A HOSPITAL has teamed up with an outdoor running movement to help its staff and patients to build up their fitness and social life.

Glan Clwyd Hospital has teamed up with the Bodelwyddan branch of Parkrun, the worldwide weekly running event, to help people working and receiving care at the site socialise and stay active.

The hospital’s senior leadership team joined forces with the running event organisers with the hope of encouraging visitors to the hospital to take part too.

Parkrun events are free, inclusive five kilometre runs organised by volunteers across the world for people of all athletic abilities.

Parkrun’ers are encouraged to run, jog or walk the course, with the emphasis on health and enjoyment rather than racing against others.

At the Bodelwyddan parkrun, which started in August, participants have regularly tackled the course which runs through the grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle, just a short distance from the hospital, while being cheered on by volunteers as well as spectating friends and family.

Emma Hosking, medical director for Glan Clwyd Hospital, said: “Parkrun isn’t your typical ‘for-runners’ event – it’s a social activity with the added benefit of helping everyone involved get fit and active.

“Everyone can benefit from getting out more, whether that’s as a participant or as a volunteer, and we hope it’ll give our staff an opportunity to socialise with other people from the hospital.

“We have a lot of doctors on site who are visiting the UK for the first time, who don’t come here with any friends or family and don’t have a car to travel.

“Bodelwyddan Parkrun being within walking distance of the hospital provides a fantastic opportunity to meet people, break down isolation away from work and get involved in the local community.

“We’re working with our clinicians to give them the information to share with our patients and their families about how they could benefit from taking part.”

As well as providing information for clinicians to share with patients, the hospital’s management team is also planning on giving new staff information about the running events, as well as sharing information on how to take part in hospital’s on-site accommodation.

Eva Brewer, organiser of the Bodelwyddan Parkrun, who also works for Welsh Athletics, said: “Our parkrun is a really friendly event, with an emphasis on socialising and ensuring nobody feels under pressure to compete.

“Usually we get close to 100 runners taking part every week, but there’s a real mix in abilities, from club runners to people who walk the course.

“The focus for us is really about the social aspect of running – it’s all about getting people out and socialising while also exercising.”

To find out about a running event near you, visit Parkrun’s events page.