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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Health centre Friends help park runners keep up pace


* Friends chair John Palmer makes sure the refreshments table is ready for the runners.

Llangollen's Old Railway Trail parkrun has proved to be very popular.  

The first one was in June and since then the Friends of Llangollen Health Centre have been providing coffee, tea, soft drinks, biscuits and flapjacks for those taking part. 

The charity’s constitution was adopted in 2015 with the object of relieving sickness and preserving good health amongst permanent or temporary residents in the catchment area of the health centre GP practice by providing facilities, support services and equipment.

Since 2015 the Friends have purchased additional equipment for the practice, contributed to the cost of a number of defibrillators in Llangollen and Pentredwr, paid for training the volunteers at the Food Share and the cost of a venue for armchair exercises.  

Prior to Covid the Friends also ran a café in the waiting room of the health centre, which was very popular, and do their best to keep the garden tidy.

* If you have a project that you think they could help to fund, contact the chair at or ring 07515051696.

Mike Edwards, joint event director of the parkrun, said: "It actually started on June 17 when we had 249 participants with many parkrun tourists from across the UK who came to the inaugural event. 

"Last Saturday, September 23, was the 15th event and each week about 18 people give up their time to volunteer so that the event can be put on safely. Numbers of participants have settled down to just under 100 per event, mainly locals but we are still attracting visitors to the Dee Valley.

"We are greatly appreciative of the facilities being provided each week by John and his team from the Friends of the Health Centre as those taking part are always ready for a drink post event. Many also go on to visit the cafes in town for a coffee and substantial full Welsh breakfast.

"Michael Clarke, a former GP at the Health Centre, and myself are joint event directors supported by an enthusiastic group of volunteers who give up their time each week to be run directors, timekeepers, marshals etc. The set-up starts before 8am so that the course is all marked out for the event to start at 9am.

"We have had tremendous support from landowners, David Shiel and Ros Stockdale at the AoNB Partnership, Steven Johnson, owner of the Llandyn Caravan Park, and the guys from The Bearded Men’s Outdoor Pursuits, t
he doctors' partnership at the Health Centre, especially Janet Knight who is a regular volunteer and run director. 

"The Health Centre is also a Parkrun Practice and encourages patients to join the parkrun community to volunteer, walk, jog or run to enhance their health and wellbeing."

* Park runners tuck into the refreshments.

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