DIY SOS by Hayley Lancefield

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to go to a DIY SOS site with one of our occupational health technicians last month, to provide mini health check to everyone who was volunteering.

I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t too sure if anyone would like to know their blood pressure reading, or what their glucose or cholesterol levels were. However as soon as we got to the site and started to set up, there was instant interest from the people volunteering and especially from one of the presenters, Julian Perryman. Julian came up to me and said: “It’s good that you have come onsite today as someone felt faint yesterday”.

He then waited for us to finish setting up and was the first to get a mini health check. People started lining up, and before we knew it there was always more than five people waiting in line which I was surprised to see. There were people of all ages and one of the main reasons that they wanted a mini health check was because they had never had their blood pressure reading, glucose and cholesterol levels taken before. There were a few people who were on blood pressure tablets, and said they wanted to check if they were working, as they had to wait more than three weeks to get a GP appointment.

Many of those who had a mini health check asked the occupational health technician questions about their results and how they could get better readings. There was a funny moment when another presenter, Nick Knowles, came in and said: “I know you’re all getting your checks done, however someone has just dropped off more doughnuts and cakes. Maybe have one after your check!”.

We saw about 50 people in total and Nick came for a health check towards the end. He spent some time with us to discuss how important it is for people to not just “know their numbers” but understand them too.

There was a great community atmosphere and it was good to see everyone coming together for a great cause. It seemed like everyone in the area just wanted to get involved.