On Sunday 11th June 2017, South London Tamil Welfare Group hosted their annual sports gala – a day filled with sporting events, dance performances, and authentic Tamil food. The weather was on everyone’s side and it made for an excellent family day out.

Obviously, when you think of a family day out – a free health check does not usually come to mind for most, but the sports day provided us with an opportunity to host the first youth-led MIOT community health project. Understandably some members of the public wanted to enjoy their kothu rotti and mutton rolls, without the discussion of how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

However, for everyone who engaged with the health check, they had the full care and attention of the Tamil speaking medical students and doctors – having their blood pressure, BMI and blood glucose measured, and the chance to discuss any health complaints they had. Finally, each consultation was wrapped up with a focus on prevention by discussing health behaviours such as exercise, diet, smoking and alcohol.

After one of the consultations, a lady mentioned that she found the service helpful, as it brought to attention her husband’s underlying high blood pressure, which they would not have checked for otherwise had it not been for the convenient access to the Tamil speaking medical students and doctors at the sports gala. Now they are committed to attending their local GP for further discussions.

Just like the couple who spoke to us, many more were served and it would not have been possible without the support of the South London Tamil Welfare Group. If you want to find out more about the amazing work they do in the Tamil community, check out their website: www.sltwg.org.uk.  We are also thankful for the doctors who supported us: Dr K Niranjan, Dr N Sivayoganathan, Dr N Niranjan, Dr Chandraprabha, Dr Poologanathan and Dr Jayanthy and look forward to hosting further community health projects.

If you would like to volunteer at future events, work with us, or help us fundraise for more equipment to use at the community health projects, please get in touch via community@miot.org.uk.