Plean Parkrun To Mark NHS 70th Birthday With Celebration Event 9th June

Plean parkrun at Plean Country Park 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.

Plean parkrun is a free 5k event that takes place every Saturday morning at 9:30am. 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 Plean parkrun are being encouraged to come along and show their appreciation of the work the NHS does.

Plean parkun has teamed up with NHS Forth Valley and a team of staff from Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, and throughout the Forth Valley, are taking on the volunteer roles that day. Doctors, consultants, A & E staff and retired NHS staff are among those volunteering on the day.

Runners are being encouraged to dress up with an NHS theme – either as a doctor, nurser or some other association to the NHS.

Plean parkrun Event Director, Jackie Stewart, said: “We have a large number of NHS staff who are filling most of our volunteer roles. They will be doing all the roles such as Marshals, Timekeepers and Barcode Scanners.

“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 Plean parkrun it’s how to host a party – and everyone is invited!

“We are 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.”

Dr Katie Robertson, Clinical Director for Laboratories and Radiology NHS Forth Valley, said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the dedication of our NHS staff to maintaining health and wellbeing for all.

“Exercise is a key factor in establishing and maintaining a long and healthy life. This event, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS, is an excellent example of how we can come together as families, friends, colleagues and communities, to participate in healthy exercise together, encouraging one another to stay fit and well while also recognising that social interaction and participation in your local community is equally important too.”

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.

She 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.