In an exciting, innovative, award-winning initiative, the RCGP is collaborating with parkrun UK to promote the health and wellbeing of staff and patients. This social prescribing project encourages GP practices of all sizes to link with their local parkrun events to become parkrun practices. As a parkrun practice, the surgery encourages staff and patients to take part in parkrun.
Over 1,700 GP surgeries are now parkrun practices. Join today and improve the health and wellbeing of your staff and patients through increased physical activity, skill development, friendships and socialising, mutual support and personal empowerment.
A community based physical activity charity with more than 125,000 weekly participants in the UK
5k parkrun events every Saturday morning in areas of open space
2k junior parkruns for 4-14 year olds and their families every Sunday morning
Over 1,000 locations around the UK
All events are delivered by local volunteers
All events are entirely free to take part in
parkruns are not races and there is no time limit - people can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate
parkrun is open to all
They are suitable for the whole family to take part in
All participants should register with parkrun beforehand, and bring their personal barcode to the event. There is a dedicated support site with FAQs, or alternatively people can contact the local event team using the contact details on the event’s website.
The parkrun practice initiative is a voluntary collaboration between a GP practice and a local parkrun event, with the practice making a commitment to promoting parkrun.
Before registering to be a parkrun practice, we ask that you reach out to your local parkrun event team, via the contact details on the event website, or go along to your local parkrun event to introduce yourself and let them know your practice
is interested in registering to be a parkrun practice.
Many practices are lucky to have more than one parkrun event nearby, so you may have the opportunity to link with more than one. It is however important that you contact the team for each event.
Once you have spoken to the team and have their agreement, you can now register your practice here. It only takes a couple of minutes, and any member of practice staff can register. It is useful if one staff member acts as the principal contact
for the initiative.
You can find a range of resources below to help you have a conversation with your staff, patients, and community, get everyone involved and join in the parkrun fun! Being a parkrun practice really doesn't take up much time, and there are huge
benefits to getting involved!
If there is not yet a parkrun event nearby, you could emulate Sloan Medical Centre in Sheffield and start one.
GP staff and patients up and down the country have spoken about the positive benefits of being a parkrun practice and participating in parkrun. This has been substantiated by research, with academic papers being published in the British Journal of General Practitioners (BJGP) and in Health and Social Care in the Community. The following testimonials provide a flavour of how the parkrun practice initiative is being implemented and is impacting the health and wellbeing of staff and patients in a multitude of ways.
"We are a parkrun practice and we think it's a great thing! The name (parkrun) is a little misleading as you don't have to run, you can walk too. There is a volunteer role called a parkwalker to encourage more walkers to attend parkrun. I would urge you
to go along and watch one in your local park so you can see what it's all about. As well as getting people to be more active, there is a lot to be said for volunteering and feeling part of a community. We recently did a volunteer takeover where we
got lots of our staff and our PPG involved in volunteering. One of our PPG members has volunteered nearly every week at parkrun since!"
Fran Practice Manager at Harbourside Family Practice