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News - 24th November 2021

Supporting those impacted by cancer with 5k Your Way

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The reopening of parkrun events across UK and Ireland has brought a smile to all of our faces, not least the members of the many 5K Your Way groups who are finally able to get together, in person, again. 

 

Linked to parkrun events, 5K Your Way is a community-based initiative to encourage those living with and beyond cancer, their families and friends, and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local 5K Your Way group at parkrun events on the last Saturday of every month.

 

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With parkrun events being closed in March 2020, and social interaction minimised, 5K Your Way’s activities went online. The lack of personal contact was incredibly difficult for lots of people, especially those undergoing treatment and who may have felt very isolated, but 5K Your Way tried to turn the huge challenge of a global pandemic into an opportunity by creating ‘Move Your Way’ Resources. These include:

 

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These resources are still available and now, with the return of parkrun, the 5K Your Way groups can also meet up in person once again, led by a team of over 200 volunteer ambassadors across the UK and Ireland.

 

Each group has the autonomy to decide when the time is right for them to return and now, at the end of November, there are 57 groups back up and running, jogging, walking, cheering, and volunteering at parkrun events all across the UK and Ireland.

 

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A few new groups have also joined over the past few months, including, in Ireland, at Marlay parkrun and Porterstown parkrun and in the UK, at Shrewsbury parkrun, Longrun Meadow parkrun, Preston parkrun, Penrith parkrun, Oldham parkrun, Nonsuch parkrun and Ashton Court parkrun. All these new groups are thriving and have been welcomed with open arms by the local community.

 

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These events also benefit from having a larger pool of amazing volunteers, drawn from the 5K Your Way groups. People like Dave, whose wife Sue sadly died earlier this year. Sue and her family joined almost every 5KYW group gathering  since she was diagnosed with cancer in late 2018, and Dave continues to volunteer.

 

I joined the Forest Rec parkrun in Nottingham as a volunteer and thoroughly enjoyed it. It did me good to get out of bed and into the fresh air on a Saturday morning, what else would I be doing? Such a lovely group of people, and so grateful for my help, left me with a real ‘feel good’ feeling. You only do what you’re comfortable with, no pressure. I volunteered to be a marshal, one of the volunteers who are posted around the course to direct and support the runners and walkers. So nice to stand there hearing people shout to me “Thank you, marshal!” as they passed. I came home feeling good, really good.

 

Looking into the new year the 5K Your Way team hope that all of the groups will have restarted and many more will come on board into 2022.

 

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5K Your Way’s aspirational mission is for a 5k Your Way group to be linked to every cancer care centre across the UK and Ireland. It is their goal for everyone diagnosed with cancer to have the opportunity to attend a 5k Your Way group and experience the power of movement, in the company of others.

 

At parkrun we are incredibly proud to support the initiative, and would like to thank our event teams for facilitating and encouraging the participation of the groups at our events.

 

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We look forward to working closely with them in 2022 to help the initiative, and it’s impact, go from strength to strength.

 

“When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, I was utterly unprepared for the shock and depression that followed. Meeting wonderful people who had been through similar really helped and gave me hope when I felt hopeless. This is me smiling having run 100 miles in February this year”

-        Alison Waters, 5k Your Way group member

 

“With 5KYW the community element is fantastic to see, cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither does 5KYW, the groups are always so inclusive and just want you to be a part of it all and support you. I personally love seeing patients get back their fitness after cancer treatments. I work in Radiotherapy so we only see a snapshot of a patient’s journey but it’s lovely to hear that a patient can now walk a 5K or run it! Especially when I’ve reviewed them during their chemo-radiation treatment, and they could barely walk up the stairs without getting out of breath!”

-       Naman Julka-Anderson: Senior Therapeutic Radiographer

 

“Exercise makes me feel great and is helping me recover from head and neck cancer. I’ve just cycled 1500km from Dover to Durness!”

-       Cathy Bell, 5k Your Way group member

 

“I strongly believe that movement helps most people feel better. That movement doesn’t have to be anywhere near as much as 5k run. It might be a shuffle around the garden, or some stretches in your lounge or just a short walk out in the elements. Movement helps clear the mind and rejuvenate the mood. Quite often having cancer can be an isolating and lonely time and so exercise gives people another focus and something different to talk about. Movement is rarely a bad idea and so for those reasons, I too am proud to be an ambassador for this amazing initiative and I hope to be able to make a valuable contribution in my own way.”

-       Sharron Williams, Shrewsbury 5k Your Way Ambassador

 

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Supporting those impacted by cancer with 5k Your Way

The reopening of parkrun events across UK and Ireland has brought a smile to all of our faces, not least the members of the many 5K Your Way groups who are finally able to get together, in person, again.    Linked to parkrun events, 5K Your Way is a community-based initiative to encourage those living…

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