Weymouth parkrun will be one of hundreds of ‘parkruns’ around the UK to host a special NHS birthday celebration event on Saturday 9 June.
The initiative, known as ‘parkrun for the NHS,’ aims to recognise the contribution of the NHS to the health of the nation and inspire people to take part in physical activity and volunteering.
Weymouth parkrun is a free 5k event that takes place every Saturday morning at Lodmoor Country Park at 9am. It is open to walkers and runners of all ages and abilities and is coordinated entirely by volunteers from the local community.
On 9 June participants at Weymouth parkrun are being encouraged to put a stick it post on our NHS board and dress up as doctors/nurses/healthcare staff.
Kath Davis and Michael Wilkinson Weymouth parkrun Event Director said “We would love to see as many NHS staff as possible on the day, to walk, run, volunteer or simply receive a well earned round of applause for the incredible contribution they make to our community. If there’s one thing we know how to do at Weymouth parkrun it’s how to host a party – and everyone is invited! Weymouth parkrun is a friendly, welcoming event that provides a perfect opportunity to get out in the fresh air to socialise and be physically active in a supportive environment.”
The ‘parkrun for the NHS’ initiative is being supported by Dame Kelly Holmes, a regular parkrunner who worked as a nursing assistant before going into the British Army and later becoming a full-time athlete, said: “Increased levels of activity leads to improved mood, self-esteem and a wide range of health benefits. I know from first-hand experience how sociable and welcoming parkruns are, so it’s fantastic to see it join forces with the NHS in its 70th year to encourage even more people to get active in this special year.”
The growing levels of obesity in adults and children is a major health issue for the NHS, as it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and stroke. Obesity can also affect quality of life and lead to psychological problems.
The cost to the NHS of treating diabetes alone is around £10 billion every year – nearly 10% of the NHS budget. It is estimated that obesity is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year and that obesity could overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of preventable death.
In August 2017, parkrun conducted a UK-wide survey of almost 2,000 healthcare professionals. Over three in every five (63%) responding revealed that they prescribe parkrun in some form, while almost nine in ten (88%) said they would consider referring users to parkrun.
We are hoping that lots of hospital staff will join us on Saturday to help us celebrate 70 years of NHS.