Reaching the ends of the Turf, you ain't Green nothing yet!

13 GoodGymers made their way 8.0km to help the Ray's Playhouse and Hestia - Housing and Support in Hammersmith and Fulham.

  • Hammersmith and Fulham runner
  • John D Wren
  • Charley Witheridge
  • Beth Nelson
  • Arba
  • Danny
  • Tom Clough
  • Wandsworth runner
  • Andrew Swanton
  • Ealing runner
  • Aiste
  • Naomi Graham
  • Martynas Stonkus
  • Jonny Knight
Tuesday, 23rd of October 2018
Led by Beth Nelson

Tonight we had two tasks in H&F - a short run back to finish the job of laying artificial turf at Hestia Housing and Support and a longer run down to Ray's Playhouse to help with some painting. It was lovely to be met with 12 other smiling GoodGymers to help tackle 'two task Tuesday' and I was very grateful one of these was newly qualified Run Leader, Danny from GG Brent (aka Mr Good Deeds) who'd kindly agreed to come along to lend a helping with one of the tasks. It was also great to have Jonny along for his first H&F group run, and to have Charley back for her second H&F group run.

Despite the noticeably cooler temperature we all headed outside and huddled together as both Danny and I ran through the quick intros and a round of the week's news:

  1. Adidas City Runs Fulham 10K (18th November) - If you're running the Fulham 10K next month, sign up here. If you'd like to volunteer and earn a 50% discount on the entry price of another Adidas City Run event, sign up here. Email Danny ( if you have any questions.
  2. Goals - GoodGym's October comms theme is Goals. GoodGym HQ are asking Task Force/Runners to create short video clips of GoodGym members sharing their best advice for how to achieve a goal.
  3. The big C word......GoodGym London Christmas Party! (1st December). Hosted by GoodGym Southwark. Fancy dress theme - the first letter of your GoodGym area. £4 donation. Lots of killer tunes and dodgy dancing! Sign up here.
  4. GoodGym H&F Christmas Party - will be on Monday 10th December. Location TBC.

With the group in a nicely formed circle we did a quick name and number count as we began our warm-up to quite literally warm-up and raise our pulse rates. Following some dynamic side-to-sides, lunges, high kicks and the classic 'shooing of the chickens' hamstring stretch, and most importantly the check that Stravas were set, we all headed off on our short 1km run down Talgarth Road towards Hestia Housing and Support.

It wasn't long before we all arrived and the group split into two smaller groups. Danny led his group into the Hestia Housing & Support garden while my group continued on our 3km run down to Ray's Playhouse in Fulham running in what felt like zig-zags as we dodged all the pedestrians en-route down.

Step up to the pla(y)te

When we arrived at Ray's Playhouse we were met by Caroline who had kindly provided refreshments, as we quenched our thirst she explained that the centre offered a safe play space which allows parents and carers to bring their children for stay and play sessions and other child-centred activities. Tonight's task for my six fantastic GoodGymers was to paint the walls of the childrens toilets yellow and green as instructed by some very simple but handy pieces of paper that stated either 'Yellow' or 'Green'.

Moulden yellow

Caroline helped us get set-up in the toilets with all the dust sheets, sandpaper, brushes, trays and paint pots. The first challenge that faced the group was the opening of the paint pots, Caroline and Jason tracked down a knife from the kitchen which proved just the tool to open the paint pots. However, upon the opening of the yellow paint, despite a hearty stir, we had to declare it unusable due to the excessive floating mould. With the yellow paint pot condemned to the bin the team focused on the green (rather slime coloured) wall painting.

A different kind of green fingered!

Jason gave the walls a quick sand down as the others prepared the paint trays and brushes. Tom, Jonny and Karen set to work painting and rolling the far wall, making handy use of a stool that was perched above the toilets while Johnny and Jason started painted the side wall. Half an hour flew by and we made the decision to finish the walls we had started as best we could with the small stool and chairs used to gain a couple of extra inches. With three of the walls transformed from a pale yellow to a vibrant slime green colour and with everyone's hands, and in some cases red t-shirts covered in the green paint we called it a night and began the tidy-up and clean of the paint brushes and trays.

Play can't take that away from us

Before we set off on our 4km run to base the group quickly posed for a group photo in the doorway of the centre underneath the 'Ray's Playhouse' sign before saying our goodbyes to Caroline. In an attempt to avoid the pedestrians on our run back we took a less direct through some back streets and Normand Park, expertly guided by Jason - I decided it was best to let him lead the way to save time and to maintain the 'we haven't got lost on a H&F group run for a month!'. When we arrived back at base we had a quick cool down and stretch before we all parted our ways back home.

Danny's report from Hestia Housing and Support...

Hestia Housing & Support was blessed tonight to have five fab GoodGymers come down to finish-off the turfing in their back garden. Hestia supports adults and children in times of crisis. The area we were working in was the back garden of one of their properties near Baron’s Court, a shared outdoor seating area under a large tree. It was looking rather autumnal tonight, but in the Summer it would make a great place for the service users to come out and relax together.

Turf wars

GoodGym had been before and made a start, so we were there tonight to get things sewn-up. With an island of decking, and the base of a large tree to work around, we'd definitely been left the awkward bit, so thank goodness we had such an expert team along this time. Our task owner Sophie had everything laid-out ready for us on arrival including crucially, lamps! Martynas was here last time GoodGym visited so he was able to brief us on how all the pieces were intended to come together: the membrane, the turf, the tape and the pins.

Sweep it up

After sweeping away the latest fall of leaves, the team got the membrane down and trimmed and pinned it in place. Perhaps the hardest part of which was deciphering how to find the dangerous bit of the Stanley knives. With the membrane in place now the real job, the turf!

Puzzle dutch

With this rather awkwardly shaped area to cover and turf pieces only of a certain shape and size, there was some doubt and deliberation on how to puzzle pieces would best come together, but once a decision had been made, the team flew through it and it was a really satisfying sight for Sophie and myself (as mere spectators) seeing it all coming together. With 8.30 creeping up on us and a patch still remaining, the team dutifully decided they'd stay overtime and see the job got finished tonight, amazing!!

Journey to the center of the Turf!

With mallets and knives going ten to the dozen, the team converged from several directions on a single last patch in the middle of the garden. With that as the centre piece of their efforts we got a quick photo around it, bade farewell to Sophie and trotted the short distance back to the gym. With the other team coming from Ray’s Playhouse later still than us, we were able to do a thorough set of stretches including some of the slightly more esoteric ones like ITB and hip flexor.

Thanks so much for having me H&F, hope to see you again soon!

Many thanks to Danny for leading one of tonight's tasks and to Charley for the additional photos! Thank you for all staying a late to finish of the respective tasks too, hope you all had a fun evening! Next week we've got a short 3-4km run to help Age UK H&F - a nice indoor task for our Halloween run. Sign up here.

Report written by Beth Nelson

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Beth Nelson
Led by Beth Nelson

GoodGym Hammersmith and Fulham Run Leader

GoodGymers helping out
  • Back markers

    Make sure that no one is left behind

    • Hammersmith and Fulham runner
    • Charley Witheridge
  • Report Writer

    Be in charge of writing the session report

    • Danny
  • Photographers

    Take photos for the session report

    • Charley Witheridge
    • Danny

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