ONE of the oldest workers in the NHS will take on a five-mile run in her 70s to help children she looks after get the best care possible.

Eileen Williams turns 71 today but that does not stop her from working as a health visitor with young children and their parents twice a week.

Nor will it stop her from taking on this year’s OX5 run at Blenheim Palace to raise money for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The mother-of-two from North Oxford has worked in healthcare in Oxford for more than 50 years and will be taking on the OX5 for the third time in April.

She said: “It’s a beautiful setting and I enjoy running but it’s really because I work with children up to five and their parents.

“The children’s hospital is close to my heart and I don’t think I have ever heard a parent say anything negative about it.

“It can be so scary for parents but the staff do a great job up there.”

Mrs Williams now works mainly at Donnington Health Centre as a health visitor, supporting parents bringing up young children. But her medical career began as a student in 1963 at the former Radcliffe Infirmary, in Woodstock Road.

She then trained as a midwife at the maternity unit at the Churchill Hospital, in Headington, until 1968 then worked as a midwife in the Wheatley and Horspath areas until 1973.

She joined Kidlington Health Centre in 1977 where she worked until her retirement in 2010 and throughout much of that time trained health visitors in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.

She said: “Whenever someone is poorly what they want is someone to be sympathetic, someone to be interested in them and someone to talk and help them through it.

“It’s the human touch we need.

“The money from the run is so important, helping children and their parents if they ever have to use the children’s hospital.”

The keen runner abseiled down the Avon Gorge in Bristol with her younger son Tom and her husband John, 73, in 2014 and said the run was giving her something to focus on this year.

She said: “I do three runs a year and the OX5 is one of them – it gives me a focus now I only work two days a week.

“I am running about four miles probably four times a week – so hopefully the five-mile Blenheim run will be okay.”

The OX5 is being sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates for the eighth year.

Last year’s event raised £106,000 for Oxford Children’s Hospital and the run, now in its 14th year, has chalked up more than £850,000.

The money is used to fund medical equipment and other aspects of children’s care.

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