Celebrate International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day and take part in parkrun

Whether you walk, jog or run the course, volunteer to support or come along to cheer on others, join us and get involved in a parkrun event on 4 May to celebrate our midwives and 11 May to celebrate our nurses. 

Every year on International Day of the Midwife (5 May) and International Nurses Day (12 May), we celebrate the enormous contribution our nursing and midwifery professions make across the NHS, health and social care, our communities and the world.

These two days give us an opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect on the dedication and expertise of our diverse and highly skilled workforce, and the difference those within it make to so many patients and families every single day.

This year we are also asking you to get moving and join us in taking part in a parkrun event to mark the days.

We are encouraging midwives to take part in their local parkrun event on Saturday 4 May in celebration of International Day of the Midwife, and we’re encouraging nurses to do the same on Saturday 11 May in celebration of International Nurses Day.

We will both be running the 5km course, and we want to encourage as many nurses and midwives as possible to join us.

Whether you’re already an avid parkrunner or attending for the first time, there are lots of ways to get involved. You can walk, jog or run the course, volunteer to support, or come along to cheer on your colleagues. With more than 1,240 parkrun events taking place across the UK every week, there should be one happening near you.

These events are not only a fantastic way to mark our annual international days of recognition but they’re also a great way for us to all get more active, socialise and think about our own health and wellbeing, as well as encourage others to do the same.

Talk to your colleagues and register together, encourage your patients, friends and family to take part too, wear NHS blue or fancy dress and, most importantly, make sure you get involved as we get together to celebrate International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day this May.

Once you have registered for parkrun or if you are already registered, make sure you also join our International Day of the Midwife group or our International Nurses Day group so we can see how many people take part and share in our achievements.

Get involved

If you want to get involved, register in advance for parkrun and attend your local event on 4 May to mark International Day of the Midwife or on 11 May to mark International Nurses Day.

Visit the parkrun website to find your local event and register for free.

Ruth May

Ruth enjoyed national appointments with NHS Improvement and Monitor, as well as regional and trust leadership roles, before becoming the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England in January 2019.

In June 2022, as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours, Ruth was awarded a DBE for her services to nursing, midwifery and the NHS since she started her nurse training in 1985. Upon receiving her Damehood, Ruth recognised the expertise of nursing and midwifery colleagues in caring for people at every stage of their lives and the vital role that the professions and care staff played during the pandemic. Ruth has led the nursing, midwifery and care professions’ response to COVID-19 in England and led collaborative work with UK CNO colleagues, the NMC and trade unions to ensure agreement and consistent messaging on key issues.

She is passionate about nurturing the next generation of NHS nursing and midwifery leaders and encouraging professional development opportunities. This includes advocating for improved mental health awareness, championing volunteer activity to support the frontline workforce, and she is a vocal supporter of the WRES agenda and increased diversity across the NHS.

Proud mum to her wonderful daughter, Ruth is a great believer in a healthy professional and home life balance for all.

Find Ruth on Twitter @CNOEngland / #teamCNO.

Photograph of Kate Brintworth, Chief Midwifery Officer for England

Kate Brintworth RM, BSc (Hons) MSc is the Chief Midwifery Officer for England and has worked strategically across many parts of the maternity system, including as Regional Chief Midwife for London, Head of Maternity Transformation at the Royal College of Midwives, and Head of Maternity Commissioning for East London.

In East London she led the delivery of the Sustainability and transformation partnership maternity plan, the East London ‘Better Birth’ pioneer programme and development of the local maternity system. As Regional Chief Midwife for London, Kate led the implementation of the successful Capital Midwife Ethnic Minority Midwives Fellowship to support band 6 and 7 midwives from global majority groups to move into leadership roles, with Kate and the Capital Midwife team subsequently receiving an equality, diversity and inclusion award at the Royal College of Midwives in May 2023.

Kate has also been part of national and regional maternity networks, including the London Local Supervising Authority, national expert reference groups for commissioning, postnatal and continuity of care, and research steering groups for complex programmes of research.

She has worked in multiple roles as a midwife including as a community midwife, labour ward co-ordinator and manager. Her special interests are reducing inequalities for both service users and staff, coproduction, system working, the reorganisation of services, tariff and women making complex care choices.