This morning MPs and Parliamentarians from across the UK joined top NHS clinicians and parkrun leaders for a special run to celebrate the NHS’s 75th birthday.
The event, spearheaded by Nick Smith MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on parkrun, saw 22 MPs, from a range of political parties, run around St James’s Park.
Nick Smith MP, said: “It’s great that MPs from across our country have come out and taken part in this fun activity today. parkrun is itself a brilliant public health initiative that encourages physical activity and good mental health in support of our wonderful NHS. Its emphasis on volunteering makes it a real community institution. I’m glad we could all come together and run in celebration of our NHS’s huge 75 year milestone.”
NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said: “We know the NHS is the institution that makes our nation most proud to be British and, on the day it turns 75, I was delighted to join parliamentarians from across the UK as they donned their trainers to take part in this special run to celebrate all it has delivered for us over that time and to thank its staff and volunteers, past and present.”
Minister of State for Health Will Quince said: “It was an honour to take part in today’s parkrun for the NHS with fellow Members of Parliament, as we come together to mark this milestone in NHS history.
“Running is great for both body and mind, and it was a fitting way to celebrate our wonderful NHS – a service that has looked after us and helped us stay healthy for 75 years.
“I encourage everyone to use this special occasion to get involved in the national parkrun this weekend.”
Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, was the official starter of the 5k run, which finished at the St James’ Park cafe.
This was one of a number of physical activity events taking place to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
This weekend sees parkrun and junior parkrun events across the UK hosting ‘parkrun for the NHS’ celebrations. This initiative was launched with fanfare last month, and has the backing of health leaders, sports stars and other celebrities, including tennis legend, Sir Andy Murray, Olympic Gold medal winning athlete, Dame Kelly Holmes, decorated Welsh footballer, Helen Ward, TV doctor, Hussain Al-Zubaidi and Oscar winner, James Martin among many others.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to walk, jog, run or volunteer at over 1,000 parkrun and junior parkrun events across the weekend, many for the first time. Participants are being encouraged to wear NHS blue or fancy dress to mark the occasion.
Highlighting the importance of the partnership between parkrun and the NHS, parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt said: “Being active, with others, is so important for our health and wellbeing, and I encourage everyone to head down to their local parkrun or junior parkrun event on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July and take part in this fantastic celebration of the NHS, and of togetherness. Bring your friends, your colleagues, your family members and let’s make this a birthday celebration to remember!”
- parkrun started in 2004 with just 13 runners and 5 volunteers in London’s Bushy Park. Events now take place in more than 2,200 locations in over 20 countries around the world.
- parkrun is a UK-based global health and wellbeing charity that encourages movement in the company of others, in the outdoors, whether that be through
walking, jogging, running, volunteering or coming along to cheer and socialise. There is no time limit and no one finishes last. Everyone is welcome to come along.
- Find your local event or register at https://www.parkrun.org.uk/