The second Henley Heath Festival brought the crowds out on Saturday in the sunshine unlike the first one in February when snow needed to be cleared off Market Place. The event invited residents to explore the many local services on offer that help to boost our health and fitness. It was organised jointly by the Town Council and The Bell Surgery.
Jennifer Benavidez opened the festival with an upbeat Zumba session on Market Place. Throughout the morning there were then talks and demonstrations inside the Town Hall including ones from Sue Turner on hypnotherapy and neuro linguistic programme and how it can help your thinking and Isabelle Brough, a Soft Tissue Therapist and Restorative Exercise Specialist who gave a better balance class.
The Henley Stroke Club had a stall and were promoting their weekly Tuesday morning meet at the Christ Church Centre between 10.30-12 noon where they have entertainment including quizzes and speakers on varied subjects. The Henley and Goring Ramblers were talking to visitors about their regular walks and about the forthcoming first every Henley Walking Festival which will take place between 10-14 October. Focus at Badgemore Park were promoting their gym and demonstrating helpful exercises. Active VIII were offering advice and analysis of human movement, how to prevent sports injury and demonstrating Compex (neuro-muscular electronic stimulator) muscle stimulator).
Isabelle Brough said, “The Henley Health Festival was a great opportunity for everyone to give their health some thought and find some options to make real improvements. Around 10 people were interested in improving their balance and came to my Better Balance in Six Exercises class. They realised that good balance involves more than the muscles at the front of their legs and gripping toes. They learnt some simple postural adjustments to strengthen the core, hamstrings and glutes and gentle stretches for the calves and feet. A few people were interested in skeletal alignment and I showed them some simple postural adjustments to help relieve knee, back and neck pain.”
Helen Barnett, Town Centre Manager said, “Absolutely delighted that we had so many people visit the Health Festival, Health Body, Healthy Mind in the Town Hall and Market Place on Saturday. The sun shone which boosted the number of people in the town generally. We worked in partnership with The Bell Surgery which helped us to gather a wide variety of medical and complimentary medicines, gyms, stroke club, Riverside Counselling, mindfulness, volunteering at the Kenton, Heartfulness at the Henley Practice, H&G Ramblers, Sing Your Pain Away, Spire Dunedin, Prostate Support Group, IVF Babble, plus many more – all with interesting messages and stories to help others. We were lucky to be supported by the Berkshire Independent Hospital, Reading who made it all possible.”
Janet Waters from the Bell Surgery Patient Participants Group, commented, “It was really good to have 24 organisations on hand to share information about health and well being. The talks added to the depth of information and feedback was they were enjoyable and informative. It was good to meet local people and visitors to Henley from home and abroad all of whom were complimentary about the event being organised. A number were impressed that the Bell Surgery had joined forces with the Council to promote health and wellbeing. Overall the day attracted a number of visitors and the balance of outside and inside stalls worked well. Overall the PPG were pleased we could support our surgery and the council.”