Event number 32
9th June 2018
This week we joined over 300 other parkruns in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. As an employee of the NHS I was quite excited that Hyndburn was participating but what could we do to mark the occasion? Myself, Sarah Johnson, a local midwife and Sally, who works in communications for East Lancashire Health Trust decided we should commemorate the momentous milestone by asking past & present NHS staff to volunteer for the morning. It soon became apparent how many of our local runners were NHS staff so after a couple of recruitment posts on social media, we very quickly had 25 volunteers all willing to take on new roles for the morning.
As the volunteer coordinator I was a little apprehensive, I’m used to managing complex wounds, not organising a team of people! 14 of the helpers had never volunteered at parkrun before but we were lucky to have a few experience volunteers, who were also NHS staff, that could offer support. Lyndsey, a special needs school nurse, took hold of a stopwatch to take on role of timekeeping. Adam, a data analyst, swapped his computer for a camera to photograph all the lovely runners and sisters Ruth & Rachel, a nurse & physiotherapist, were two of the thirteen marshals on the course. I think there were some initial concerns how a team of new volunteers would manage but these are NHS staff we are talking about and as usual they stood up to the challenge and without a glitch allowed 136 runners to complete the course.
Sarah, who has previously been a cardiac intensive care nurse and is now a midwife, took on the role of run director. She teamed up with Kevin McGee, the chief executive of East Lancashire Health Trust, to welcome everyone to Hyndburn parkrun and set the runners off.
On the volunteer roster we had a physio, a GP, a data analyst, a biomedical engineer, an assistant practitioner, various nurses, midwives, health visitors, two lovely (and lucky!) ladies who are now retired and a student midwife. Big thanks to every single one of you!!
Also we would like to thank all the runners who came down to support us and help us eat all the cake that was donated. It was especially lovely to see those with NHS t-shirts, NHS lanyards and even someone thanking the NHS for the treatment she has received.
With public health being high on the NHS agenda I felt it was fitting that parkrun chose to support and celebrate the anniversary. As well as those who enjoy running, parkrun has helped people who would not normally participate in regular exercise to run / jog / walk 5 Km every week. It has reached those groups who are usually the hardest to target and provides free, accessible and achievable exercise every week. Parkrun is not just good for your physical health but your mental wellbeing too, whether that is the early get up, the run itself, or the social aspect. It could be said it’s medicinal!
There was a great atmosphere on Saturday with Annabel Ralph getting a new female course record of 20.22. We had 52 new PBs in total and 35 joined us for the very first time.
All in all, we had a wonderful morning at parkrun celebrating a unique organisation that provides a great service who I am proud to say I work for.
Tissue Viability Nurse
Hyndburn parkrun core team member