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'Special Events and Competitions'

This is one of the best and easiest ways of involving your local community. Open your doors and let the public in to meet you and see how you work.

Link health promotion activities with a fun sports event for the whole family. Organise an 'It's a Knockout' competition, treasure hunt, mountain bike race, tennis or rounders tournament - whatever you like. The World Cup will be running in the summer, so you could link in with that.

Why not end your summer barbecue celebrations with a sparkling sponsored finale of fireworks and festivities. You might be able to get local bands to provide music, too. Some fireworks companies will prepare special health service images if you give them plenty of notice.

If you have a local museum you could ask to borrow health related items - such as uniforms, instruments, etc to create a room or ward from the 1940s. If you are a Trust with elderly patients, you could use this as part of their reminiscence therapy, or invite local school parties and general visitors.

Select a theme, such as health through the ages or technology in the NHS or trace the history of your own organisation using words and pictures, personal anecdotes and amusing stories from the past. Talk about your achievements or plans for the future and put up the display in your health authority, hospital, health centre or the town hall, local theatre or sports centre.

Ward party
Make sure staff and patients who are in hospital over the anniversary donít miss out on the celebrations. One of the best ways of doing this is to organise a party on the ward and ask staff to dress up and decorate the ward in typical forties style.

Run a competition in your patient newsletter or local newspaper with a health service theme, such as naming a ward, designing a logo or artwork for the corridors.

If you need more advice on how to go about getting involved, then e-mail us or call NHS50 in the NHS Communications Unit on 0113 2546035.

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