The NHS is turning 70 and they are celebrating with a special birthday parkrun

Image: NHS England

On Saturday 9th June 2018, to mark and celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday on Thursday 5th July, they have teamed up with parkrun UK to jointly host the NHS70 parkrun.

Launched by double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, over 300 local parkruns will be holding special events all over the country, both celebrating the achievements of the NHS and encouraging people to get active.

This coming Saturday, local parkruns will be giving their regular events an NHS theme, with NHS staff, patients and the public being encouraged to attend. 

Related: Running makes you a happier person - new research by parkrun and Strava confirms 

parkruns are volunteer-led 5K events that take place every Saturday morning in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Next Saturday, runners are being encouraged to don NHS-themed attire (think scrubs and doctor's overalls), to celebrate the work the NHS does.

Dame Kelly Holmes, who is not only a regular attendee at her local parkrun, but practised as a nursing assistant before joinging the British Army and becoming a full-time athlete said: “The NHS is there for us in the best and worst of times, as my family and I experienced during my late mother’s illness last year. NHS staff work hard to support us and parkrun for the NHS is the perfect opportunity for people to show their support for the NHS in its 70th year. I too will be supporting the event on 9 June.” 

Chrissie Wellington, Head of Health and Wellbeing at parkrun said: “We want to encourage healthcare practitioners to signpost people to parkrun, especially those who are least active and have long term conditions, because we know that participating in parkrun can help improve health and wellbeing. parkrun for the NHS is the perfect way for us to increase awareness of parkrun amongst the health service while at the same time paying tribute to the enormous contribution of NHS staff.” 

Ian Dodge, NHS England’s national director of strategy and innovation, said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with parkrun to organise this event. The number of parkruns taking part is testament to the pride that people feel for the NHS and its staff. We encourage as many people as possible to get involved.” 

An event organised to celebrate and thank the NHS staff and the vital role they play, there are now more than 300 parkruns signed up to be part of the NHS70 parkrun and more than 85,000 runners are expected to take part. You can find the most updated list of local parkruns taking part here and follow the links to sign up to your nearest run.