NHS staff take part in first Somerset Night Walk
Posted: Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:30
The stunning Longrun Meadow and French Weir Park welcomed 163 NHS staff on Friday 1st November for the first Somerset NHS Night Walk, an exhilarating 6-mile walk in the surrounding areas of Longrun Meadow. Staff from Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership, along with friends and family, donned their walking boots and high vis to take on the challenge.
NHS staff are at the front line when it comes to supporting those with health and well-being issues, so this event was a thankyou back to NHS staff for the amazing work they do but also to showcase and provide opportunities for staff to move more and to think about their wellbeing. The walk was a chance to be out in the fresh air, the opportunity to talk with colleagues away from the workplace and leave the stresses of life to one side for the evening.
The walk organised by charity Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) and community interest company, Channel Events, is the first of its kind and the concept came from a NHS working group, looking into how to protect the health and wellbeing of their staff who work long and often anti-social hours often in pressurised conditions.
Jane Knowles, CEO of SASP said "Health and wellbeing is such an important element of our lives, from our family life, to our own individual feelings, but also importantly, our workplace where we spend so much time. Therefore, it's crucial we look after both our physical and mental health and this is often helped by doing enjoyable and social activities, such as walking or taking part in sports and other physical activities."
Staff from across the wards and departments of Musgrove Park Hospital and Sompar have already been supporting each other to get more active, to help combat tiredness and increase positive mental health in what is often a stressful and pressurized job. The night walk concept was chosen because it highlighted unsocial working hours and enabled supporters from outside the NHS staff to take part. The event was free to NHS staff and a small charge for non-NHS staff, of which half goes directly into funds to support NHS staff. These initiatives will be managed by the Foundation Trusts Physical Activity Working Group which is run by and for staff from across the Trust.
The walk started with a mass warm up in front of the Centre for Outdoor Activity & Community Hub (COACH) led by personal trainer Ben from Applebees Fitness and The Weir Café were also providing hot drinks and goodies for people before and after the event. The atmosphere for the entire evening was great, lots of laughter despite the very muddy course and occasional downpours of rain.
Take a listen to the interview with Darren from Tone News on the night of the evening with event organiser Sarah Coombs (SASP) and Dan Brice (Channel Events).
A big thankyou to the volunteers who gave up their time to marshal the event and to everyone that took part.
Download your walk photos here - A big thankyou to Stuart Lessels from 1000th Photography for some great images from the evening.
For more information on SASP and our Workplace Activity offer, take a look at our website.