MORE than 30 organisations raised awareness of their services to students at the annual health fair held at the Isle of Man College last week.
The fair was really busy with students coming down to the main hall in time slots and having the opportunity to spend time talking to stall representatives.
One of the most popular stalls was Paws For Therapy, a volunteer organisation wherein owners take their dogs to residential and care homes to visit the elderly.
They are also linked with The Children’s Centre and deal with anyone of any age suffering from dog phobias and have had huge success in helping them to overcome it.
They had dogs to show students the temperament of the dogs involved and offered a ‘hands on’ experience with them.
Also in attendance was the Road Safety Unit, which focused on child safety in the car – the importance of using a seat belt, drink driving and promoting the new campaign against using mobile phones whilst driving.
John McDonough said: ‘The students are the future generation and if we can raise awareness now and nip it in the bud, it’s for the best.’
There were also groups focusing on getting students to broaden their social spectrum and get involved with a more diverse range of activities including the Youth Arts Centre, represented by Fiona Helleur.
She said she wanted to make students aware performing arts is a productive way to express themselves and to ‘realise they have tremendous potential’.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender group with Terrence Halpin at its heart provide support sessions, and found students were surprisingly open: ‘We’re really pleased with the amount of students that have approached us today.’
Providing drug abuse information was the Drug Advice Service Helpline (DASH), an organisation providing confidential and non-judgmental support. DASH advisor Jennifer Walker said: ‘We’ve had from as young as 11 right up to 75.’
The government is withdrawing its funding from August – although DASH has been invited to apply for a grant to cover the cost of its helpline. Jennifer said she will stay with the group, saying: ‘I really do believe in it.’
There were also stalls offering free haircuts, facials and reiki treatments.
First year media student Adam Brammall said the event ‘was highly informative and gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of what’s out there to help us.’