About GoodGym

GoodGym is a community of runners that get fit by doing good.

1 I'm not a great runner - can I still join GoodGym?

Yes, absolutely. We want you to get involved whatever your level.

For our group runs we recommend that you are able to run for 15 mins without stopping. If you’re just starting out with running, or you want a really easy session for your first one, you should join in one of our starter sessions. We run these regularly- look out for one in your area or email us to find out when the next one is.

If you're still worried, or if you have any questions, you can get in touch with your area trainer and we’ll support you to get to the stage where you're confident enough to join in with the main group.

2 How do I come and try it out for myself?

Just sign up and we’ll keep you up to date about group runs in your area.

3 How far will I be running?

Group runs always say the distance when you sign up to them. They vary from 3 - 15k. Choose a run you feel comfortable with and remember there's always a break to do some useful work halfway through. Once you’re a member how far you run will depend on what you want to achieve; we’ll work with you to set goals for your fitness and develop training programmes to help achieve them.

4 What sort of organisation is GoodGym?

GoodGym is formed as a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Charity. This means we can’t take investment and can’t make a profit for shareholders, any money we generate can only go into the running of the project.

5 Is there an age limit?

Because we work with vulnerable adults and our runners participate at their own risk, participants need to be over 18. Get in touch if you want to know more about this.

6 How do I get a t-shirt?

T-shirts are for GoodGym members.

To get more involved and request your t-shirt you must first become a member.

7 How do I become a GoodGym run leader?

Our trainers have responsibility for supporting runners in their area and for running the weekly group sessions. We’re always looking for new trainers. Trainers must be either qualified as a Coach in Running Fitness, or have a personal training qualification. Going on a GoodGym run before application is strongly recommended. You can email jobs@goodgym.org with a cv and cover letter to apply.

8 What do I have to commit to if I become a GoodGym member?

There is no specific commitment for GoodGym members, we are here to help you achieve your fitness goals and to help you do more for your community.

You can do this as often or as little as you like. Once you’re a member we'll do our best to help you achieve your fitness goals. If you sign up to visit an older person, you'll be committing to at least one run per week. Missions and group runs can be signed up for whenever you like. Your trainer will always be there to support you.

9 How do I become a member?

Membership is open to everyone who's interested in combining their exercise with helping their community.

First you need to signup. If you're already signed up and not yet a member, you can become a member here.

Here’s an outline of the process:

  • Sign up on the get involved page
  • Follow the steps on the sign up form
  • Decide if you want to donate: if you’d like to donate you can donate £9.95/month, or decide not to donate at all.
  • Get a nice package in the post, including your GoodGym t-shirt

10 What is a TaskForce?

GoodGym TaskForce is a group of runners who help support the local operation of GoodGym. Once you have done 10 good deeds you are eligible to be on the TaskForce for your home area.

Find out more about the GoodGym TaskForce

11 What is GoodGym?

GoodGym is a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good within the local community. We currently have over 50 areas in which we operate around the UK and that number continues to grow.

12 Do I need any special gear?

Not at all, all you need is a pair of trainers. You don’t need to splash out on loads of specialist gear, but if you’re planning on running regularly it is worth getting a pair of running shoes as this will protect your feet much better than a pair of all-round trainers.

We recommend you don’t wear your snazziest gear. We almost always do some kind of physical work that is more distressing for your gear than normal running. Be prepared to get your hands dirty. If we’ve described the run and it seems appropriate then bringing gardening or building gloves is often a good idea, but not essential.

13 Can I come to a GoodGym session when pregnant?

Current NHS guidance states that exercising during pregnancy is beneficial, although precautions should be taken where there is a risk of falling over. If you were a runner before you got pregnant then running during the first and second trimester should be safe. However, if you did not run before you got pregnant then we don't advise you joining a GoodGym run until after the birth. If you are pregnant please inform the trainer at the start of the session so they are aware. At the task please take additional care to protect yourself from any of the risks that may be present. The trainer conducts a full risk assessment on each task and so will be able to advise you on what they are. You are the best judge of what you feel comfortable doing and so please do not do anything at a GoodGym session you do not feel comfortable with. We advise you to read the NHS guidance on exercising during pregnancy.

14 Do I have to pay?

No, you don’t have to pay, but if you decide to become a member you can opt to make a donation if you like. We recommend a monthly donation of £9.95 but we certainly don’t want anyone not to join because they can’t afford it; asking our runners to cover their costs helps us keep the project alive.

15 Can I set up GoodGym in my area?

If you’re energetic, a keen runner and want to do good for your community, get in touch and we’ll help you to set up GoodGym where you are. We’re working on this at the moment though so we might be quite slow in getting back to you. If you’re interested in helping GoodGym come to your area, you can get in touch with alex@goodgym.org

16 Can I make a donation?

Yes! GoodGym relies on donations to keep going. Making an ongoing donation helps to keep GoodGym alive and expanding.

Make a donation.

17 How do I get paired with an older person or help with GoodGym missions?

To support older people through GoodGym, you first have to become a member.

Once you sign up, you will be asked to complete the following steps so that you can run to an older person each week or to get involved with one-off missions:

  1. Enter your full name as it appears on your passport/driving licence/EU ID card and details of two character references on our website
  2. Bring some documents to a group run to start your DBS check
  3. Complete an online form with Verifile, who process our DBS checks 4 Complete your training about running to visit someone and/or missions

If you have chosen to run to visit someone, you’ll then have a chat with GoodGym’s central team about getting paired up

Become a member, or sign up for the first time.

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Coach runs

Everything to do with regular runs to visit an isolated older person

1 What do you mean when you talk about GoodGym coaches?

We call the people who are visited by our runners coaches, because they help motivate people to run and they share their wisdom. The relationship benefits both you and them.

2 How do I refer an older person to GoodGym?

We receive our referrals for older people from community organisations that we partner with in each area. If you know someone that would like to be referred to GoodGym, we may signpost you to our local partner first. To find out who we partner with in your area, please call us on 0203 432 3920.

3 What are coach runs?

Coach runs are regular runs to visit an isolated older person. We ask you to commit to a weekly social visit to an older person for a minimum of six months. We call the older person you run to your coach, because they encourage you to keep running and sharing their wisdom.

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Questions about one-off help for older people with practical household and garden tasks.

1 What is a mission?

A mission is a one-off practical task to help an older person in the community. We help out with a whole range of tasks, from replacing light bulbs, to basic gardening and moving furniture.

2 What do I have to bring to a mission?

Depending on the task, you don't have to bring anything. For most garden tasks, it's a good idea to bring some gardening gloves if you have them, but everything else for the task will be provided for you.

3 How many people go on a mission run?

There will always be two people or more at every mission run. Most missions have between 2-4 runners attend.

4 How does a mission work?

You can sign up to local missions online and set your preferences to receive an email every time a mission is happening near you. Once the mission is organised, you will receive an email confirming and giving you more information about the task. You will meet up with your fellow mission runners outside the property, do the task and run back home or to work. Simple.

5 How do I sign up for a mission?

You can sign up online using our website. You will then receive emails letting you know when the mission is going ahead. Have a look for missions near you and get signed up.

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Group runs

Information about our regular group sessions where we run to help community projects.

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Getting a background check (DBS)

You need to get a background check in order to help older people in their homes.

1 Which documents do I need for my DBS check?

You need to show us three documents including valid photo ID and proof of address.

The easiest combination is:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Driving Licence photocard
  • Proof of current address, e.g.
    • bank statement (dated within last 3 months)
    • utility bill (dated within last 3 months)
    • council tax bill (dated within last 12 months)

There are lots of other documents you can show us if you don't have these - have a look on the DBS website for the full list.

Do get in touch if you'd like to double check you've got the right documents - it will only take a minute. Email dbs@goodgym.org or call 0203 432 3920.

Keep in mind...
We must see the original documents.
We can't accept copies, PDFs, or printouts of online bills or statements. Find out what to do if your bills and accounts are paperless.
We must see an official bill or statement for your proof of address.
We can also see a bank account opening letter, but other letters are not accepted - get in touch if you are unsure.
You must still do a document check with GoodGym if you already have a valid DBS.
Unfortunately our provider does not support the DBS update service. If you've had a DBS check recently, this is likely to speed up your application.

2 How do I get my documents checked?

We have regular Doc checks in each of our GoodGym areas, run by our trainers. These checks are often before and/or after a Group Run - it's up to you if you stay for the run after your check or not. You can check your local Group Run night and book onto your Doc Check here.

3 What if my proof of address documents are paperless?

If all your bills and accounts are paperless, you’ll need to phone your bank to request a statement or bill to be posted to you. Alternatively, you can get a printed copy statement at your nearest bank branch - this needs to be stamped by the bank.

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