THE UL Hospitals Group has announced this week that it has chosen Pieta House as its charity for a ‘From Couch to 5k’ fitness challenge, which has seen HSE and hospital staff undergo training and exercise programmes since July.
The two-month initiative, which began last month, will finish up with a 5k run and walk to and from Raheen and the University Hospital Limerick (UHL), on Friday, August 21, at 6.30pm.
Each entry fee is €10 for each participant, and all proceeds will go to Pieta House, the suicide and self harm crisis centre.
The programme, which commenced at Mary Immaculate College on a two-day-a-week basis, is one of the first of its kind to be run by the group’s health and wellbeing committee, as they aim to “improve the health and wellness of all staff”.
The event will be timed and stewarded, with medical staff also on standby throughout the 5k run.
A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said that all UL Hospitals and HSE staff are welcome to participate in the event and to support their colleagues, which kicks off at the main hospital entrance.
The fundraiser fitness challenge was set up as a response to the Government and HSE placing an “increasing emphasis on keeping the population healthy”.
The group’s chief financial officer, Hugh Brady said that health and fitness is a “priority” for the UL Hospitals group’s staff.
“Measures we have already taken include the rollout of a tobacco-free policy at all of our hospitals and the introduction of healthy eating options in our canteens and hospital shops. UL Hospitals have also been liaising with Limerick Smarter Travel with a view to incorporating our Dooradoyle campus into the successful Coke Zero free bike scheme,” he said.
He added that gardens, artwork and music within the hospitals have also been developed “to produce a positive and caring environment for patients, families and staff”.