UTech Wellness Fest begins today
The Papine Wellness Fest, organised by the University of Technology (UTech) along with other stakeholders, begins today.
The initiative, now in its second year, was created to bring social stability and cohesion to the greater Papine area.
The series of events is set to run for six weeks, taking the wellness fest into April. The activities will involve 15 communities.
Director of the Department of Community Service and Development at UTech, Paulton Gordon, said that at the end of the events in April, he hopes to put together a group of individuals to serve the greater Papine area.
"If we can organise a recreational sports committee that include people from Standpipe, Gordon Town, Papine and other areas, and have a grouping that can serve as an oversight body, then we can start moving certain things forward," Gordon said.
President of the Papine Development Area Committee, Glen Brown, shared similar sentiments.
"The first set of wellness activities will be in August Town, and will involve all the areas surrounding August Town bringing them to play football and netball," Brown said. "So if Hermitage may not be fond of August Town, and if they play football, it brings them together. And when you come together and you start visiting each other, there is a less likelihood of violence."
Along with the sporting activities, the wellness fest will also bring health professionals like dentists to these communities.
Deslyn Neunie, outreach director of the College of Oral Health Sciences at UTech, who will be among the health professionals, said that based on assessments conducted by the faculty, many persons in these communities have never had access to dental care.
"When we go on these outreach programmes, our booth is visited more than any other, because it is very expensive to go to the dentist," Neunie said.
The wellness fest also promises to help members of the involved communities to get tax registration numbers and register with the National Insurance Scheme.
Another stakeholder that will be a part of the activities is the National Integrity Action (NIA).
Member of the NIA, Richard Passley, said: "We are working in five different communities across the island and one of those communities is Kintyre and, as such, we will be sponsoring the Kintyre leg of this activity."