Plymouth health profession students with residents from Barne Barton
Plymouth health profession students with residents from Barne Barton

Residents in Barne Barton, Plymouth, now have all the information they need to achieve happiness and wellbeing in their lives, thanks to an event run for Love Barne Barton by healthcare students from across Plymouth University.

The students were from a number of courses including medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, child health nursing and adult nursing. Other organisations represented at the event included The Zone, Dietetics, Health Watch and local health visitors. They contributed to the Love Barne Barton day by providing information and interactive activities around Happy Heart Leads to Happiness; Happy Eating; Happy Mind; Family-Friendly Healthy Lifestyles, and; Money Matters.

Katy Stevenson, one of the students who helped to organise the event, said: 

“We met with residents from Barne Barton beforehand and asked them what sort of activity they would want from us. High on their wish list was information and support around happiness and wellbeing, and with their input we created an event which saw students from across the health profession courses at Plymouth University taking part.”

Katy and other students added: 

“From our perspective the event was a great success and has resulted in some healthy outcomes for a number of our visitors. One middle-aged man had his blood pressure checked for the first time ever, while others signed up for treatment at the Dental Education Facilities in Plymouth. There were big reactions to the 'how much sugar is in this drink' and the arts and crafts for the health mind section was really successful. The children made some lovely pictures showing different emotions and had a great time getting glitter everywhere.”

Comments from residents included: “what an amazing way of bringing a community together to support and educate in a positive way”; “great interaction between students and residents for the event”; “fabulous work from the students. Well done, it was nice to see so many disciplines here together”; “love these events-totally worthwhile coming, very productive and plenty to do/learn”, and; great to get the little one out and I enjoyed the dancing.”

The students are using the event for community-engaged research by using reflective diaries and focus groups to understand the learning value of inter-professional education and community-engagement to healthcare students.

Dr Richard Ayres, lead GP at the Cumberland GP Practice and Lead for Population Health at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, commented: 

“The great thing about this event was the mutual benefit for the residents of Barne Barton and our students. It is vital that health practitioners understand the needs of the communities which they serve, and events such as Love Barne Barton give our students excellent experience in this area which will serve them well when the qualify.”