My experience of the NHS75 Panshanger Parkrun
17 July 2023 | Fiona Rogers QN
I was proud to take part in NHS75Parkrun event and three words sum up the day: reflection, celebration and anticipation.
I have worked for the NHS for 35 years and in May this year I joined the Queen’s Nursing Institute as Nursing Programme Manager – Innovation. Networking and being part of communities is part of both personal and professional life, sources of inspiration and motivation, especially when it comes to being more active.
Refection on the NHS, with the extensive media coverage of the 75th Birthday of the NHS, highlighted it has always been there in our lifetimes, an integral part of personal and professional life. There for the first breaths of my family’s life to the last, anxious ED waits, physio, X-rays, GP appointments, wisdom teeth… all this alongside a rewarding 35-year career with amazing opportunities and fond memories.
So how best to celebrate this rich tapestry of the past than taking part in the celebrations by joining a NHS75Parkrun, meet Kath Evans, advocate and champion for the NHS, #NHS1000 miles and everyone becoming more active. Exciting to know too that a colleague from the QNI, Rebecca Daniels, would also be joining the NHS75Parkrun celebrations but at a different venue, with her son doing his first ever Parkrun. What a special day to take part in your first Parkrun!
Celebration conjures up images of happiness, fun, and friends and all three were aplenty at Panshanger Parkrun. An epic 5 hour drive the night before with my long-term NHS friend and colleague and her daughter, coupled with an unplanned two mile walk to the start line guided by our new friend Tony through a field of cows, all before the start. The heat was beating down and my heart was beating faster and faster, with my fear of cows! With only two minutes to spare we spotted the yellow and blue T shirts of Kath, Shiv, and Ali. Time for a quick hug, introductions and heartwarming speech by Kath about the NHS followed by an appreciative round of applause. Then all 243 of us set off!
The beauty of Panshanger Park was breathtaking, acres of green dotted with lakes and areas of lush woodland. The course was tough, it was boiling hot and as I came to the final stretch, could see Kath running back to run with me to the finish – that’s Parkrun, that’s the community, that’s Kath. A cheer greeted me crossing the line in 229th place. Cakes donated by NHS staff and photos followed. The day ended having breakfast together with our hosts and a return offer of the kind hospitality of Kath, Shiv and Ali to come to Yorkshire to our local Fountains Abbey Parkrun.
It’s never easy to be more active, but it can be easier when part of a non-judgemental, encouraging community. Every little counts, and enjoying it is the key.Fiona Rogers QN
Anticipation was high the week before the run and on the day; so excited to be going, what would the traffic be like, how many people will be there, will I get to the finish line…?!
Anticipation now in a new role at the QNI, working with the NHS not for the NHS.
Anticipation about the future of the NHS, celebrating 75 years and wondering what does the future hold?
Parkrun is a free community event encouraging everyone, of all abilities, to be more active in their own way, at their own pace. The goal is to complete the 5km distance whether walking, jogging, running or a combination. #NHS1000miles is a free Twitter community where people track their weekly mileage / total and share totals and pictures with a Sunday 7.30pm tweet. The aim is to be active for a total of 1000 miles over a year starting on 1st January. It’s never easy to be more active, but it can be easier when part of a non-judgemental, encouraging community. Every little counts, and enjoying it is the key.
185,015 people took part in the “parkrun for the NHS” event and 11,715 people did their first ever Parkrun, including Rebecca’s son. What a day to remember!
Fiona Rogers, QN
Check out #NHS1000miles on Twitter
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