11 Goodgymmers joined us last night for our first group-run style community mission from a new start location. We had a great mix of GG Islington regulars, and plenty of new participants (welcome to Alicia, Hana and Florence).
Six runners started at The Packington Gallery near the Arc Centre, Islington- a food bank project which GG Islington have assisted in developing over the lockdown. This new location allows us to safely drop off bags and belongings before embarking on a social run to our task. Our crew set off towards Market Road Gardens (2 miles out, 2 miles back) on residential streets, with Ellie and John back marking to make sure we maintain social distancing on our journey.
Upon our arrival, we met up with Frannie from Octopus Communities Network, who had already set the rest of our team to work. Our objective was to make the final preparations for the wild gardens, public access pathways and vehicle entrance for the Heyward Adventure Centre, ready for groups of school children to visit next week. Plenty of weeding, cutting back overgrown foliage, collecting green waste for the hugelgarden bed and litter picking completed by our crew.
Please note that it might be time to consider bringing headtorches to tasks again, as this task did start to get quite dark. Trainer Simon will start running with the portable bat lights again to help with this!
Fantastic work everyone, the space looked absolutely smashing, especially after the months of work that GG Islington had contributed to this project. Keep an eye out on the community mission listings for future Octopus Communities tasks at Highbury Quadrant and Shepard's Hill Allotments!
Meet our team at the Packington Gallery Food Bank (6 Prebend St, Islington, London N1 8PT), for our weekly group run to the task.
We have a key to the space, and we are able to leave bags here. A bathroom and changing area is also available.
6 km total run distance (to Market Road Gardens and back)
You are welcome to meet us at the task as well, if you prefer not to run.
Task location: 15 Market Rd, London N7 9PL
All paces and speeds welcome. Walkers and cyclists also!
Market Road Gardens
One of GG Islington's most popular tasks! Expect some gardening, weeding, wheelbarrowing and trimming. Frannie from Octopus Communities will be present to offer us lots of jobs!
Our plan is to prepare the space for visiting families and school parties when the gardens open again in September.
Federica is part of a crowd that's making a huge noise. Federica has been cheered by 25 people - that's a round of applause just on their own. We hope they keep it up.
Federica is a now a pretty committed GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the fifth time
Ten Goodgym Runners met at Kentish Town Farm to help move some logs for the preparation of a Woodland School at the site. Most of us gathered at the usual Camden start numbered up and stated our favourite lockdown experiences. This range from goodgym missions to off-road bike rides on bridleways. We warmed up then set off on the 2.9km run to the farm with John leading and Paul back marking. On arrival we were met by Mel who talked us through our task and as a reward we were promised cuddles with the goats! ( have you seen those horns!) We moved to the back of the farm past the amorous gazes of the goats to start moving the logs. It was hard work but we managed to complete the move in good time. Towards the end we discovered a hedgehog nestled in the last of the wood. (The hedgehog stole the limelight from the goats for me) On our way out we feed the goats who insisted on cuddles and selfies! Thanks for running coming and doing some good.
Ps next week’s run will be at Cecil Sharp House.
Camden's back! Not like normal just yet, but this will be our ninth group run-style Community Mission since we've come out of lockdown.
We're going to be going back up to the Kentish Town City Farm to see Mel and the goats, but also to lend a hand shifting the infamous wood pile and helping out around the farm! Hopefully it won't be as wet this week as it was last time! We'll meet outside the Living Centre from 6.45pm, and after a short intro, we'll get going just after 7pm. We'll run to and from the the Centre, as if it was a normal group run.
Trainer Ben won't be leading this task, but will be back with you in October. This session is being led by Barnet's Trainer, Paul!
In line with UPDATED UK Athletics and GoodGym guidelines, there will be a sign up limit of 12 runners each week on our runs. Tasks will be run at the same place for 2 weeks in a row, so I ask that if you've signed up to last week's run you don't sign up this week. This will allow more Camdeners to enjoy the tasks, so please think before you double sign up.
As social distancing measures are still in place, please remember the following:
- Bring your own pair of gloves for the task, that you don't share with others.
- Any task you'll be asked to complete will be socially-distanced. You're responsible for making sure you keep the 2m distance between you and other GoodGymers while you're working.
- Tools that you use at the task location will be yours for the time we're there, so please don't share them with anyone else (even with your gloves on).
We meet outside The St Pancras & Somers Town Living Centre, on the other side of the building from the main entrance to the Crick Institute. Look out for the red t-shirts!
There will not be a place to leave your bags and toilets aren't available, so please remember that you need to be able to run in what you bring. This is due to the Living Centre not being open to us just yet, but I'm working on it for future runs.
We welcome all abilities but ask that you are able to run for at least 15 minutes, don't worry though we keep together as a group and no-one is ever left behind! Come along and join us.
As always, after the run there'll be the option of keeping the Camden tradition of going to the pub alive (despite the pub being Granary Square), so you can carry on your catchups with folks.
Gonna be a good one - I'm looking forward to it!
Ben - Camden Trainer
It was wonderful to lead our first group run-style activity at Goodgym Islington since March!
10 Goodgymmers from all different boroughs joined us at The Arsenal Hub or at Thornhill Square Gardens tonight (or both in Mali's case. Great effort!). After an easy warm-up on a toasty summer's evening, we jogged towards the task together via Mackenzie Road and onto Caledonian Road.
Anna, one of the resident volunteers was ready for us as we arrived to the gardens. Aidan and Ellie grabbed pick axes and spades, and started tackle the tricky rose bush roots. Hanry and Federica snipped down some very tall (but dead) plants for composting using loppers and a spade. John and Caz trimmed and tidied the square beddings on the opposite side of the park, while Jackie was on litter patrol (she is a top plogger at most tasks!). Sarah and Mali continued with creating willow arches along the end of some more flower beds (a task we started earlier in the year!).
Anna did a great job with providing a vast array of tasks for our Goodgym crew this evening, which allowed us to maintain safe distancing throughout. Most of us tackled the slope back to the Emirates to complete 3 miles total running, before engaging in some light stretching as a cool down.
Great work today everyone! See yoi same time next week!
A troupe of GoodGymmers arrived for the next instalment of a series of community missions here at St Johns Community Garden, on an evening without last week’s downpour and thankfully a day after the sapping hot weather had subsided.
Work is moving apace here, with lots of progress each week that is really satisfying to see. Getting to work with forks, spades, mattocks and a twisty weed-liberating device, we focused on clearing an area that still has a bit of a wasteground aesthetic about it, meaning that unfortunately some locals are still chucking their rubbish into it. Soon though, this will be undisputedly beautified, and doubtless we’ll no longer have to clear up local detritus before getting to work.
We piled up rubble, bits of wood and bagged up plenty of weeds and brambles, and in just 90 minutes we had made a real difference to the space. Come along to the next session and help us keep pushing to make this a beautiful community space!
Come and join us at St John’s Church where we’ll be helping Alex with the garden.
Previous tasks have included weeding, planting, litter picking, turning the soil, and compost bin building.
You may be working amongst nettles and brambles so dress accordingly.
Alex will be there from 5-7, but you don’t need to come for the whole time. Any help will be appreciated.
11 GoodGym Camdeners headed out on a lovely sunny evening to help out at Cecil Sharp House last night
It was Federica's first Wednesday night group run after her first community mission on Sunday, so make sure to go over and give her some cheers. I hope you enjoyed the task and see you on another task soon! It was also Suraj's 100th Good Deed! HUGE congratulations Suraj. What an achievement - go and give him a cheer.
After a quick chat and warmup, Steve and  led the group, with Freya and I being the back markers. The cycle up from Oval was particularly long (and even longer for Freya, from Dulwich!) on the night so our pace was much more casual.
Arriving and meeting Susannah, our work was cut out for us. Nearly 5 months of leaves, growing hops (yes, the ones that you need in the beer making process!) and vines across the back steps, gutters completely full of mud and leaves, and weeds that had sprouted up everywhere. We got to work and were able to make a lot of headway in the 40 minutes we were there - every time Susannah came back to an area there'd be a 'Wow!' or two!
Just gone 8pm, we started to wind down and pack up after making considerable headway in taming the jungle that the gardens had become. Next week we'll be back - in true Arnie style - to finish what we started.
It's also my last group run with you for 2 months as I'm off to Denmark with work until the end of September! Sign up here if you'd like to come along. We're back to slightly larger group runs now, so there are 12 places available.
Hope to see you there!
COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY: We've got another session back at St Johns Church in Upper Holloway this Sunday evening, 5pm-6:30pm. Here's the link if you'd like to come and join us. There might be a chocolate twist in it for you, if you're lucky!