More than 350 NHS staff from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) – including the Group Chairman and Chief Executive – are taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May as part of ‘Team MFT’. As well as promoting staff health and wellbeing, they will be raising funds for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s charity. 

The charity supports treatment, research and care at; Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe Hospital, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Saint Mary’s Hospital, University Dental Hospital of Manchester, Withington Community Hospital and Trafford Hospitals.

Team MFT will all take part in distinctive ‘NHS blue’ T-shirts, running together as a blue wave in the event, alongside the tens of thousands of others taking on the 10km course through the city’s streets.

The initiative has been led by MFT Group Chairman, Kathy Cowell OBE DL, and Chief Executive, Sir Michael Deegan, who will be taking part in the event alongside hundreds of their colleagues.

Kathy said: “I am so proud to be taking part in this year’s Great Manchester Run for the first time, alongside so many dedicated colleagues who already go above and beyond for our patients every day.

“By being a part of ‘Team MFT’, colleagues will be making improvements to their own personal health and wellbeing, and helping to make a real difference by fundraising for our patients.

“The event will also be an opportunity to celebrate our work as part of the NHS on its 70th anniversary and the amazing contribution our hospitals and services make to the City of Manchester and the communities we serve.”

One of the staff taking part in the event, Kath Eaton, Acting Lead Nurse at the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Mary’s Hospital, had an extra boost to her training when she travelled to London last month with two colleagues, to meet Sir Mo Farah, who will be leading the elite field at the event. 

Kath said: “Mo was a great inspiration to ‘get running’ and gave me good advice on training as a person who has never run before. This is my first official run and I’m looking forward to enjoying the experience with the team of NICU nurses.”

Also running is Geraldine Thompson, Head of Clinical Photography and Medical Illustration Services. Having previously completed a marathon, this will be her first official run since undergoing major surgery in 2015.

Geraldine was inspired to put her trainers on and take on the 10k with Team MFT to raise funds, in memory of two colleagues who sadly passed away last year.

With her training now underway, Geraldine, who has already reached £850 of her £1,000 fundraising target, said: “I’m enjoying being active again but I know that the challenge won’t be easy.

“The pain I experience in training is nothing in comparison to the pain that some people have to deal with, so I’m choosing to support Team MFT and the work that the charity does.”

The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run will give participants a unique view of the city, with a course that passes Old Trafford, the Imperial War Museum and The Lowry before heading back to the spectator-packed finish line in the shadow of Beetham Tower on Deansgate.

The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run will be shown live on BBC 2 from 12:00 to 14:30, entries are still open at Greatrun.org/Manchester