Health mentors taking heart from their latest campaign
The hospital’s volunteer health mentors helped to promote the BHF’s annual ‘Wear It, Beat It’ campaign with an event at the hospital.
Katie McLaren, BHF health mentor co-ordinator for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the event was organised to raise awareness of heart health issues.
Katie, who wore the ‘Mr Hearty’ mascot outfit for the day, said the Trust was extremely grateful that the health mentors project was funded through the BHF’s ‘Hearty Lives’ scheme.
During the event the health mentors spoke to patients and hospital visitors about their lifestyles.
They also had stalls in the foyer of the Lancashire Cardiac Centre at the hospital.
To promote their messages, the health mentors went on ‘walk-about’ around hospital wards and spoke to patients, something which the 36 health mentors are now doing on a regular basis at the hospital.
Anthony Barratt, formerly of Cleveleys and now of St Annes, is one of the volunteer health mentors.
He said: “I was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 2008 and I had such marvellous treatment at Blackpool Victoria Hospital that I decided to give something back.
“I was a sergeant in logistics in the RAF for 19 years so I have no problem with standing in front of a group of people and giving out advice.
“I enjoy being a health mentor. We meet all sorts of people. I mainly talk to groups of people in Day Surgery, Urology and Surgical Admissions.”
Charles Aidulis from Blackpool, another volunteer health mentor, added: “We are a very friendly group. Before I started I wasn’t very confident, but I am now. It’s nice to give something back.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer health mentor, contact the Fundraising and Voluntary Services department at Blackpool Teaching Hospital on (01253) 957381.