Proving why they took out the Community Engagement category in this year’s Guild Pharmacy of the Year Awards, the team at Samford Chemmart hosted another hugely successful community event in June, with a focus on health, wellbeing and sustainability.
The Wellbeing Forever Festival, held earlier this month, was attended by more than 2000 people – doubling last year’s attendance record – and involved more than 80 stalls and more than 120 local businesses, community organisations and sporting groups.
Samford Chemmart owner Karen Brown says the event, previously known as the Samford Health Expo, has grown immeasurably since its inception in 2014.
“The Health Expo came about because we wanted to give people easy and relaxed access to not only healthcare providers, but all sorts of initiatives relating to mental and physical wellbeing,” she says.
“This year we also chose to showcase services with a focus on sustainable living and hold the event across two locations, so it was bigger and better than ever.
“It was a fantastic chance for members of the public to learn about the products, services and support available to them in their own community.”
Various wellness groups were joined at the Wellbeing Forever Festival by a range of health professionals, including a physiotherapist, podiatrist, naturopath, optometrist, counsellor, exercise physiologist, dietician, dentist, paramedics and representatives from Australian Hearing and the Australian Blood Bank.
The Festival is another milestone achievement in what has been an exciting year for Brown and her team, who won the Community Engagement category in the Guild’s Pharmacy of the Year Awards in March.
“The Community Engagement award recognised the work that we do for our customers and the wider population here in Samford,” Brown says.
“We have always been about much more than just dispensing medicine. We’re passionate about the health of our customers and genuinely care about them.
“Professional acknowledgement from the Guild has motivated us to take our commitment to the community even further and be even more creative in our efforts to make a difference. The Wellbeing Forever Festival is evidence of that.”
New initiatives this year included the ‘Health Passport’, where visitors received a free head-to-toe health check from a variety of local health professionals, and interactive educational presentations called ‘Ignite Sessions’.
Samford Chemmart’s own pharmacists completed 50 Apo-Health Bone Density Checks and 100 Diabetes Risk Assessments free of charge, promoted Chemmart’s comprehensive range of health services and hosted an interactive presentation about the benefits of probiotics.
Students from Samford State School also got involved, creating films about being happy and healthy and screening them at a Short Film Festival.
“We have received an overwhelming amount of feedback from members of the public sharing how much they enjoyed the event and from stall holders telling us about the new clients, volunteers and connections they have gained as a result,” Brown says.
“To have people thanking us for bringing health and wellbeing to the community is extremely heartening – it makes it all worth it.”
The Wellbeing Forever Festival was a collaborative effort between Samford Chemmart and not-for-profit organisation Samford Commons, and was sponsored by the Moreton Bay Regional Council.