We’re a community of people who get fit by doing good. We run, walk and cycle to support our communities by doing tasks like shifting earth for community gardens and delivering prescriptions to isolated older people.
What exactly does GoodGym do?
We get fit by doing good in the following ways.
We run, walk, or cycle to help older people with one-off tasks they can no longer do alone, such as clearing gardens or changing lightbulbs
Is there a GoodGym near me?
We're open in 61 areas all across the UK,
from Barnet to York.
Find your nearest GoodGym by searching by your postcode or see the full list of areas.
The story so far
GoodGym arose out of a frustration with normal gyms being a waste of energy and human potential - and responding to growing loneliness in cities. It started when founder Ivo started running to deliver the newspaper to Terry, an older Hackney resident in 2007. Terry was housebound and didn’t see any friends on a regular basis. Ivo wasn’t exercising much and needed a reason to run.
Over the course of a few years they became friends and Ivo learned to love running. He started getting other people to do the same thing; combining their run with helping an older neighbour.
In September 2009 we formed as a non profit company and in 2011 we started meeting up in groups to run to help community projects. People in Bristol and Liverpool picked up on the idea and started running sessions too. A sense of community started to emerge and we started running sessions all over East London around the time of the 2012 Olympics. In 2015 we registered as a charity.
I love going round the city and being like- I did that…I dug that…I painted that. It’s just that lovely sense of feeling you’ve done something good, you’ve done some exercise- it literally just covers everything.
Over the following years, we expanded rapidly, launching in new areas and reaching 59 cities and boroughs just before Covid-19 brought our group sessions to a halt. During the pandemic we received 10x the usual amount of requests for support for older people. We started doing deliveries of prescriptions and food too. We welcomed increasing numbers of walkers and cyclists, and have now adapted our work to enable more of this to happen.
I don't know what I'd do without GoodGym.
Having emerged from the pandemic, and with group sessions back, we’re starting to expand again and working on how we continue to make what we do more fun and easier to get involved in. We want as many people as possible to benefit from what we do.
Why are we doing it?
GoodGym is one of the most fun things you can do. We know that if lots of us make this a regular part of our lives we can make a massive difference to the cities we live in. We can contribute to making them greener, less lonely, and better connected.
Loneliness and isolation are growing. Our lives are increasingly lived through screens and we’re becoming more isolated. Not only can participation in GoodGym improve someone’s wellbeing, it can help someone else too. By stopping off on our runs, walks and cycles we can provide connection, hope and sustenance to those who are housebound.
There are also thousands of organisations, spaces and groups that need more work and that can benefit from volunteers. By steering the energy from our exercise into these projects we can make a huge difference and increase the sustainability of vital foodbanks, community groups and green spaces.
What's the plan?
GoodGym is now open to everyone in 61 areas across the UK and there are hundreds of people interested in setting up GoodGym in their area.
We want to rival the success of gyms, getting people all over the world off treadmills and into their communities. We are always looking for brilliant people to work with; if you want to get in touch about setting up GoodGym where you are go to goodgym.org/proposals/[insertyourareaname] - if the page doesn’t exist, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporters and Partners
GoodGym is supported by
We'd also like to thank the following organisations for their support
Kayako provides our support desk software
We use lots of icons from the Noun Project on the website
Scout helps us keep our website nice and fast
Travis CI tells us when a new feature has broken the website
Diversity statement from GoodGym's board of trustees
GoodGym is committed to equality of opportunity both in the provision of services to the public and as an employer.
The Board of Trustees recognises the huge benefits that diversity in its broadest sense can have on the organisation. We understand a combination of skills and experiences, age, professional background, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation make for a range of perspectives and insights needed for sound decision making.
We understand that the Board sets the tone for diversity and equality throughout the organisation and believe that having a diverse leadership team leads to an open and inclusive culture elsewhere in GoodGym.
To view GoodGym's operational policies please click here.