical Sciences degree at Southampton University, Christina-Jane has spent her summer break from university playing piano on wards 9, 11 and 27 of the Hospital.

Good Hope Hospital mental health nurse, Victoria Baynes, said: “It’s wonderful to see the patients enjoying the music.  They have been humming along and are overall just more bright and joyous which shows the music has improved their general well-being.  There is not much to do on the wards so this hour of music each week really improves their stay in Hospital.  By evoking memories through listening to old songs being played, this improves their sense of well-being, which promotes their rehabilitation and recovery.”

Christina said: “It has been a real joy to play on the wards to patients.  I’ve enjoyed giving patients with dementia the opportunity to reminisce and remember parts of their lives.  Towards the end of each session, they appear more relaxed, more willing to participate and more communicative, so not only do I feel that I am giving something back to the community, I also feel like I am making a difference.”

If you would like to become a volunteer to play music at Good Hope, please contact Esther Jackson, music co-ordinator, on 0121 424 0113.

Locals are invited to make a date with Good Hope’s very first community fete next week and with more than 40 confirmed stalls, it is bound to be one to remember.


Taking place on Saturday 15 September in and around the Hospital’s Treatment Centre between 11am and 3pm, there is something for every Suttonian to enjoy.


The fete includes:


  • Free of charge parking and entry.
  • Departmental tours of maternity, theatres, radiology and cardiology.
  • Free health information and health awareness stands.
  • Kids’ activities –face painting, bouncy castle, assault course, games galore and little ones be sure to bring your teddy bears to the teddy bears’ hospital.
  • Dog show with over 20 categories available to enter.
  • Arts, crafts and home made goods stalls
  • Homemade cakes, refreshments and bring your cakes for the cake competition.
  • Live music including the Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir.
  • Raffles, competitions and prizes.
  • Free Hospital ‘Come Dine with me’ experience.
  • And much more!


Susan Moore, Good Hope Managing Director, said: “We are proud and excited to host our very first community fete. As a hospital based in the heart of Sutton Coldfield, we felt that it was important to open our doors to the community so they can find out a little more about what we do. We have also had the opportunity to build and strengthen our relationships with local people, businesses and at the same time, to fundraise for our Hospital’s charity.

“The local response to the fete has been fantastic and I would encourage everyone to come along whether they have a particular interest in health or not. There really is something for everyone to enjoy and with having the fete both indoors and outdoors we are good to go in any weather.”


The fete will be opened at 11am by Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield.  Visitors’ car parking will be free of charge and via the Bedford Road entrance.

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