Bexley Wellbeing Partnership recently hosted an event to mark Black History Month, to celebrate our diverse mix of cultures in the borough, and to highlight health and wellbeing issues that disproportionately affect black communities in the borough.

The event, held in Belvedere, was organised by local charity Active Horizons, the Bexley BAME Network and the Bexley African and Caribbean Community Association (BACCA). Alongside entertainment such as drumming, dancing, a fashion show and poetry, there were talks about Prostate Cancer, Menopause, Breast Cancer and Autism. The mayor of Bexley was in attendance and spoke to a great number of people.

Odinaka Nwodo, a Bexley GP registrar who gave the keynote speech, said, “It’s so important to have events like this, highlighting unique challenges and health inequalities black and ethnic minority populations face. The more we can come together and talk about these subjects openly in community forums, the more likely we are to be able to find solutions and improve health outcomes.”

The Bexley Wellbeing Partnership and Healthier Greenwich Partnership held a Health and Wellbeing Fair for South Asian residents at the end of August.

It was the perfect opportunity to showcase the support provided to South Asian communities across both boroughs and to highlight the work of wonderful partner organisations including Mind and Bexley Voluntary Service Council.

A special panel discussion with GP and pharmacy leads focused on ways in which local healthcare services can support residents as well as touching on how the role of the GP and pharmacist have evolved.

With over 100 attendees and VIP guests including the Mayor of Greenwich and the Mayor and Mayoress of Bexley, it was the perfect way to mark the end of #southasianheritagemonth

Dr Sid Deshmukh, Chair of the Bexley Wellbeing Partnership Committee, was interviewed by ITV and BBC News last September, launching the Moderna Bivalent COVID-19 Autumn Booster Programme. Dr Deshmukh encouraged older people and NHS staff to get their vaccination as the best protection against COVID this winter.

We were delighted that Mel Hudson, who runs Slade Green Foodbank in Bexley, was nominated for a Sun Who Cares Wins Award in the category of Unsung Hero, for her support to the local community. Mel has worked tirelessly to ensure that residents of Bexley have access to basic food supplies.

Mel also runs first aid mental health courses, provides debt advice as well as hosting health and wellbeing days for residents. Mel mixed with the likes of Spice Girl, Mel B, boxer, Anthony Joshua and other well-known faces who were on hand to recognise the wonderful staff and volunteers who work across health and care.

The awards were shown on C4 and All 4 last Sunday and you can read about Mel’s nomination here.

Mel is pictured on the left with her son, Lewis Hudson.