Volunteers inspire NHS staff to take their first step to leading a healthier and happier lifestyle
30th November 2020
Submitted by Lesley Finlay, Western Health & Social Care Trust (WHSCT)
In April 17 and February 19 WHSCT secured funding from the Public Health Agency to offer Trust staff the opportunity to gain a Leadership in Running Fitness qualification through Athletics NI. A total of 32 staff gave up their free time on a Saturday to attend the intensive one day course and became qualified as Run Leaders.
They committed to support delivery of Couch to 5k programmes to their Trust colleagues in a voluntary capacity. This involved preparation, delivery of two sessions per week for eight weeks and offering encouragement and information via Whatsapp.
Their commitment and enthusiasm supported staff to become more active and improve their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing as well as form new social and professional networks with colleagues from other departments and directorates.
A huge thankyou to each and every one of our 32 fantastic volunteer Run Leaders who continue to make WHSCT a Great Place to Work and a Great Place to Live for our staff.
In two and a half years, these volunteer Run Leaders delivered an amazing 26 couch to 5K programmes and one 5-10k programme to several hundred Trust staff throughout the Western Trust. These programmes saw numerous staff complete their first 5k, and inspired many to continue their running journey on a regular basis and even progress to 10k, 10mile, relays and half marathon level. Unfortunately running programmes were unable to take place during COVID but several past participants highlighted that they were continuing to run independently and found it a great way to relieve stress and maintain their activity levels within restrictions imposed during COVID.
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