Friday, 19 June 2009
Women's health fair 2009 - My review
Last Thursday saw the return of the eagerly awaited Women's health fair at Plymouth Guildhall, it is the third year that the art of dance have attended the event and we have always enjoyed being part of such a great day. (picture left of me doing a Gemini Handstand variation)
This year we set up in our traditional spot in the upper bar adjacent to the main hall, it is the only place that can take a fixed x-pole and Jo and I will do anything to avoid using the freestanding pole! On arrival we were joined by Cass and another of the Heart Angels who had a go on the x-pole and took some pictures for their website. (thanks to Heart for letting us use the pictures in this blog!)
After nearly missing half the stalls last year I set myself the task of viewing all the stalls during the morning so I did not get to the end of the day and realise I had missed them all:
My first stop was the Sienna stall where the ladies were offering free bra fitting, many women wear the wrong size bra and this can have detrimental health effects as well as looking less than aesthetically pleasing. I am particularly aware of women with badly fitting bras and ladies who turn up to pole dancing classes with normal bras rather than sports bras usually ending up with exposed nipples! The queue for the bra fitting service was huge so I ventured onto the next stall.
The nurses manning the NHS advice stalls were handing out all sorts of advice, running blood pressure checks and generally being on hand to listen to people, they also had a large queue so I quickly moved onto the breast cancer care stall and found it full of great leaflets and helpful ladies eager to offer advice. I took some breast examination leaflets to place in the changing rooms of our Plymouth studio as well as some other leaflets to give out at our forthcoming Ladies night (more details on that to follow later).
I then moved onto to the stroke association stall, I used to work for the stroke association so had a vested interest in the stall. The 2 ladies manning the stall were more than happy to give me some more leaflets to take back to work and they focused on the leaflets that accompany the current TV campaign to raise awareness of the signs of strokes: F.A.S.T Face, Arms, Speech, Time.
I picked up one leaflet on the fabulous local project that is Diggin it, Diggin it is an organic gardening project run by local charity Routeways, check out their website for full details.
It was during last years event that I discovered my new sports masseuse Tracey Mitchell, this year Tracey was situated at the entrance to the main hall and was busy all day doing massage treatments and Bowen techniques, I must book in with her soon for another sports massage!
This years fair saw a lot of stalls aimed at young mothers and babies and pregnancy crisis, the support on offer was massive and I spoke to some women from the young mother and baby groups who told me how valuable the support groups were to them. The family Information Service were also on hand to give advice on all matters such as working tax credit, childcare vouchers and funding for training. The Mend group were promoting ways to keep kids fitter and healthier alongside representatives from the Green Ark Children's centre in Devonport who were informing people about their great range of events such as baby massage seminars, Krafty Kidz sessions and Weaning advice to name but a few. The Green Ark project is part of the action for children charity.
Apologies to all the exhibitors I haven't mentioned but after my brief dash around the hall it was time for me to get back on the pole and carry on exhibiting!
To summarise, this years event was a lot quieter than last year perhaps due to its lateness in June rather than the previous date of March? it was also a very hot sunny day and many women had probably opted to spend the day outside to make the most of the sunshine. Despite the drop in numbers I still managed to lose a small amount of skin on my left shin from being on the pole excessively! Well it just woudn't be WHF unless I lost a bit of skin from some part of my body, but then that's what you expect when you try to pole dance from 10am till 4pm! I will look forward to exhibiting at next years event when hopefully the crowds will return again to this valuable and informative occasion