Worthing parkrun is teaming up with mental health charity Heads On to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.
The run in Beach House Gardens on Saturday is part of a nationwide initiative aiming to inspire people to take part in physical activity and volunteering.
Worthing is joining hundreds of parkruns across the UK for NHS70 parkrun to recognise the contribution of the NHS to the health of the nation.
It will be a double celebration, as it is also Worthing parkrun’s second birthday.
Co-ordinated entirely by volunteers, the 5k run takes place every Saturday, next to Splashpoint Leisure Centre, starting at 9am. It is open to walkers and runners of all ages and abilities, and free to enter.
This week, Christine Gibbons, chairman of parkrun global, will be joining them. She has worked in many roles in the NHS and will be sharing her thoughts on the partnership between parkrun and the NHS.
Duncan Anderson and Matt Owen, event directors, said: “We would love to see as many NHS staff as possible on the day, to walk, run, volunteer or simply receive a well-earned round of applause for the incredible contribution they make to our community.
“Worthing parkrun is a friendly, welcoming event that provides a perfect opportunity to get out in the fresh air to socialise and be physically active in a supportive environment.”
People are encouraged to dress in NHS and birthday-related outfits, particularly anything that makes others smile and challenges the stigma of mental health.
Heads On is Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, supporting people experiencing mental health challenges.
Rachael Duke, head of charity, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be Worthing parkrun’s charity partner celebrating 70 years of the NHS and their second birthday.
“As the NHS charity for Sussex Partnership, Heads On fundraises for our local mental health services and it is fantastic to be part of parkrun - something that has so many positive benefits for mental health.
“Running and the social side of parkrun are hugely valued by people facing mental health challenges and we are really looking forward to working together to celebrate our birthdays.
“We can’t wait to see lots of runners in fancy dress, wearing things to make people smile and challenge some of the stigma around mental health.”
There will be information available on the day about parkrun, the NHS and mental health, plus cake to celebrate the two birthdays.
Registration is free on the parkrun website at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/register