In the past 18 months, some 1,500 GP surgeries have signed up to encourage patients to take part in their local parkrun. Those who never thought they could run 5km (3 miles) and now consider the event a lifeline describe how the experience has improved their health and outlook.

‘It’s changed my life’

Kelly Barton has no vision in her right eye and a tiny amount of sight in her left. She was registered blind at birth and at 40, had never gone for a run.

Though she went to the gym, she had always been told by trainers that running would be “too difficult and inaccessible” for her. When she trained with a group, she stayed inside while others in the session went running and

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