It was a special leap year parkrun for Brierley Forest as they welcomed a team from local Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for a parkrun takeover.
Consultant Rebecca Barker came up with the idea as a way to support the health and wellbeing of both staff and patients at the Trust. Here she tells us more.
I think parkrun is great, as they are so inclusive no matter how fit you are. Everyone can still get involved even if you are not a confident runner or if exercise is new to you.
I thought it would be great to incorporate parkruns into our new strategy to support and motivate patients to get fitter for surgery as this is so beneficial to their recovery. It is so important to promote and support the health and wellbeing of our staff, patients and members of the local community.
The idea came after seeing patients who were struggling to get fit for operations. I started thinking that if we support smokers to stop smoking then we should support those looking to get more active.
There were a number of avenues but one was parkrun as it’s so inclusive and supportive and anyone can do it!
I linked in with Danielle one of our Recovery Nurses who was our resident parkrun expert.
Danielle has always told us that parkrun is a great way to keep fit and introduce a bit more exercise into your life. She’s been going to parkrun with her family for the last two years and it has really helped boost her self-esteem and fitness levels.
What we love most about parkrun is that it doesn’t matter whether you run, jog, walk or volunteer. It’s all about participation and there is a role for everyone.
It’s important that we all look after our own health and wellbeing, but also support friends and family members with theirs. Attending parkruns as a family or with friends is a great way to socialise, keep fit and really feel part of the community.
We approached Brierley Forest parkrun to start as it is local to the hospital, and one of our long term goals is to socially prescribe parkrun to our patients.
We wanted to be part of our local community. Now, we plan to make posters with photos of the takeover to put up in preop signposting our patients to get involved.
Our Medical Director David Selwyn hopes that the takeover of the parkrun will help to encourage staff and members of the public to incorporate more exercise into their lifestyles.
Our Chief Executive Richard Mitchell took part on the day and he said how great it was to see so many colleagues taking part and volunteering plus also meeting members of the public. Richard said “at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS FT we are really thinking about the role we can play in helping patients live a physically and mentally fit life and we see exercise as an important part of that.” He’s already looking forward to the next parkrun!
We know that patients who regularly take part in physical activity can see benefits such as a quicker recovery period after having an operation and an improvement to their mental health and mood.
Jode, the Run Director at Brierley Forest on the day, said the parkrun team were pretty impressed with us all and gave a special mention to Russell on ‘the High 5 Highway’ and to David who directed everyone to run straight through THAT puddle!
What an absolutely amazing morning we had at Brierley Forest parkrun!
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