NHS staff take part in first Somerset Night Walk

Date: 08 November 2019

Almost 170 NHS staff from Somerset braved the weather to take part in a six mile night walk this month.

It was part of a bid to encourage people to get active and get moving – and NHS staff from across the wards and departments at Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been leading by example.

The walk was the first of its kind and the idea came from a group of NHS staff who act as champions of wellbeing to encourage fellow staff to look after their health.

It’s just one of a number of ways to help protect the health and wellbeing of those who work long and often evenings, nights and weekends.

The walk was organised by charity Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) and community interest company, Channel Events, as a thank you to NHS staff for the amazing work they do.

Alison Wootton, deputy chief nurse at Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership, was among the staff who took part in the walk.

“It was lovely to meet up with so many colleagues, to walk and talk, as well as meet their families and 4-legged friends too, she said.

 “Our staff are top class when it comes to looking after their patients, but we must remember to look after ourselves and each other too.

 “There was a lot of rain, and lots of mud, but it’s so important as the evenings draw in to get out and enjoy some fresh air.

“The buzz of voices and pathways lit up with torches made it almost magical, and I certainly felt invigorated. Thank you to the organisers and marshals who encouraged us along the way, and to my brilliant colleagues who joined in.”

Jane Knowles, chief executive 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.”

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. The atmosphere for the entire evening was great, lots of laughter despite the very muddy course and occasional downpours of rain.