Are you ready to parkrun for the NHS? Join us as we celebrate 75 years of our health service at parkruns and junior parkruns across the UK on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July. Mark the date on your calendar!
Last week, the NHS’s 75th birthday celebrations started in style with the help of parkrun, a sprinkling of celebrities, and top NHS clinicians at Trelai Park parkrun (Wales), Highwoods parkrun (England), Stormont parkrun (Northern Ireland) and Rouken Glen junior parkrun (Scotland).
Among the local parkrunners kicking off the celebrations at Trelai Park parkrun, our Global Head of Health and Wellbeing, Chrissie Wellington, was joined by Wales and Watford striker Helen Ward, MS First Minister of Wales Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, Chief Medical Officer for Wales Sir Frank Atherton and many others. The parkrunners at Trelai Park, Cardiff smashed the attendance record with almost 200 finishers and 28 volunteers!
Sir Frank Atherton said: “Local parkruns right across Wales give us the chance to keep ourselves fitter and healthier, for free. Keeping fit and active is good for our physical and mental health and (…) as the NHS faces a range of pressures, this is one step we can take to improve our health and wellbeing.”
At Colchester’s Highwoods parkrun, another attendance record was broken by many coming together to commemorate the NHS. With 372 finishers and 48 volunteers, parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE took part alongside Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May DBE, Channel 4’s Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi and National Medical Director at NHS England, Professor Sir Stephen Powis.
Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi said: “I encourage people across the country to mark the NHS’s 75th birthday and show their support for its staff and volunteers, past and present, by taking part in ‘parkrun for the NHS’ on the 8th and 9th July. If you have never been to a parkrun before then I would highly recommend it. It is one of the easiest ways to get active and is open to walkers, joggers, runners, volunteers and spectators, and is a great way to connect with your community.”
Rouken Glen junior parkrun celebrated in their own way with many junior parkrunners and volunteers donned in NHS blue. Chief Medical Officer, Professor Gregor Smith and former triathlete Cat Morrison cheered on almost 140 junior parkrunners in Glasgow last Sunday.
Professor Sir Gregor Smith said: “We’re delighted that parkrun are joining us in our celebrations for the 75th year of the NHS. It’s such a milestone year for us and this is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to attend, volunteer, walk, jog, run, cheer and most importantly, enjoy the experience. parkruns are a great way for everyone to get involved and make those steps towards a healthier and more active lifestyle.”
Last but not least, over 400 people arrived at Stormont parkrun in Belfast to join in on the celebration with Oscar winner James Martin, Permanent Secretary for Department of Health Peter May and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Mary Frances McManus.
Peter May said: “‘It is great that two of the greatest institutions have come together (parkrun and NHS) to celebrate the 75th birthday of the NHS. I would invite everyone to join their local parkruns on 8th and 9th July.”
This is the second time parkrun UK and the NHS have joined forces to mark a big anniversary and showcase parkrun as a safe and inclusive space for all ages, abilities and backgrounds to be active and social in the great outdoors. In 2018, we saw more than 146,000 people get involved in an incredible UK-wide celebration for the 70th birthday of the NHS.
Tens of thousands of people from all over the UK are expected to ‘parkrun for the NHS’ and we want to encourage everyone to join in on the fun at their local parkrun event on Saturday 8 July or junior parkrun event on Sunday 9 July.
Why not get involved at your local parkrun or junior parkrun for the NHS’s 75th birthday by participating in fancy dress or in NHS blue? We’ll see you there!
Find your local parkrun event here.
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