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Staff celebrate NHS 70th birthday with a special Erddig Parkrun takeover

A record breaking number of people from across North East Wales turned out to participate in the Erddig Parkrun to help promote wellbeing and living healthily as part of the NHS 70th birthday celebrations.

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.

Held at the grounds of Erddig in Wrexham, a total of 317 runners took part in the event celebrating the special NHS
birthday celebration event on June 9.

The run, which featured NHS workers and members of the public, was one of hundreds of parkruns around the UK held to mark the special occasion.

Director of nursing for the East Area, Steve Forsyth said, “It’s so important to keep active which is why it’s great to see so many of our staff here with their families and friends, not only keeping healthy themselves, but also encouraging others to stay healthy too.

“We’d like to thank all the volunteers at parkrun for giving up their time to make it happen, it’s a really wonderful free event and it was fantastic to see so many people here running and enjoying the beautiful surroundings at Erddig parkrun.

“I ran in pyjamas to highlight the negative impact that staying in pyjamas can have on someone who is in hospital. It’s really important that just because someone is in hospital they shouldn’t feel that they should stay in bed.

“We know just 10 days of bed rest is the equivalent of 10 years muscle wastage, so we want people up and dressed to help promote their recovery and to keep all their daily living skills functioning independently.

“So if you’re admitted to hospital don’t forget your day clothes we want to see you on the road to recovery and getting up and about.”

As part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the NHS, the North Wales NHS Charity, Awyr Las, has launched #Give70, a one year campaign to celebrate the NHS’ birthday and the 70th anniversary of the formation of NHS Charities, and to raise money to better healthcare services across North Wales.

Cath Humes, fundraising support manager said, “#Give70 aims to encourage people across North Wales and beyond to give to the service, ward, department or special project that’s close to their heart. You can support any area of healthcare you want.

“We would love people to get involved by either setting themselves a seventy themed event or challenge. You could run 70km over the summer at park run or hold a ‘70Tea’ Party with a few friends and family to help celebrate this momentous occasion.”

Erddig parkrun Co Event Director Alex Edwards added: “It’s lovely to see so many NHS staff walking, running, volunteering and simply receive a well-earned round of applause for the incredible contribution they make to our community.

“Erddig 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 and we encourage anyone to register and join in.”

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.”

Erddig 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.

Erddig parkrun started on 14th May 2016. Since then 4,856 participants have completed 21,636 parkruns covering a total distance of 108,180 km, including 5,049 new Personal Bests.

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