Table of contents

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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Group runs

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

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Coach Runs - An overview

FAQ's related to the role of a coach runner and coach visits


1 Can I take my child, or a friend/family member with me on a coach run?

For several reasons you cannot bring anyone with you on a coach run. We complete a DBS check for you and ask you to complete training and references, coaches and our referral partners expect this and it is an essential part of our safeguarding process. They trust that only you are visiting and as part of becoming coach verified you have agreed not to share your coaches personal details or location with anyone else. Doing so is a breach of our data protection and confidentiality policy.

In addition, we do not complete DBS checks for coaches therefore we cannot vouch for any concerns in relation to their criminal history or if they are named on children or adults barred lists. The home environment and who else lives or visits there has not been risk assessed for the safety of children.

In summary, this rule is to ensure that everyone is kept as safe as possible whilst working with GoodGym.


2 What support do I get from GoodGym while visiting a coach?

You will receive online training and a training call from the central office Older People Operations Team to prepare you for visits. Depending on the area you are paired up in you will either be supported by the Older People Operations team at GoodGym or directly by our partner in the area for example Age UK. If you have any concerns or want to talk about your visits then there will be a point of contact for you and your coach.


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

We call people who are visited by our runners coaches, because they help motivate people to run or walk each week and the visits become an incentive to exercise regularly. We hope the relationship you build up benefits both you and them.


4 What if I have a holiday or need to be away from home for a few weeks?

Life happens! Although we ask our runners to make a weekly commitment to their coach visits, if you need to take a week or two off, you can just tell your coach, if there are any problems with this or you are planning a longer break then you can email us at coachteam@goodgym.org; we can contact your coach to discuss it with them.


5 I'm not very confident in my running yet, will you be able to find me a coach I can reach?

Very possibly – in general, the more flexible a runner can be with the timings and distance of their runs, the better the chance that we can pair them up quickly. It may take us a bit longer to find a coach for you if the run-radius is smaller, but we’re happy to try and have made matches over shorter distances in the past.


6 How do you pair up runners and coaches?

When you are fully coach verified, relevant information is shared with our partner organisation in the area who with suggest a potential coach for you. We’ll let you know some important information about them – their location, how far you’d have to run, and some details of their interests and current circumstances. You’ll be able to choose whether or not you would like to visit the coach; and if you’re happy to go ahead with a first coach run, a first visit will be arranged.


7 Can I use my existing DBS?

Unfortunately, we can’t accept existing DBS certificates.

We are aware of the DBS update service where if you have an identical level of check (enhanced) for the same group of people (adults) you can “transfer” this to another volunteer or job role.

Due to limitations with our website and processes we are unable to accept DBS checks using the DBS update service. We are however happy to support you through a new check at no cost to you.


8 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 help motivate people to run and keep fit. We recommend visits be 20-40 minutes long to make this a manageable part of your weekly routine while giving you a good amount of time to get to know your coach.


9 What’s the commitment of coach running?

We ask runners to commit to weekly visits to a coach for a minimum of six months and recommend that visits are 20-40 minutes long to make this manageable with your run/walk/bike commute on each side.


10 Can I meet a coach somewhere other than in their home?

GoodGym coach runs are, exclusively, a social visit to an older person’s home. Unfortunately, we cannot provide training or support for you to take your coach out of their home. We would recommend asking the coach if they have any family or friends who could support them getting out of the house. If not, we can recommend other organisations to support with this.


11 How do you find coaches?

Every coach is identified by an organisation with which we partner in their local area - some examples include local councils, housing associations or the local branch of Age UK. Coaches are people who are socially isolated and/or lonely and would like a weekly social visit.

The organisation will make sure the coach’s circumstances are suitable and safe for a runner to visit.


12 Someone I know would like to have visits from a coach runner, can this be arranged?

We can only accept referrals from particular organisations local to each area in which we operate – we depend upon these organisations to conduct home assessments and assure us that the coach’s environment is safe for our runners. If you would like a volunteer to visit someone socially, we would recommend you contact your local Age UK, to find out what befriending opportunities there are in your area.

Coaches are referred to GoodGym based on the exact location and availability of runners in the area. Partner organisations have access to this and also have their own criteria for involvement therefore runners cannot signpost a person into GoodGym via a partner organisation.

Runners can signpost people to their local Age UK or equivalent to explore what support is available to them.


13 Do I need any special skills or experience to become a coach runner?

We’d encourage anyone of any running ability to get involved – even though it might take a bit longer, we will do our best to find a coach at a distance from you with which you are comfortable.

If it’s the social part of the coach runs that is causing doubt, don’t worry about having special skills or experience, we provide you with training and support. Often just listening and having a chat is what makes all the difference, every pairing is unique but some coach runners play board games, listen to music or watch TV as well as just a bit of a chat.

If have any reservations please email coach team at coachteam@goodgym.org


14 My availability changes week by week, will I be able to do coach runs?

If you believe that you will be able to make time to visit a coach every week, then a flexible schedule may not be a barrier. We sometimes have coaches that would be willing to change visit times weekly, though you are much more likely to get paired quicker if you are available for visits at the same time each week.


15 Can I walk/cycle to a coach instead of running?

We encourage you to use your coach run as a chance to exercise and keep fit, so we encourage you to walk, run, cycle, if you can, to your coach as long as you get some fitness benefit. If you’re injured for any period but would still like to visit your coach, then you can feel free to travel there whichever way is more comfortable for you, you can keep us posted if this becomes too difficult.


16 Can I share a coach with another runner?

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to support this. The addition of another person and another schedule can complicate the organisation of visits, and your coach may be left disappointed. We offer our coaches a weekly visit from the same runner, and we aim to be as consistent with this as possible.


17 I will/might move within 6 months, can I still start coach running?

We ask our runners to make a minimum of a six-month commitment to their coach, so it might be the case that missions would be better suited to your availability if your circumstances are due to change in the near future. That said, we would welcome you as a coach runner when you’re settled after your move, if you are in an area in which GoodGym operates.


18 What happens when a pairing ends?

We ask you to commit to six months of visits and honour this where possible however sometimes things might not work and pairings end for a variety of reasons. Coaches and runners can choose to end a pairing. Whatever the reason, the coach team will support you to organise a final visit and bring the pairing to an end.

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Getting Coach Verified

Questions related to getting verified for coach runs


1 Why do I have to complete a DBS check to take part?

Each GoodGym runner who takes part in missions or coach runs requires an enhanced level check from the Disclosure and Barring Service before they begin. You will need to complete a DBS check so that GoodGym can be made aware of any criminal cautions or convictions that might affect your suitability to visit potentially vulnerable adults in their homes. You can read more about what convictions or cautions will be disclosed here.


2 Can I use my existing DBS?

Unfortunately, we can’t accept existing DBS certificates.

We are aware of the DBS update service where if you have an identical level of check (enhanced) for the same group of people (adults) you can “transfer” this to another volunteer or job role.

Due to limitations with our website and processes we are unable to accept DBS checks using the DBS update service. We are however happy to support you through a new check at no cost to you.


3 How do I become coach verified and how long does it take?

In summary; to get coach verified you require an enhanced level DBS check, a personal and professional reference and you need to complete some e-training followed by a training call with someone from the Older People Operations Team.

To get started you need to become a member, or sign up for the first time. If you are already a member you can opt in to run to see an older person by changing your settings. If you have already opted in you should go to www.goodgym.org/my/coach to see what you need to do next to become coach verified.

Overall the process can take as little as two weeks and as long as a few months depending on how quickly you choose to progress through the process and also how long your DBS check takes to be returned.


4 Getting your 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.
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Missions - An overview

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 over 60 in their home or garden. Missions aim to enable older people to remain safe and independent at home.

We can help out with a whole range of low skill tasks as long as there are necessary tools provided and a plan for removal of any waste. Tasks include replacing light bulbs, garden clearance or moving heavy furniture.


2 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. The number of runners asked for depends on the nature of the task with larger tasks set for more runners to ensure they are safe and give the best chance of completion.

There may be situations where another person is present to provide access to the property for example, a neighbour or a health professional especially if the older person is not at home themselves.


3 How do I set my missions preferences?

Once you are mission verified you can set your preferences to only receive notifications about missions happening near you. at times you are likely to be free.


4 What do I have to bring to a mission?

We recommend you bring your phone for emergencies and to access contact information about the mission and those attending with you. We also recommend you bring some money or a travel card in case you become injured and are unable to run/walk/cycle home.

You don't have to bring anything else. For most garden tasks, we recommend that you bring some gardening gloves if you have them, but the beneficiary should have all the other tools on site needed to complete the task.

We advise you not to bring any other tools to complete a task because we make clear these should be provided and it may be unsafe to run while carrying these items.


5 Can I bring my own tools?

No. It is made clear to all older people and referrers that tools are NOT provided. The task has been assessed as possible with the tools available. While having your own tools may enable the task to be completed faster or more easily, not all runners will have access to tools and bringing your own sets false expectations. More importantly, we do not support anyone running with tools, this is dangerous and could result in injury if you fall.


6 How do I sign up for a mission once I am verified?

You can find out what missions are happening near you by going to the happenings section of the website. You will also have been sent an email about missions that match your preferences for times and locations. You can set and adjust your missions preferences here.

Once you have found or been offered a potential mission, you will be able to see what options the older person has selected for times they are free. There is also also a deadline which lets you know when you need to sign up by. It is a good idea to select as many of these times that you are free as possible (but please only select times you are definitely available as picking these options commits you to the mission if your time slot is picked by the older person).

The older person (or the person coordinating the mission) is then called and offered what times suit them best from the available options. Sometimes GoodGym will not have found enough runners in which case the mission will be cancelled.

At the deadline, or sometimes before you will be notified if your time has been selected and if you are required to help. Further confirmation and full details will be sent to you by email closer to the mission time. Once the mission is confirmed it is very important not to cancel. At this stage the older person, a referrer and potentially several other organisations are coordinating to make this task happen and are relying on you.


7 If I’m injured can I still do missions? For example I can’t lift or run but I could change light bulbs?

Missions are flexible. You can set your preferences to only hear about missions that are in walking distance if you are injured. The task is described in the missions advert so you can make a decision about if you are able to take part depending on what physical skill might be required. For example, you might be OK to stand on a chair and change a lightbulb but not able to lift a heavy couch.

Please use your own judgement about what your body is able to manage and always put your safety first.


8 Do I have to run to a mission?

We want you to use your mission run as a chance to exercise and keep fit, so we encourage you to walk, run, cycle, if you can, to the task as long as you get some fitness benefit. Feel free to travel there whichever way is more comfortable for you. We do not provide transport expenses because the idea is you get their using your own steam and become fitter.


9 What if I have an allergy or fear of animals – how do I know if animals will be at the property?

The mission listing will provide details about the task and also any animals that we have been made aware of at the property. This way you can avoid signing up in the first place.

If you get to a task and there is an animal there you were not expecting please leave and explain to the others involved in the mission why. Let GoodGym central know afterwards using the mission feedback form or by emailing missioncontrol@goodgym.org. We will try to reschedule the task.


10 Where should I arrange to meet the other runners?

You can organise with the other mission runners where to meet in advance of the task. Typically people agree to meet outside the property just before the task is due to start.

Please be aware that this may draw attention to the person's property and may signal that they are in some way vulnerable. Please be aware of people around you while waiting and if anyone suspicious asks who you are then you can explain you are waiting for a friend/visiting a friend.

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Missions - FAQs for active mission runners

What to do before, during and after a mission


1 What do I tell an older person if they want/need another mission?

Missions are clearly explained to an older person as one-off practical tasks. There are often gardens or situations in the home that will require numerous visits or maintenance, in these situations GoodGym is not the best organisation to help. However, if a repeat visit is required to finish off a task and ensure the safety and independence of the person at home, please encourage the older person to get in contact with the organisation/person who mentioned GoodGym to them to request a follow up and highlight this in the mission feedback form to GoodGym central.


2 The older person wants to make a donation - what do I say?

Reiterate that there is no fee for a mission and that you are volunteers. State that making a donation will not affect the help they can receive from GoodGym in any way but that if they still want to, they can make a donation by sending a cheque for The GoodGym Ltd to GoodGym, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. The can also donate by going online.


3 What if the older person appears not to be home?

If no one is answering the door, try knocking again - sometimes people take a bit of time to answer the door or they may be out of earshot. Allow up to 10 minutes for them to answer the door and look to see if there are any signs that someone is in. Look through the letterbox. Are the lights on? Can you hear a TV or radio? Are any windows open? Call them on the phone - sometimes people may not feel up to answering the door. You can try the contact number provided in the mission confirmation (always withhold your number using 141 or your provider’s equivalent as a prefix ). If you have still made no contact then leave. Always let GoodGym know if this happens.

It is highly likely that they have forgotten about the visit or are at an appointment. However if there are clear signs that they are at risk, ie. you can see they have fallen over, you can smell smoke, hear aggressive shouting or additional information suggests that something serious has happened, call 999.


4 What if you arrive at the mission and the older person no longer wants help?

Someone from GoodGym Central or from the referring organisation will have confirmed the task a day or two beforehand. However, people have the right to change their mind about help or they may have found someone else to complete the task. This could be at short notice on the day you were due to do the task, on arrival, or during the task. We advise that you respect their decision and leave the location, and email missioncontrol@goodgym.org to let us know


5 What if the older person seems confused about who you are and why you are there?

Explain to them what GoodGym is and the task that you have been asked to do. We always advise you wear your GoodGym t-shirt, and introduce yourself using your first name (which they will have been made aware of). If the older person does not give you consent to do the task, then leave and let GoodGym know via email missioncontrol@goodgym.org


6 What if task organiser/person providing access is not there?

Not all tasks will involve the older person being at home. Sometimes there is a need for a professional or a neighbour to provide access. We ask if you can stay for 10 minutes and try to contact them using any provided contact details. If you have still made no contact then leave. Always let GoodGym know via email missioncontrol@goodgym.org if this happens.


7 What if you are concerned about anything at a task?

If there is an immediate risk then call 999. In non-emergencies that require urgent medical advice, dial 111 for NHS 24. For Police, you can call 101 for non-emergencies.

If there is something that can wait until GoodGym office hours (Mon-Fri 9.30am-6pm) then there is the opportunity to give feedback in the mission follow -up email, and someone from GoodGym Central can arrange to follow up with you.


8 What if the other runner is not there?

A GoodGym mission requires at least 2 people to go ahead. If you are on your own, DO NOT carry out the task. Contact the other runner by email or phone (if you have their number) to check if they are en route. We think waiting for 10 minutes is appropriate however you can use your own judgement beyond this.

If you cannot get in touch with the other runner and have no update from them please call the older person/or mission contact (withholding your number by using 141 prefix or your network equivalent) and advise them that you cannot go ahead on your own as it is against GoodGym rules but that GoodGym will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss next steps. Contact GoodGym about what happened via email at missioncontrol@goodgym.org.

If there are still more than 2 runners there for the task, consider if it is safe to carry out the task with fewer people. Often the task is set up with more than two runners for a reason.


9 What if there are no tools?

GoodGym asks for confirmation from referrers that the tools required for the task are available. Please leave the task, and explain to the older person that tools are required and GoodGym does not provide these. Let GoodGym central know what happened in the mission follow up form which will be sent to you via email after the task.


10 Can I bring my own tools?

No. It is made clear to all older people and referrers that tools are NOT provided. The task has been assessed as possible with the tools available. While having your own tools may enable the task to be completed faster or more easily, not all runners will have access to tools and bringing your own sets false expectations. More importantly, we do not support anyone running with tools, this is dangerous and could result in injury if you fall.


11 The older person is lonely and would benefit from company - can they be a coach?

No. Please do not promise that an older person can become a coach. Coach runs are set up in a very different way from missions. The older person will not be able to self-refer to GoodGym as we work exclusively with partner organisations such as Age UK. They carry out a different level of risk assessment and home visit before referring to GoodGym and can only do so when a specific runner is found in range. They will also have their own criteria for supporting older people and the mission beneficiary might not meet this.

We suggest signposting the older person to Age UK or the local authority who will be able to provide information and advice about other, similar projects in the local area that are appropriate for that individual's needs and circumstances.


12 What should I do if I feel uncomfortable during a mission?

If you feel uncomfortable at any point in the mission, please discuss this with your mission partner or team and agree to leave together. Never stay at a mission on your own. Let GoodGym know what happened using the mission feedback form which will be emailed after the mission. We can then follow up with you as required.


13 How to access support about a mission - What are GoodGym central office hours?

GoodGym office hours are 9.30am-6pm . To seek support or advice about a mission during these times please email missioncontrol@goodgym.org. If you need support outside these hours and it is an emergency then please call 999. In non-emergencies that require urgent medical advice, dial 111 for NHS 24. For Police, you can call 101 for non-emergencies.

Please also email missioncontrol@goodgym.org to let us know what happened and we will follow up with you as soon as we can.


14 We didn't complete the task, what I we do?

Sometimes tasks can be too large for one mission. Sometimes they are too large for GoodGym more generally to tackle. We might not be the most appropriate organisation to help. Please do not promise the older person that we can return to complete a task but do advise you will feedback to GoodGym central that the task was not complete (use the mission follow up from that will be emailed to you after the task) and encourage the older person so contact the person who told them about GoodGym to let them know.


15 What should I do if I or another runner are injured or have an accident/incident during the mission?

Most missions are completed safely and without incident. Please don't take any unnecessary risks in order to complete a mission.

Sticking to the task that is pre-agreed and confirmed with you and using only manual tools as recommended by GoodGym will help make the task as safe as possible. Sometimes the GoodGym central team may not receive an accurate description of a task; do not carry out a task if it falls out with your skill level or physical capabilities.

If someone has an accident during a mission and there is an immediate risk to their health or safety then call 999. In non-emergencies that require urgent medical advice, dial 111 for NHS 24. If the injured person is unable to contact these services please do so on their behalf.

Please leave the mission with the other mission runner(s) if medical attention is required. We do not expect anyone to continue on with an injury in order to complete the task. Your wellbeing and safety is priority.

It is up to your own judgement about wether you accompany the injured person to access medical attention. We recommend that all runners bring a sum of money or a a travel card and their phone for use in emergencies should they may need transport or support.

After the mission you will be sent a mission feedback form via email. Please let GoodGym central know what happened and any medial attention or follow up sought. We will follow up with you as soon as possible and record an accident for our records.


16 What if I break something on a mission?

Accidents happen, we understand that. However, GoodGym is not liable for any breakages that occur during missions and we are not able to replace any item broken. The referral process makes this clear to the person who requested the task, and we ask them to inform the older person. We only accept tasks that require a low level of skill and ask you not to attempt anything that is out with your skill level. This will reduce the chances of something being broken or damaged.

If you do break something, please apologise in this situation, but please do not promise that GoodGym will get a replacement. Please ask the beneficiary to call the office if they have any questions on the number 020 3432 3920. Please complete the mission feedback form to let GoodGym know after the mission.


17 What if bad weather prevents me from getting to a task or would make a task dangerous?

We expect missions to go ahead regardless of the weather wherever this would be safe and possible to complete.

If the weather is very poor to the point the task is unlikely to be safe or completed then please contact your fellow mission runner(s). Their email will have been shared with you in the mission confirmation email from GoodGym central. If you both (or all) agree the task should not go ahead nominate one of you to contact the older person or mission contact using the number shared with you in the mission confirmation.

Advise the older person or mission contact that you will feedback to GoodGym central about the task not going ahead but that they should also contact the person who organised the task for them to book it again if they would like. GoodGym will re-list the task once we receive new availability for the older person if it is still appropriate.


18 How do I write a mission run report after the mission?

After every mission we ask runners to submit feedback about the task, this is important to ensure there were no concerns that were encountered at the task that GoodGym should be made aware of.

You also need to nominate one of the mission runners who attended to write a mission report. A mission report is a short summary of what happened at the task alongside some before and after pictures. Here is a link to mission reports that other runners have completed to give you an idea.

Try to complete the report within a day of the task being completed. It shouldn't take up too much of your time. As well as being fun, reports help us to highlight the impact of missions to the referrer who is sent a copy and we can use them to promote GoodGym and encourage more people to sign up to help. It is not essential that you complete a report but for all of these reasons please do so if you can.

The important thing to remember for a report is to always ask permission to take photographs of someone's home. If they are not home to give you consent, you should refrain from taking photographs. in their property. Always be respectful in the photographs you take, please do not take pictures of anything that would identify the person or their address. Please be respectful and do not take pictures of anything that may impact on the person's dignity.

The report is jus a few paragraphs detailing how you completed the task. It is sent to the referrer in an email and GoodGym central screen each report.

Usually there is a pun for a title and the tone is lighthearted. Please do not share identifying or personal information about the older person in the report. Consider that this report is public and think about what you would like written about you or one of your relatives.


19 How do I contact the other runners on my mission?

When you are sent the mission confirmation details you will be copied in with the other people attending the mission. This way you can email them if you need to. If you feel comfortable to do so, some runners swap mobile phone numbers should there be any issues on the way to the mission. Otherwise you can keep in touch via email.


20 What if you have to cancel the task at short notice and out of office hours?

Of course we understand that life happens and there are unforeseen circumstances. Sometimes people need to change plans last minute however please do not cancel a confirmed mission task unless it is for a good reason. Many people have been involved to make this task happen and cancelling can have a significant impact on an older person.

You must tell GoodGym as soon as possible if you cannot attend a mission that you are confirmed on (email missioncontrol@goodgym.org). If this happens out of office hours (Mon-Fri 9.30am-6pm) then no-one from GoodGym will be able to respond. You should therefore communicate with the other runner(s) who are expecting you to arrive. If this only leaves one runner, or an unsafe number of runners to complete the task, agree that one of you contact the older person/contact to postpone and let the GoodGym office know as soon as possible via email missioncontrol@goodgym.org. Do not try to find another runner to replace you. The older person's information is confidential and they are specifically expecting you and the other mission runners who have been pre-confirmed. Sharing any information about a mission with those not confirmed on the task with you is in breach of our data protection and confidentiality policy and is a potential safeguarding risk.


21 You arrive and the older person no longer wants help?

Someone from GoodGym Central or from the referring organisation will have confirmed the task beforehand. However, people have the right to change their mind about help and they may have found someone else to complete the task. This could be at short notice on the day you were due to do the task, on arrival, or during the task. We advise that you respect their decision and leave the location, and email missioncontrol@goodgym.org to let us know.


22 There seems to be no plans for waste removal/disposal - Can I help by taking things away?

No. This is very important, and GoodGym makes it clear that we cannot dispose of any waste items. There are lots of reasons we say no to this, mainly based on your safety. You should never return to a mission recipient's home, we ask you not to carry any waste items while running/walking/biking and we do not want to set expectations that confuse what missions are for other runners, referrers and older people.

We ask referrers to confirm that there are plans for waste disposal before accepting a task. If it is not too late, do not complete the task, alert GoodGym as soon as possible and we can contact the referrer.

If you have already carried out the task, agree with whoever is at the task about leaving items in a safe/minimally disruptive place to and let GoodGym know as soon as possible using the mission feedback form.

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Getting a background check (DBS)

You need to get a background check in order to take part in coach runs or missions to older people


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 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.


3 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.


4 Can I use my existing DBS?

Unfortunately, we can’t accept existing DBS certificates.

We are aware of the DBS update service where if you have an identical level of check (enhanced) for the same group of people (adults) you can “transfer” this to another volunteer or job role.

Due to limitations with our website and processes we are unable to accept DBS checks using the DBS update service. We are however happy to support you through a new check at no cost to you.


5 I don’t have a permanent address, what should I do?

It is possible we can work around this, but we can only work within the bounds outlined by the DBS guidelines. All the details for unusual address situations for DBS checks can be found here on the DBS website.

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