Callum

Leeds

3Good deeds

3runs

40cheers

Callum signed up to a group run
Group run
Leeds

Building compost bins for Growing Better

Wed 4 Mar 18:30 pm
Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, LS6 1BL
Help turn waste and cuttings into soil for the allotment

Welcome to GoodGym Leeds! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every week to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations and projects in our area.

The Task:

As we head into spring (it should be on it's way apparently!) there's loads more to be done at Growing Better. They have plans to build some compost bins out of pallets, and after we failed with our first attempt at this, it will be great to have another go. Even if we can't quite get this done, there are loads more things to do, including planting trees and hedgerows, building some more fencing, and even potentially some seed bombs to be thrown onto the flowerbed on top of the shipping container!

The Run/walk:

The run is around 4km each way, so a total distance of 8km. GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and it is often possible to walk to the task if you would prefer. We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.

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Callum has cheered by other people 25 times. Wed 29 Jan 2020

Callum is part of a crowd that's making a huge noise. Callum has been cheered by 25 people - that's a round of applause just on their own. We hope they keep it up.

Callum has cheered 10 times. Wed 29 Jan 2020

Callum has helped keep other people motivated, Callum has noticed what others have done and cheered 10 people. We doff our caps to you Callum.

Callum went on a group run
Group run
Leeds

Wall in this together

Wed 29 Jan
Report written by Aron Fulton

Last night had all the elements for a perfect group run: A seemingly impossible task, a huge turnout, loads of new faces, bags of teamwork, a proper physical workout, a bit of therapeutic stress relief, some silly quotes, great photos, a new tool to add to our collection and a pun inspired by High School Musical. What more could you possibly ask for?!

The night started with some big news. Joe was reaching his 10th good deed with us, and Rach had just smashed her 50th good deed over the weekend. Way to go guys! Nationally, we'd also just broken through our 8,000 good deed target, and Leeds was approaching 200! Incredible. It's amazing to see us sat in 11th place nationally for good deeds, especially as we're one of the newest areas. Give yourselves a big pat on the back, you deserve it!

We had seven new runners which is absolutely incredible! Give a big warm welcome (via cheers of course) to Ella, Dan, Cecilia, Daniel, Kate, Peter and Andreas.

We also welcomed Jenny to taskforce, taking us up to a massive 9 taskforcers already, and to celebrate she was backmarking our run down to Meanwood Farm along with Helen. Aron took the lead, and as Liz had already set off for the walk down, we were aiming to pick her up on the way down.

For a lot of the group, this wasn't their first trip to Meanwood Farm, so they knew the drill. We arrived at the Farm to find Ben, the task owner, ready and waiting for us with around 10 wheelbarrows. As a group we headed over to inspect our trench that we'd dug last week, and after a week away it made last week's achievement look even more epic.

Ben likes to give us a challenge though, and so he had an even bigger task for us this week. We had to:

  • Fill the trench with rubble.
  • Break up the larger bits of rubble so they would all pack down neatly.
  • Fill in the gaps between the rubble with wood chip.
  • Stamp it all down, and mix it around so there were no air pockets.
  • Build a wall out of sandbags and gravel bags.
  • Fill in the gap behind the wall with all of the soil we'd moved last week.

At this stage Trainer Aron was starting to look a little confused, because we definitely weren't planning to come back next week. Maybe we'd finally bitten off more than we could chew, but if this group is anything, it's ambitious, so the only thing for it was for us to crack on on with it!

We split into groups with half of the wheelbarrows heading for the woodchip pile and half heading for the rubble. Everyone got to grips with the challenges (including the perils of trying to direct your spouse as a GoodGym Trainer) and in no time at all everything started to move along smoothly. Barrows were filled, with rubble being tipped into place in the hole, where the Sledgehammer crew were goggled-up, ready and waiting. This was an exciting moment as it was our first taste of sledgehammer action. Immediately, Julie took on the role of resident expert, and promptly directed Katie on how to ensure maximum smash for your swing:

"I think you're hitting it in the wrong place!" You need to aim for that bit." Julie, giving a technical analysis of Katie's sledgehammering.

The sledgehammer really seemed to be a way for people to work out the stresses of their day, with some putting a bit more into it than others! After realising that the concrete blocks wouldn't be broken down any further, these were removed but the bricks and other rubble were bashed and smashed until they all sat together in a nice, relatively smooth layer. Julie later admitted the secret to her hammering technique:

"I was just imagining myself as Thor" Julie

Over at the woodchip pile, the barrows were also being filled and then transported across to the trench. The woodchip pile was a little further away which apparently just gave the group more time to get a bit giddy before they started working. It was only her second week, but it already feels like Naomi's run report worthy innuendo has been a part of the group forever. She didn't disappoint tonight:

"Fill me up George!" Naomi, requesting the filling of her wheelbarrow

We started to get some bottlenecks at this point as the woodchip was arriving faster than we could break up the rubble, but with a bit of shifting around of the group we soon got it under control again. Once we had enough rubble, and the woodchip had been thrown on the top, everyone needed to pitch in and shuffle the bricks around, stamp the woodchip down, and just generally wiggle and dance their way across the foundations to ensure there were no air gaps. We were now desperate for more woodchip wheelbarrows, and so loads of people were redistributed, and a steady stream of bobbing headtorches made their way to and from the woodchip pile.

With the woodchip and rubble mix now level with the original path, it was finally time to Build the Wall. We formed one massive chain of GoodGymers, passing bags along the line to put them in place. The bags were up to 30kgs so most people passed in pairs, but some were feeling super strong and passed the bags along by themselves. The bag shifting took super teamwork and reminded one particular runner of something:

"Have you ever seen the film 'Antz'? It feels like that" Carol (I think), although to be honest it could have been any one of the colony!

In no time the wall started to take shape, and Ben explained that we would lay the bags in brick fashion, with the second layer offset from the first, as this is what would give the wall it's strength. In just a few minutes, we'd built the wall four bags high, and around 10 metres long! While everyone collected the tools, a few people speedily shifted the soil back into the gap behind our wall and the job was complete! Absolutely outstanding work everyone.

With the satisfaction of another task well done, we returned all of the tools, took a quick snap and made our way back to base for a stretch.

I would normally conclude by letting you all know how amazing you are, what a great thing we achieved, and how I can't wait to do it all again next week, but in honour of our report title, I thought I should I should let the immortal genius of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and co do it for me. Enjoy!

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Callum signed up to a group run
Group run
Leeds

Meanwood Farm part two

Wed 29 Jan 18:30 pm
Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, LS6 1BL
Join us for some more fun down at the farm!

Welcome to GoodGym Leeds! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every week to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations and projects in our area.

The Task:

They've got so much for us to get involved with down at Meanwood Farm that we're going to go back two weeks in a row! After digging a huge trench last week, we'll be filling it with rubble to create the foundations for a retaining wall, which we will be making out of big gravel bags. There's also some more soil shifting between polytunnels, and I'm sure some other seriously tough tasks!

The Run/walk:

GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and it is possible to walk to the task if you would prefer, please just let us know beforehand so we know that you're coming.

This week's run is a total of around 5km, mostly downhill on the way out, and mostly uphill on the way back! We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.

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Callum went on a group run
Group run
Leeds

The hole, nine yards

Wed 22 Jan
Report written by Aron Fulton

Sometimes (ok most of the time) GoodGym is exactly what you want it to be. Tonight was one of those nights. It was a super-fun physical task, everyone was in a great mood, and it was just a great evening!

There was loads of news to share. While we'd just slipped out of the top division in the January Challenge, tonight's group run promised to bring us back into the Gold division (as I write this we're in 15th)! We have loads going on at the minute, and it's great to see so many getting involved.

We also had a string of people hitting their 10th Good Deeds this weekend, with Alex, Julie and Rachael all hitting double figures. We also had four newbies, with Brogan, Rob, Naomi and Eimear joining us for the first time! That's a big number of people who deserve a massive cheer, so go and give them some love!

Tonight's run was down to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, who are starting to make big plans with the things we can do for them, which is awesome!

We started out with a quick 'Big Wave' warm up to show off to all the new GoodGymers how coordinated we are (I think we can agree this is still a work in progress).

We then set off down the hill towards the farm, with Helen backmarking. We arrived to find Ben, the task owner was all ready and waiting for us. He had three pretty massive jobs for us to do:

  • Dig a big trench, around 2 feet wide, and about 10 metres long
  • Move around 40 bags of gravel/sand across to the hole
  • Move a huge pile of soil from one polytunnel to another.

It was a super ambitious list of tasks that looked impossible at first, but for this group impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. (Kudos to anyone who knows the quote!)

So we all just got on with it! We split into groups, with hole diggers, bag movers and wheelbarrow shuttlers, and we just started grafting! And boy did we work! There were some serious effort faces, grunts and sighs as everyone really put their back into what was a serious workout.

"This is harder work than my pump class" Julie, Leeds GoodGymer

The diggers were really taking it seriously, even if some tools were perhaps more suited to sandcastles than trench digging! Some people were also getting pretty defensive about the section they'd been digging, and didn't want to move on to a new area.

"I'm quite protective of my hole" Naomi, first timer immediately getting into the swing of saying something inappropriate enough to make the run report.

The whole idea with digging the hole is that next week we're going to come back and fill the trench with rubble, which will be the foundations for a retaining wall (made from the sand- and gravel-bags). It's a massive job, that the regular volunteers just don't have the time or the capacity to do.

"What you've done tonight would have taken me about 2 or 3 weeks of serious drudgery!" Ben, task owner.

Once the gravel bags had been shifted, and most of the trench had been dug, a splinter group split off to move the soil. There was a constant stream of wheelbarrows from one polytunnel to the other with the pace not letting up despite all the hard work that had already been put in.

With the jobs all coming to a close, the tools were collected in, and everyone had a chance to admire their handiwork. It is still genuinely amazing to see the amount that can be achieved by a big group of people who are keen to work hard, and even better to see the smiles on everyone's faces the whole time too!

The run back was up the hill we'd come down, so we let everyone take it at their own pace. Tom took the lead group, with Adam taking up back-marking duties. We all reconvened back at base, with a few stretches led by Julie and Helen.

Thanks again for a fabulous evening, I was bouncing along on my way home tonight! You're all brill!

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Callum signed up to a group run
Group run
Leeds

Helping out at Meanwood Farm

Wed 22 Jan 18:30 pm
Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, LS6 1BL
There's loads to do and we can help take the pressure off the regular volunteers

Welcome to GoodGym Leeds! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every week to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations and projects in our area.

The Task:

We're heading back to Meanwood Farm, with a range of tasks on offer. We've not finalised exactly what we'll be doing, but Luke always has loads for us to do.

There's usually some heavy lifting, digging, moving and maybe even some planting.

The Run/walk:

GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and it is possible to walk to the task if you would prefer. The task is a round trip of around 5k so just let us know if you'd prefer to walk. We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.

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Callum has done their first good deed with GoodGym. Wed 15 Jan 2020

Callum is a now a fully fledged GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the first time. They are out there making amazing things happen and getting fit at the same time.

Callum went on a group run
Group run
Leeds

Seeing the Good through the trees

Wed 15 Jan
Report written by Aron Fulton

It feels good to be back in the swing of things, with an amazing 23 runners braving the cold and windy conditions to join our run to help out Growing Better.

We welcomed Callum on his first ever group run, so he definitely deserves a massive cheer. Monika and George were completing their 10th Good Deeds so they deserve a big cheer too! We also celebrated reaching 150 members which is unbelievable in such a short space of time! That's a whole lot of people ready to get out there and do good in Leeds!

We warmed up with a quick round of 'Aron says' before heading out on the run. Liz took up backmarking duties, with Katie leading the way, and Aron and Adam looking after the middle of the group.

After enjoying our first ever dry run to Growing Better, we got straight on with the tasks at hand. They were:

  • Sawing some pallets in half to create a barrier around the allotment
  • Digging a trench and fixing pallets into position
  • Planting saplings on the bank

Everyone grabbed their tools, and while the sawing crew got on with cutting up pallets, everyone else made their way across the soggy field, which luckily didn't claim any fallers this time! Aron was busy showing off the new lights which hopefully you all agree make a massive difference.

We had a super friendly little helper tonight by the name of Flavia who helped point the floodlight where it was needed, and handed out saplings.

" She really wanted to see you guys in action, she didn't believe it was true!" Dorota, task owner

Some of the group were having trouble working out exactly what we needed to do, and there was some discussion about how carefully the saplings needed to be planted:

"Do we put them in perpendicular to the bank or do they need to be upright?" " I think the trees just work it out for themselves..."

I guess we'll have to wait and see if the trees do indeed work it out for themselves, but it's really great to be planting a whole load of new trees, even if it felt like we barely made a dent in their stock of over a thousand! The trees should really help to take up some of the water from the area, which in time will make the field less boggy, and help the allotment too.

Over at the allotment, the gang were discovering that all that digging and fixing the pallets into place can be pretty hard work!

"This is like a proper core workout!" Julie, Leeds GoodGymer

We've had several attempts at fencing off the allotment, and each time we go back it's amazing to see that it's all still in place, and looking pretty secure! Even this awful weather we've been having hasn't made a dent in the fencing. Dorota is convinced this is going to be really important for helping to keep the weeds out of the allotment, and to stop brambles from encroaching on the space.

With a big pile of pallets cut in half and moved, some more fencing fixed in place, and a huge number of tree planted, our time was up, and we made our way back up the hill, and finished back at the Book Club with a quick stretch.

You'll all be happy to know that we're not heading down to Kirkstall next week, which means we don't have to run back up THAT big hill. Unfortunately this is Leeds, so heading the other way means we will have another big hill to contend with! It's all part of learning to love the hills!

Thanks again for another wonderful evening, you're all great. See you at parkrun for volunteering on Saturday, if not see you next week!

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