Don't go raking my heart, I couldn't if I flyered
14 GoodGymers made their way 7.6km to help the St Dionis Church and Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank in Hammersmith and Fulham.
- Tuesday, 4th of December 2018
- Led by Beth Nelson
Two task Tuesday in H&F! 14 GoodGymers raked up 9 bags of leaves and delivered 500 Christmas Cards for H&F Foodbank!
On a noticeable colder December night 13 GoodGymers joined me to do good and get fit on a big two task Tuesday. It was brilliant to welcome along Emily and Sarah for their second H&F group runs - great to have you along again, hope you enjoyed it! And as always, lovely to see my wonderful regulars.
Unlike the previous two Tuesday evenings, depsite the cold it was a nice dry night (and according to the Met Office a nice dry but cold evening....yes I'm totally blaming them for the rain latter on in the evening!) so we headed out towards our normal warm-up spot and had a quick round-up of the weekly news.
You snooze you news!
- GoodGym H&F Christmas Party (Tues 11th) - After our run next Tuesday we're going to head to Nando's for a Peri Peri Christmas. All are welcome! Please sign up here to help us get an idea of numbers.
- North London Long Run (Sun 9th) - Around Epping Forest, led by Graham and Alix - meet at 9.30/9.45am at Walthamstow Central Tube depending on the pace that you'd like to run, all the details here.
- South London Long Run (Sun 16th) - Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge, led by Dom - all the details here
- Community Mission (Fri 14th) - Supporting Evolve Housing - volunteers are needed to lend a hand packing shopping bags to raise money for homelessness projects. All the details if you'd like to sign up are here.
Following a very quick warm-up we headed off on our 3km down to Parsons Green for our first task of the night. Pausing only briefly for the odd traffic light and one 30-second wall sit it wasn't long before we arrived at St Dionis Church. We were met outside the church entrance by the vicar, Tim and he talked to the group about all the wonderful projects the church run and support: a night shelter in partnership with Glass Door to support those who are homelessness, a recovery course, both a men's and women's ministry, and some upcoming Christmas carol services on Sunday's.
Faced with 14 eager GoodGymers Tim was worried that we'd be oversubscribed for the tasks he'd asked us lend a hand with:
- Tidy up and bag the rubbish and leaves down the side of the church
- Rake up and bag all the leaves in-front of the church, both on the astro turf and in the wood chipped flower beds
Piles? I've got heaps!
Josh, Alice, Andrew and Johnny headed down the side of the church and started bagging up the leaves and tidying the rubbish. Only a few minutes had passed as Josh emerged with a dumped wine bottle amongst the large volume of leaves. It wasn't long before their bag overflowed with leaves, and Alice, taking inspiration from Catriona's effective bin jumping last week plunged herself into the bag to flatten the leaves. It worked a treat and the extra bag space enabled them to continue loading the bag with Johnny's wonderfully formed piles...of leaves.
Rake me up before you go-go!
As the fantastic four tackled the side of the church, the rest of the group set about raking and tidying in-front of the church. After admiring the perfectly laid astro (something many of us had learnt a few months ago was quite tricky to lay!) everyone gloved up and tooled up and tackled the hardest challenge of the evening, opening the bags! Sarah, never far away at the mention of a bag, efficiently dealt out the bags as everyone else quickly raked up the leaves into very neat piles and bagged them up. Sophie, Sarah, Catherine and Emily proved to be dab-hands with a rake, while Jason and Tom proved equally skilled with the large claw-like-hand pickers and scoops. As the others raked and scooped, Bex and Chris worked in wonderful tandem as they took turns to both help hold bags open and grab the large piles of leaves into the bags.
Insane in the memb'rain(e)!
Despite the outlook of no rain, and in a classic case of I spoke too soon with my comment of "isn't it nice running down to Parsons Green in the dry and without having to avoid puddles!", the rain began to come down, luckily a lot lighter than it had done so in previous weeks...
I could never leaf you!
As half an hour passed, Tim needn't have worried about the potential lack of tasks to be done. The group managed to fill 9 full to bursting bags of leaves (quite literally in the case of 1!) that Tim was mightily impressed with. Before we said our goodbyes and thank yous to Tim the group posed for a team photo and proceeded to make use of the lovely astro turf lawn to complete a short fitness blast which comprised of 3x30 seconds of front and side planks.
Leaf'let out, you'll bank me later!
Task one successfully completed, we headed off towards the bottom of Parsons Green to begin a HUGE Christmas Card delivery for the H&F Foodbank. We had 500 Christmas Cards to deliver around the surrounding streets of the H&F Foodbank, Office based in the ChristChurch on Studdridge Road. Each of these cards had been personally signed and placed in an enveloped which was addressed "Dear Neighbour", which we all agreed was a lovely touch and an incredible effort to do.
With Sarah highlighting that the roads ran in parallel to one another she fantastically fine-tuned the lead frog posting plan as the group split into two equal groups. As one group headed down one road the other group set off down the next road ensuring maximum coverage and efficiency. Both groups worked like a well oiled leap frogging machine (if one were to exist) with each group separately splitting into two groups so as to cover both sides of the road. With only a few Christmas Cards remaining the group re-formed as one and posed for a quick photo before we headed to one last road to finish the posting. In what was an astounding display of Christmas Card posting en masse, in 20 minutes all 500 Christmas Cards had been delivered!
Going the whole nine (500) cards....
The H&F Foodbank are incredibly grateful for your posting efforts as it frees up time for their small number of volunteers in the office and hubs. Along with promotion of the H&F Foodbank, volunteers sort all the donations they receive and pack them into boxes for people identified as 'in need' - these donations are then distributed to them at the Foodbank Centres. Our own, Josh volunteers at the main hub and if you are keen to volunteer, please drop the H&F Foodbank an email.
We raked it happen, unbe'leaf'able!
With 9 bags filled with leaves and all 500 Christmas Cards delivered we began the 3.5km run back to base. The rain started to come down harder as we navigated ourselves through the streets of Parsons Green and up through Barons Court, passing the back of the prestigious Queens Club en route. We headed through to the shelter of the Better Gym car park and completed a much needed cool down and stretch, amongst ideas for puns for the run report (amongst some pity laughs from Alice) and next week's cheeky Peri Peri Christmas at Nando's!
Such an impressive effort tonight all, awesome work! A very big thank you to Jason, who not only back marked tonight but also stylishly ran and modelled a nice H&F Foodbank bag filled with Christmas Cards.
Next week, we will be heading up to St Mungo's Reconnection Post to help tidy up their garden. Sign up here. This will of course be followed by dinner and drinks at Nando's. Hope to see lots of you there! Have a fab week!
Report written by Beth Nelson
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