Shropshire NHS Health Champions urge us to attend free health check

Five plucky Shropshire volunteers are celebrating being selected as Health Check Champions and, to mark the occasion, have disrobed to launch a poster and billboard campaign to promote a free NHS Health Check being offered through GP practices.

The campaign aims to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, by encouraging people aged between 40-74 years to take up the offer of a free Health Check when they are invited by their GP through the post. Nationally everyone between 40 and 74 who has not already been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease, will receive an invite for their Free Health Check at some point in the next five years.

(left to right) Health Check Champions, Collette Davies, Zoe Day, Mark Davies, Cathy Warner and Andy Skinner.

People in Shropshire will be seeing a lot more of; Collette Davies from Shrewsbury, Zoe Day from Ellesmere, Mark Davies from Shrewsbury, Cathy Warner from Bridgnorth and Andy Skinner from Highley. The five unpaid volunteers, selected from over 50 applicants from all over Shropshire, were nominated by friends or relatives on the social networking site Facebook.

Their faces (and bodies) will become familiar sights on local posters and buses over the coming weeks and months, to drive home the message that detecting the early signs of serious medical conditions (and adopting a healthy lifestyle) can make a huge difference to people’s health.

The champions are unpaid, but they all have interesting stories to tell about how health issues have affected their families and themselves.

Dr Kevin Lewis, Director of Preventive Health Programmes at Shropshire Public Health Department, explains:

“We are encouraging people to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by attending a free NHS Health Check when their GP invites them. This way, we can pick up problems at an early stage, and provide advice and support to help people live a longer, healthier life.

“These enthusiastic champions will be seen all over Shropshire and their stories will help us to promote the importance of a regular Health Check. By posing this way, the champions are demonstrating confidence that there is nothing to fear don’t worry, though, the Health Checks are carried out fully clothed.”