2,000 strong Castle Conga is target for Lancaster Health Festival

Staff from UHMBT get into the conga spirit at Lancaster Castle
Staff from UHMBT get into the conga spirit at Lancaster Castle
Share this article

A 2,000 person conga around the castle and a “pimp my zimmer” competition form part of this year’s Lancaster Health Festival.

The four day event will be held in 12 venues in the city, including Lancaster Castle, from Thursday September 20.

At least 2,000 people will be needed to completely surround the castle for the conga, and organisers are hoping people will turn out to support it.

Other events will include bread making, discussions on the future of the city, women and health, police bike coding and will be supported by, amongst others, The Body Shop, Lush and Lancaster City Council.

Sarah Baines, from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust (UHMBT), who is organising the conga said: “During a festival planning meeting to discuss ideas, I had the inexplicable notion to suggest a conga round the castle.

“We have very generously been given use of the castle and its grounds for the weekend so wanted to hold something fun, free and family inclusive that will not only showcase the castle and its stunning surroundings but all the other fantastic free events and activities we have going on all weekend.

“Castle officials have told me we need a minimum of 2,000 people to get all the way round so that is our goal and we will be doing the conga to the live sounds of Samba Espirito a brilliant local, Halton based, samba band.

“For those people in residential and nursing homes who can’t easily access the Health Festival we are also holding a competition called Pimp My Zimmer.

“The aim is to help prevent falls by personalising Zimmer’s and other mobility aids, thereby making them more recognisable.

“In addition by having a fun, social activity that families and visitors can also engage with, we hope to build an enhanced sense of community spirit for those unable to get outdoors.”

Ian Dewar, lead organiser and Chaplain at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary said: “The support from the community has been genuinely mind-blowing!

“I had people contacting me in January wanting to be part of the event and since then we have just grown more and more.

“The website is now up and running, with lots of information on what is happening and when.

“Some of our activities are ticketed, due to restrictions on numbers, but every one of them is free of charge.”

To book tickets you will need to visit Eventbrite, links to the events are on the website www.thelancasterhealthfestival.org.uk.

Tickets are free and booking should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Ian added: “While we’ve now finalised the line-up for this year, if anyone would like to take part in next year’s event they can get in touch by emailing Lancasterhealthfest@mbht.nhs.uk.”