Medina IOW parkrun to mark NHS 70th birthday

Medina IOW parkrun at the Appley course will be one of hundreds of ‘parkruns’ around the UK to host a special NHS birthday celebration event on Saturday 9th June 2018.

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.

Medina IOW 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 participants at Medina IOW Parkrun are being encouraged to celebrate what the NHS means to them by running/walking/volunteering the 5km, sharing their experiences of the NHS and of course cake! There are loads of IOW NHS trust parkrunners who all love parkrun and would very much encourage others to join in and get more active.

Becky Hepworth – one of Medina IOW Parkrun’s Run directors and Children’s Community Nurse Team Leader says: “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. What better way to celebrate the NHS than by getting more active? Everyone is invited! Medina IOW 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.

Other events taking place to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the NHS include:

  • Sunday 1st July – Summer Fete at St. Mary’s Hospital (11:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday 4th July – Heritage Here and Now and 70th Birthday Party at Riverside Centre
  • Thursday 5th July – the Big 7Tea ( – tea parties for the NHS
  • Saturday 7th July – Careers Event for students in Years 9 to 12 hosted at St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Saturday 7th July – Participating Bell Towers on the Island will ring a celebration peel during the day.
  • Wednesday 11th July – Multi-faith service celebrating 70 years of the NHS at All Saints Church, Ryde. The Bell Tower at All Saints will also ring a celebration peel during the afternoon of 11th July.