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Join the Great North Run to raise money for the iHV

22nd January 2014

Dear Colleagues

You may have heard that a group of us are planning to do the Great North Run on 07.09.14.  Here’s a bit of background……

Great North Run medal

Great North Run medal

In July 2013, I received an email inviting me to apply to ‘win’ a place in the Great North Run (GNR). So whilst having a moment, I thought I would accept the chance to win, never believing I would. Shortly afterwards I received confirmation that I had indeed ‘won’ a place.

With only 12 weeks before I would be expected to run a half marathon, panic was my initial reaction! I was not a runner, didn’t enjoy running and had no idea how to go about training and preparing for this. I did have a kind of analogy though. I wanted to test out a personal theory/idea. I wanted to see if that by upping my game in the fitness area it would transfer to other areas of my life. I had a membership at a gym and worked out in a tokenistic way (ah reflection)! I wanted to see if I pushed myself in one area it would ignite my motivation for other areas in my life. IT DID!!

When I told people what I was doing there was a mixture of reactions, but overwhelmingly there was real support and such goodwill. I was to run on behalf of the NSPCC. A fantastic charity. I trained hard, it was a struggle fitting it in with everything else and I seemed to constantly ache. However, once I had got my head around the idea that maybe I could run, I was determined. I completed the run in 2 hours 14 minutes (would have been quicker if I had not stopped to ring my mum and daughter and excitedly tell them when I was at the last 800, 400 and 200 meters)! It was an AMAZING experience. It should be mandatory on the ‘bucket list’.

During July, my colleague Maggie Scargill and I were also privileged to participate in some Perinatal Mental Health Training provided by the Institute for Health Visiting (iHV).  Dr Cheryll Adams (Founding Director of the iHV) and Dr Jane Hanley (President of the Marce Society), were the facilitators and we came away from that training greatly inspired.  The iHV are a fantastic champion of the role and value that Health Visitors can have in delivering Public Health Outcomes. They have a commitment, passion and vision that we believe will see them be a real tour de force that will significantly shape the lives of our families for the better. A friend worth making. They truly are an excellent resource and support.

Now you have the background information, I feel I can put forward the proposal! I would like to get as many Health Visitors as possible, nationally to undertake the GNR on behalf of the iHV and our partners the NSPCC in September 2014. It is scheduled to take place on Newcastle.  It is a half marathon (13.1 miles).  I think it would be a great opportunity for us to raise our profile with the public and the local and national policy makers, integrate with partner agencies and achieve something amazing personally.

I am navigating my way around the social media sites and we do have a Facebook page and Twitter account.  Facebook is whilst Twitter is @GreatHVGreatNR.

So far there are about 20 Health Visitors who have definitely committed to doing the GNR and lots of interest from HVs nationally…..PLEASE JOIN US.  We have got commitment from Professor Sally Kendall and Professor Ros Bryar, founding members of the iHV and Lisa Bayliss-Pratt Chief nurse Health Education England (there is no getting out of it now)! We have lots of exciting events planned ….boot camps on the beach and The Great North Easter Egg Hunt…and press releases due.

We hope that closer working partnerships will be developed between HVs, their host organisation and the NSPCC locally as well as greater public awareness (locally and nationally), of who their HVs are and what great work we do, with the ultimate aim of making a real difference to the lives of our children and their families. You can enter directly via Bupa at  The ballot is open until 5th February and if successful in securing a place this way it costs £50.

If you do not get a place or indeed if you would prefer to register directly with the NSPCC, then go to these places are £20 and you have to commit to raising the NSPCC a minimum sponsorship of £400 anything after this you can split with the iHV – you may like to split all monies 50/50 or £400 to NSPCC the rest iHV, its very much up to you how you go about this. In Hull we are taking a team approach and having a  collective responsibility for raising monies. If you do decide to register with the NSPCC will you please put that you are an iHV runner on the form. Any queries please do contact.

We will be supplying you with ideas for fund raising, copies of letters requesting sponsorship and a Just Giving page as well as ongoing support throughout the next nine months.

Please do get involved, drop us  an e mail [email protected] or [email protected]  …spread the word.. (NEW YEAR NEW YOU) either as a runner or supporter…. Lets  Run With It….

Melita Walker, Hull

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