A TEAM of midwives is set to take on the Great South Run as a morale boosting exercise – alongside their team mate's five-year-old son who is awaiting spinal surgery.
Jenny Evans, 40, a midwife on the maternity ward at Queen Alexandria Hospital, will be running to raise money for Tree of Hope, a charity that supports her son, Finn, who has cerebral palsy.
She said: ‘There are 15 members of staff from the maternity ward taking part, and it really does boost morale.
‘Being a midwife, there’s all sorts of emotional highs and lows.
‘Training gives you some time away to clear you head.
‘Finn’s training so far has consisted of dashing around the house like The Flash.’
Jenny will be joined by Finn, who will be taking part in the Mini Great South Run, which sees children aged three to eight take part in a 1.5k run. Finn is confident he could finish with a good time, but is worried his mum will be a little ‘slow’.
The team’s inspired efforts comes as the Great South Run is to partner with the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust for the first time in an effort to improve staff mental health.
The race, which is celebrating its 30th year, will work with the Trust to help staff stay physically and mentally fit by training for the 10k and 5k races in October.
The project follows the Great Manchester Run working with the Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, which saw more than 400 members of staff taking part last year.
Partnerships manager David Hart said it was a chance for staff to ‘practise what they preach’ in terms of mental and physical well-being.
He said: ‘This is an exciting moment in what will be the 30-year history of the Great South Run.
‘It will be the first year we have worked with the NHS here in Portsmouth.
Staff in Portsmouth will be running in special blue T-shirts to show they work for the NHS, an idea that received an ‘amazing’ response in Manchester, according to David.
He said: ‘It was like a mass thank you, so we’re looking forward to doing the same here in Portsmouth.’
The race has been held in Portsmouth since 1991, with Mo Farrah and Paula Radcliffe being among the winners of previous events.