Written by Ian Dewar Health Festival Founder and Lead Chaplain at the NHS Morecambe Bay Trust

What do the following three things have in common: walking, eating, sleeping?  The answer is, we can change any one of them.

What do these following three things have in common: the NHS, Government health spending, Western economies?  The answer is, we can’t change any of them, at least not by ourselves and without a fantastic amount of energy.

So, when people ask: ‘Ian, what’s the health festival about?’  The answer is: ‘It’s about the things that you can change.’

Change is a funny word.  We tend to talk of change as good: ‘a change is as good as a rest’, ‘a change for the better’ ‘change and progress.’  We do so in a way that implies that life always changes for the better.  Sometimes it changes for the worst.

Some changes can’t be helped, they’re beyond our control.  We will all get older: great when you’re 14 and aiming for 18 when you can have more say in your life.  Not so great if you’re 80 and aiming for 85 when you might feel a bit frail.

Let’s take the three things from the beginning of this piece that I said we could change – walking, eating, sleeping.

Well, we can walk intently and anxiously, or we can walk purposefully and in a relaxed manner. We can eat quickly and get indigestion, or we can eat slowly and savour our food. We can go to sleep at a different time each night and mess with our body clock, or we can go to sleep most nights at a regular time and increase our waking energy.

To try a little more change, you can cycle traffic free on the one-way system, stop and listen to live music, get some tasty food, think about your finances, pick up a free mug and tea bag from the Council, try yoga, a martial art, get a health check – we have it all!  Visit the Bay Health Festivals in Lancaster 9th, and 10th July in Dalton Square.   A great event for a great city!

There is one final thing, which is absolutely crucial for health and well-being, that we can have some control over and that can have an absolutely massive impact on each one of us. It’s called: ‘having a good time’.  Rule no 1 for the health festival?  Let’s make changes by having fun!


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