News - 13th October 2016

My heartfelt thanks


parkrun UK is passionate about providing simple and safe events and has recently pledged to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available at all 5k parkruns. Our National Lead for AEDs and First Aid, Chris Richards, explains more about our ongoing mission to make parkrun a healthy, happy and safe place to be.


My heartfelt thanks. I’m sure I don’t need to explain what a wonderful atmosphere our weekly parkrun events create. Positivity, inspiration and achievement are everywhere we look and with all of this happiness surrounding us, it’s easy to forget that delight can become disaster in an instant.


The better prepared we are, the better equipped we become to deal with situations as and when they arise. parkrun UK is passionate about providing simple and safe events and has recently pledged to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available at all their 5k events.


The importance of early CPR and use of an AED is not an easy message to spread; sadly it is one of those subjects that most only consider once the worst has already happened.


Earlier this year, I was honoured to be appointed by parkrun UK as the National Lead for AED and First Aid provision and my volunteer role is predominantly about offering guidance to teams and being proactive in helping to make parkrun events even safer places to be than they are already. In July I attended the annual parkrun UK Conference, where I delivered a presentation to more than 70 parkrun Ambassadors and HQ staff to help them plan for the task ahead. The response so far has been magnificent and we have gone from 41.1% of events with access to an AED in July to 57% today, with many more in the pipeline.


Teams across the UK are truly embracing our mission to provide AEDs, and what I find even more positive than the sheer quantity of AEDs sourced is the increased awareness this is creating. We have many suitably qualified medical professionals amidst our parkrun communities who are more than willing to spare a little time teaching vital life-saving skills, and we are starting to see more and more social media posts by events who are arranging free CPR and AED awareness training for their runners and volunteers.


It’s truly heartwarming to see our parkrun communities coming together in this way to make parkrun a healthier, happier and safer place to be. And in many cases, learning life-saving skills that could be of benefit beyond a Saturday morning.


Chris Richards
National Lead – AED and First Aid – parkrun UK

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