Largest ever Barking and Dagenham health and wellbeing event an overwhelming success

Even with the rain hammering down for most of the day, local residents came out in huge numbers to take advantage of a brilliant free event to help improve the health and well-being of local residents in Barking and Dagenham

Over 7,500 people flooded through the doors (no pun intended!) of the Barking Sporthouse and gym to visit a full range of information stands, activities and entertainment for adults and children alike. From having your blood pressure taken to getting free advice about healthy living to face-painting and dance exercises for kids, the event had something for everyone. And with health benefits too!

To put that into context, 7500 residents is 1 in 28 residents (3.5%) of the total Barking and Dagenham population, 5 times the average attendance of Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club and 25% of the total number of GP appointments in north east London in one day! 

North East Cancer Alliance teamed up with Amit Sharma, GP cancer Lead for Barking and Dagenham, and Phillippa Hickey from the bowel screening team from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust to talk to local people about cancer screening programmes and signs and symptoms of cancer.

Amit Sharma, GP Cancer Lead for Barking and Dagenham said: “This was an incredible opportunity to speak to so many of our residents and patients in one day about cancer. I met people of all ages and from a diverse range of backgrounds, talking about cancer screening programmes and general cancer awareness.

“We hope these conversations continue outside of this event too – in the home, at work and at social events so we can continue to reach even more people with life-saving messages.”

A group of people are standing in front of a cancer awareness stand talking about cancer.

Building our network and getting our message out there

As a cancer alliance, we aim to attend as many of these events as possible as speaking to people directly about cancer is the best way of boosting awareness and making sure people understand the importance of early diagnosis.

Diane Gypps, Patient Experience and Engagement Manager, North East London Cancer Alliance said “People were queuing throughout the day to get in the building – even in the rain – which shows just how big the demand is for health and wellbeing information in Barking and Dagenham.

“We spoke to a wide variety of people, reaching many different community groups, which is exactly what are aiming to do through our engagement work. We look forward to doing more events such as this with other community partners and in other boroughs.”

Anyone interested in us running an awareness session on cancer should email for more information.

Missed the event, or just want more information?

Find out about free screening programmes.

Watch our video series of tips to lead a healthier lifestyle and reduce your risk of cancer.

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A group of people are standing behind a cancer awareness stand which has cancer information leaflets on it