Age Friendly Laois collaborated with Healthy Laois in putting together the 1st ever Living Well Expo of its kind in the county , which took place in Portlaoise College on thursday 13th April from 4pm to 8pm.
The event brought together various community & Health & Age friendly support groups, agencies , information providers and more and to create an event where attendees could be informed about what is available in Co. Laois in an engaging and fun way.
The Ukranian choir entertained on arrival opened by who put on a beautiful performance – their rendition of “Mo Ghile Mear” was stunning.
This was followed by an address by Cathaoirleach Cllr Thomasina Connell to the attendees. Laois’ Age Friendly Ambassador, Mrs Anna May McHugh, then officially opened the event.
The main stage featured talks by Ms Louise Edmonds of Age Friendly Ireland on the topic of assistive technology, a crime prevention presentation by Sgt Graham Kavanagh and a talk by Women’s Shed founder Ms Carmel Cashin. Operation Transformation Leader, Stephanie Bowden was delighted with the opportunity to return to Laois, to give a talk about her own fitness journey and she had a very interesting and busy Q & A session afterwards.
The HSE provided free health screening and they completed 97 screenings on the day,
Healthy Cooking demos were also a popular part of the event and Ms Janice O Brien of LOETB showed us all how to cook a healthy stir fry.
The Living Well expo also featured a debut performance by the Coalition Chefs , with Councillors John King and Paddy Bracken providing a very entertaining cookery demonstration , which was narrated throughout by Ms Anne Marie Kelly. Councillor Bracken recruited the help of Operation Transformation leaders Stephanie and Andrea, to create a beautiful & healthy vegetable soup. Councillor John King was on the main course section and he showed an eager audience how to bone and roll a chicken from scratch . Both chefs, of course had “one we prepared earlier” and the attendees were treated to samples of both the soup and the boned & rolled chicken.
On the day, we had an estimated 1000 attendees, with a steady stream of people arriving from before the event. The feedback from the event was very positive, and people stated that it was great to be made aware of and meet the many supports available in one location in the county. Exhibitors indicated that they were very busy on the day and that networking opportunities & connections were created with fellow exhibitors , with individuals and with community groups.
All said they looked forward to the next Living Well Expo- so watch this space!!!!!!!!