Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust take over Harrogate parkrun

Staff from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust are joining the Harrogate parkun Team on Saturday 19 March to remember the second anniversary of the first UK National Lockdown.

After two incredibly difficult years for the NHS, healthcare staff are giving back by supporting the communities that showed equal support throughout the pandemic. Aid from local communities has provided everything from extra PPE to protect staff in infectious environments, to items for Festive Hamper Appeals spreading festive cheer to families across the Trust footprint through tough times.

parkruns are a collection of free, weekly, 5k runs in locations across the world that are accessible to all and are manned by volunteers. The Harrogate branch of parkrun takes place at 9am every Saturday on The Stray, encouraging people to walk, jog, run or cheer on others to create a positive and inclusive experience.

HDFT staff will help set up the course, run at various paces to help participants achieve their personal bests as well as cheer on and walk at the back of the race to ensure all participants feel supported.

The NHS and parkrun already have close ties, many members of staff taking part weekly as volunteers or runners and some GP practices prescribing attendance to parkrun events for its health and social benefits.

HDFT Adult Community Service Manager and parkrun volunteer William Greenwood said, “parkrun was founded on a principle of improving mental wellbeing, the physical side of it was almost secondary.

“It is all about starting the weekend on a positive note, meeting new people, taking part in a walk or run and finishing with a slice of cake and a coffee.

“Within the event itself there are lots of micro communities who all support each other.

“It is an event that is open to absolutely everyone. Every week you will likely see people walking or running with their dogs, pushing prams, supporting visually impaired people.

“Some will complete in the run in under 20 mins and others will finish in over an hour, but thanks to the tail walker no one ever finishes last and the volunteers stay to cheer everyone to the end.”

If you would like to attend, please register on the parkrun website to receive your unique barcode to bring on the day so your race time can be recorded.

The first 300 runners through the finish line will be gifted a sustainable Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity tote bag full of healthy goodies.

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