Sunday the 9th September saw hundreds of people enjoying Tameside Hospital’s Community Open Day as the hospital opened its doors to share some of its wide ranging health work alongside a variety of charities and organisations.

As well as an opportunity for a wealth of health organisations, groups and charities to showcase their own community contributions and educational support work, it was also a chance for the hospital to ‘give something back’ to local residents too.

As Tameside Hospital Chief Executive Karen James explained: “The community day has been running for the last three years and is a fantastic opportunity to involve all of the community in what we do and also to make it a fun day for them as well, as they have been very supportive of us.

“Also of course it allows us to get some key health messages across at the same time.”

Providing one of those key messages was Victoria Hamlett, programme officer at Tameside Council Population Health, who has been highlighting the importance of being smoke free and of smoke free environments.

“We want events across Tameside to become smoke free to showcase that smoking is no longer the norm and to reduce smoking behaviour, plus highlight that if it’s a family and children’s event then smoking is really no longer acceptable anymore and ultimately we can create as many smoke free spaces as possible,” said Victoria.

Naturally the hospital community day was a smoke free zone.

However, Victoria revealed that 15,700 residents and visitors had attended a smoke free event this last year which is more than double the number for the previous year.

“It does show that people do want to go to smoke free events and that they are more likely to go because they won’t be around smoking behaviour and the children won’t be either,” she added.

Be Well Tameside was also providing advice and support for residents who want to kick the habit.

They were among a wide range of groups and educational organisations and support groups showcasing their work, all housed in giant marquee at the rear of the hospital.

The Polonez Manchester folk dancers encouraged visitors to step out on the dance floor to give it a go themselves.

Among the entertainment was a Bollywood dance workshop plus a chance to give Polish folk dancing a go with the Polonez Manchester dance troupe, while Hattersley Junior Brass Band were among a number of groups providing live music, alongside Tameside music services jazz collective.

While there were free fairground rides and face painting for the youngsters – and a Star Wars Storm trooper kept everyone under control.

There was also a cookery demonstration, providing some useful quick and easy steps to rustle up some speedy but above all healthy meals, and members of the public could also have a go at making their own free smoothies by pedalling on a bike to blend up their own drinks.

And as the Tameside History Festival continues all month there was an exhibition dedicated to the history of the hospital site and buildings and 70 years of the NHS.

Residents could also enjoy another opportunity to turn back time by glancing through the pages of history in old Tameside Reporters and enjoy the Reporter’s nostalgic display of photographs from yesteryear.