Whitstable Medical Practice @ Parkrun – come along and join us!

Grab your trainers because at Whitstable Medical Practice we want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our local Parkrun event. We are already a Royal College of GPs “Parkrun Practice” but we want to do more to help patients who need a bit more support to come along for the first time.

From Saturday 6th April 2024 and then on the first Saturday of every month members of the practice Lifestyle Medicine team will be there to welcome any patients who want to attend, and walk/jog with you if you want. 




So much research shows the vital role physical activity plays in keeping us both physically & mentally healthy. There is also lots of evidence around the social and community benefits of taking part in Parkrun and similar events. You may feel nervous about coming along to Parkrun due to physical or mental health barriers. We hope that these events will be a supportive way to make a start, by knowing that someone from the practice will be there to welcome and support you.

The Whitstable Parkrun team and volunteers are also happy to help. If you want to jog/run there are volunteer pacers at a whole range of speeds that you can take part with if you want. However even more importantly, Parkrun is not just about jogging – many regular participants walk the course every week, “Parkwalk”, and there is always a volunteer tail walker at the back so no one is ever last. You can also just come along and spectate or volunteer if you prefer, there are lots of health and wellbeing benefits for all of these things.


The Lifestyle Medicine group at Whitstable Medical Practice, led by GPs Dr Jacky Buchanan and Dr John Ribchester, is raising the profile of lifestyle as a way to prevent and treat a whole host of chronic diseases including mental health issues, often in combination with other treatments. Physical activity such as Parkrun or Parkwalk is hugely important to our health and wellbeing. Up to 40% of long term conditions could be prevented if everyone met the UK physical activity recommendations. Our website has more information:

Lifestyle as Physical Medicine


A patient of Dr Buchanan’s has kindly written the following about her experience of attending Parkrun during her recovery from cancer:

“Last year in the middle of Covid I got breast cancer which resulted in various chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Nobody tells you how tired you will be, however I made sure I walked around my garden every day because that stopped me feeling shut in. I really wanted to get out for a walk and by chance I found that the 5k Parkrun/walk took place in Tankerton. First time I was a little nervous in case I couldn’t manage it. What I found was I could do as little or as much as I wanted and I didn’t have to run I could walk it. I also found I met some amazing friendly people to chat to. When I did feel I could do the whole circuit I had so much encouragement from the team. I am always the last person over the line but it doesn’t matter, they have tail walkers that stay with you. 

I can honestly say my mental wellbeing really changed by not feeling trapped inside. I would highly recommend anyone going through the cancer journey to come along. You only have to do what you want to, there are no judgements”


Here is the link for Whitstable Parkrun, we would love you to come along, it is free to sign up and get a barcode on your phone that you present at the end of the event: Whitstable Parkrun          

If you have any questions about the initiative please email info.wmp@nhs.net and mark your email for the attention of “Dr Jacky Buchanan re Parkrun” .

First Saturday of every month find the Whitstable Medical Practice Lifestyle medicine members there to welcome you, they will be wearing practice “lifestyle as medicine” T-shirts as in the picture and holding a sign with similar graphics!

Huge thanks to Peter Old and James Flanagan local Liberal Democrat councillors for funding the T-shirts for this project from their opportunities fund.