From Christmas presents to Christmas past, GoodGym is the gift that keeps on giving!
16 runners ran 6.2km to help the Good News 4 Swindon (GN4S) in Swindon.
- Tuesday, 17th of December 2019
- Led by Richard Curtis
Having started our Christmas activities back in October with giant brussel sprout pants, yule not be surprised to hear that our last run of the year (or maybe the decade, depending on your level of pedantry) was a cracker! After Dave had been ordered back to his car to get his Christmas hat by Helen (oh deer, not a great start), Run Leader Richard got the evening underway by asking about the best and worst cracker gifts we’re ever got. Gaby’s 5cm ruler that she got as child and still has in her pencil case was definitely the most long-lived gift and far more useful than a comb for Andrew! Having established that those little red fish are good for determining whether someone is dead or alive (maybe we need a first aid refresher?), and before Richard could crack any more bad jokes, we headed out to Westlea for our evening task.
A few soggy feet later as we splashed through puddles and squelched through mud, we arrived at the Gateway Church to meet Dawn who was ready to explain our task for the evening – helping with Good News 4 Swindon's (GN4S) Christmas Toy Appeal. Members of churches across Swindon have come together to help bring a little hope and happiness to local families living in desperate need, so their children can have presents to wake up to on Christmas morning .Individuals, groups and organisations across Swindon were asked to donate new toys and gifts for children aged 0-16. Over 1500 presents, 250 books, 100 soft toys and lots and lots of stocking fillers had been kindly donated. Many of these had already been given to families at five special Christmas parties across the town where families were able to choose and take away a present for each child. What a fabulous idea to help spread some Christmas cheer and what can be a difficult time of the year. Our job was to sort the unclaimed toys after this party, ready for distribution to families who could not attend and then make up gift bags for children.
We set to work in pairs sorting out toys into different age categories. Special Kay found an adorable teddy bear that we had to wrestle from her, Stuart revealed his true colours as Dr Evil, and Princess Mike became a little too attached to a tiara – one for the Christmas list?! Once the sorting was sorted, which didn’t take long, with us all giving 110 present to the task, we had the great privilege of selecting gifts for children. We were told the age of the child and then had to pick six presents for the child to choose from, including some books and stocking fillers. A little taste of being one of Santa’s elves – we hope the children enjoy what we have chosen for them.
After a drink, chocolate cake (we’ve done a lot of eating this month) and a photo session – where this time it was Helen who forgot her Santa hat – it was time to head back to the Oasis for the last time this year. To celebrate this, Richard took us on the scenic route by the sewage works – he knows how to treat us well! Although we nearly lost Carly at the kebab van, we all made it safely back, present and correct. After some goodbyes, if only until we meet again at our Community Mission on Thursday, or at parkruns both near and far – it turns out there is no escape from GoodGym Swindon – some of us headed in for coffee and, what’s that - yes, I spy a mince pie!
I’d like to say what happens at coffee stays at coffee, but it is the season of giving so here goes! From a history of music (yes…Lena Zavaroni was back), to questions like “what’s an LP?” from one of our younger members, we neatly segued to Christmas pasts by watching Morecombe and Wise clips. Quite how we got from there to The Nightmare Before Christmas can only be explained by Tracey but there are not many occasions when you’ll hear the words “I had a dream about Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Biggins, and Jimmy Krankie…”. One for further exploration in the New Year for those who are brave enough!
And so, that’s a wrap for group runs in 2019…Christmas presents, Christmas pasts and hopefully lots of Christmas futures with our lovely GoodGym family ❤ There’s one last chance this year to get on Santa’s nice list with our community mission on Thursday with the We’re Open Christmas Party at Coffee One and the added incentive of a Winter Warrior badge!
Looking ahead with 2020 vision, there’s loads of fab events already planned for the New Year. Enjoy the Christmas break and see you in January for:
Painting the cycle storage containers…the sequel on 7 January – this task is walkable!
Goodgym Swindon takeover of Seven Fields parkrun on 25 January where we’ll be launching the Seven Fields parkrun pacing team!
Report written by Jo O'Leary
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GoodGym Swindon Run Leader
Runners helping out
Take photos for the run report
Will be in charge of writing the run report
Help with checking Document of runner for DBS check
Make sure that no one is left behind
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Spring Cleaning in the Winter at Toothill Farmhouse!
Tuesday 18:00 - 20:00
Led by Richard Curtis
Better Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre
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Good Deeds done
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