HUNDREDS of people visited the University of Bolton to get free health advice at the fifth annual Bolton Health Mela.

Members of Bolton’s health community held stalls at the event, which was organised to offer a safe, relaxed environment for people to talk about health concerns.

Professor Romesh Gupta works in the university’s Centre for Research in Health and Wellbeing and also sits on the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing.

He said: “This has been another brilliant event. Each year the Bolton Health Mela has grown in size.

“The idea is to offer health advice in a non-threatening and friendly environment. This is because some people do not like going to the doctors and will only go if they are very ill. Hopefully, attending the health mela could help prevent some people getting to that stage.”

Services available for people at the event included blood tests for cholesterol and diabetes, sexual health advice and screening, yoga and healthy living workshops and a sports and spinal injuries clinic.

Event organiser Emma Harman said she had seen first hand how important an event of this kind can be, and added: “There was a lady from Cancer Research UK here and she has sent four people away to see their GPs because they have potential signs of cancer, which they didn’t know.

“It has been a really good turnout. We don’t know exact numbers but 500 people came in last year and we think we have had more this year. It seems like more and more people are hearing about the health mela and coming down, which is great.”