Worthing parkrun to mark NHS 70th birthday with celebration event on 9 June

Worthing parkrun, which meets in Beach House Gardens, next to Splashpoint Leisure Centre, is teaming up with local NHS mental health charity Heads On to host a special NHS birthday celebration event on Saturday 9 June.

Worthing will join hundreds of parkruns across the UK in the initiative, known as ‘parkrun for the NHS,’ which 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.
Worthing parkrun is a free 5k event that takes place every Saturday morning 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 it will be a double birthday celebration as participants at Worthing parkrun will be celebrating Worthing parkrun’s 2nd birthday as well as the 70th birthday of the NHS. We are delighted that we will be joined by Christine Gibbons, Chair of parkrun Global, who has worked in many roles in the NHS and who will be sharing her thoughts on the partnership between parkrun and the NHS.

Heads On is Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, and supports local people experiencing mental health challenges. Participants are being encouraged to dress up in NHS and birthday related outfits, and particularly anything that makes people smile and challenges the stigma of mental health. There will be information available on the day about parkrun, the NHS and mental health, and of course cake to celebrate the two very special birthdays.

Rachael Duke, Head of Charity at Heads On said “We're absolutely thrilled to be Worthing parkrun's charity partner celebrating 70 years of the NHS and their 2nd birthday! As the NHS charity for Sussex Partnership, Heads On fundraises for our local mental health services and it is fantastic to be part of parkrun - something that has so many positive benefits for mental health. Running and the social side of parkrun are hugely valued by people facing mental health challenges and we are really looking forward to working together to celebrate our birthdays.

"We can't wait to see lots of runners in fancy dress, wearing things to make people smile and challenge some of the stigma around mental health!"

Duncan Anderson and Matt Owen Worthing parkrun Event Directors 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 Worthing parkrun it’s how to host a party - and everyone is invited!

“Worthing 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. Dame Kelly 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.”

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.

Notes

Registration is free on the parkrun website at: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/

The Worthing parkrun website is www.parkrun.org.uk/Worthing

For more information about the work of Heads On, and how you can get involved, visit www.headsoncharity.org

Contact

For more information about the celebration, contact the volunteer team at Worthing parkrun at worthingoffice@parkrun.com

For information about Heads On contact Sussex Partnership’s Communications Team on 0300 304 0664 or communications@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

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