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Penrith GP practice launches parkrun support

Birbeck Medical Group, Penrith, is one of the latest GP practices to become a parkrun practice and will be marking this with an NHS parkrun on 13 July.

Becoming a parkrun practice means forming links with the local parkrun to promote the health and wellbeing of patients and staff. parkruns are free, volunteer-led 5k events that take place each Saturday morning across the UK and are open to walkers, runners and volunteers of all ages and abilities. The benefits are far reaching, from improving fitness and mental wellbeing to reducing social isolation and creating a community.

Penrith parkrun sees around 250 participants take part each week. There are several keen runners at Birbeck Medical Group who wanted to become a parkrun practice so more staff and patients could benefit. Amanda the Practice Manager, explained:

“Birbeck Medical Group would like to raise awareness of the services we provide and also contribute to our local community. We recognise how exercise and socialising can improve the health and wellbeing of practice staff, patients and carers. It is equally significant to those who are already active, have health conditions or disabilities.”

The NHS long term plan, launched earlier this year, sets out plans to do more to prevent ill health and help people to stay well. Anna Larden, Integrated Care Community Living Well Coach, said:

“Getting involved in the parkrun community, either by running or volunteering helps people improve their physical health and mental wellbeing by being more active, meeting people and making social connections. Its format means that it is open to all and everyone can take part.’’

The Birbeck team will be launching this partnership on 13 July are encouraging as many NHS staff and patients to attend as possible. There are lots of different ways to get involved, be it running or walking the 5k route or volunteering on the day. Penrith parkrun has weekly volunteers who bake post run treats to encourage people to stay for a chat after the run. Birbeck Medical Group staff will be providing treats on the 13th.

Andrew Richardson, Penrith parkrun Co-Event Director, explained why they’re looking forward to having the practice on board:

“parkrun has been making a massive difference to people’s lives both physically and mentally. We have a fantastic community of participants and volunteers and are excited to work with the practice to help reach more people in our area to join us’’

Penrith parkrun takes place at 9am, Frenchfield, Penrith. It is free to attend and all abilities are welcome. To take part simply register online and print out your barcode. More details are available at https://www.parkrun.org.uk/penrith/

Birbeck is one of many practices developing links with their local parkrun. More information about parkrun is available at https://www.parkrun.org.uk

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