Athletics legend Steve Cram praises ‘fantastic’ NHS midwives leading new pilot scheme

The Commonwealth Games gold medal winner is also the founder of the Kielder Marathon

Olympic legend and local lad Steve Cram has praised the work of 'fantastic ambassadors' from the NHS who are trying to keep the region fit.

The 61-year-old was joined by three local midwives to lead a group run from the brand new £22.6m Active Northumberland Berwick Sports & Leisure Centre last Thursday.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of just four organisations in the country to be part of the Active Hospitals pilot, which seeks to train healthcare professionals to promote physical activity and signpost patients to resources or support services for physical activity.

Cram was joined by Berwick midwives Paula Thomas, Ailsa Wedderburn and Wendy Scott at the state of the art centre to lead a run.

There were also calls to sign up for the Kielder Marathon in October, a race that Cram himself founded.

The race celebrated its 12th anniversary this year and is known as 'Britain's most beautiful' thanks to its stunning landscapes.

Steve Cram thanked the midwives for the work they are doing

Steve Cram said: “We all know how important getting active is for everyone’s physical and mental health, but simply repeating that statement time and again won’t change anything.

"So, it’s brilliant that Northumberland County Council has invested in this excellent new facility and we’re delighted to be working with Active Northumberland and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to really push the message about the support available to residents.

"Talking of pushing, as midwives who work at the heart of the community, Paula, Ailsa and Wendy are fantastic ambassadors and I am sure that they will encourage more people to take up running and join us at Kielder in October.”

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of just four organisations in the country to be part of the Active Hospitals pilot

The trust’s coordinator for Active Hospitals, Ruth Stevens, comments: “Any kind of physical activity and movement is beneficial and can boost your physical, mental and social wellbeing, which is why we are so keen to ensure that our staff can be active themselves and can also explain and promote the benefits to patients.

"An event like the Kielder Marathon can play a major role in encouraging people to get active, but whether it’s running a marathon, exploring the fantastic Northumberland countryside or something much smaller, every movement counts and it’s all about discovering the right activity for you.”