Jessica Farmery

Tower Hamlets

32Good deeds

32runs

108cheers

Jessica Farmery went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Girls night pout

Mon 8 Nov
Report written by Laura Williams

“So if you could just pose, like, smile, and freeze. That would be great.”

And that’s how it continued tonight, with our all-female crew on this Monday’s active leafleting task. Pic after pic, before, during and after.

And stairs were climbed, buzzers buzzed, workshops explained, cores worked...

Yes, we did lots.

How it happened

We met on the corner of Dellow Street before making our way around to the rather dark St George’s Gardens. This proved to be the perfect spot for this evening’s fitness session, with its winding paths, rubber surfaces and benches. Quite the fitness playground for the team as they motored through running drills (“high knees, high knees… Promise you won’t look like this”), bench Bulgarian split squats, numerous nasty v-sits and some more running drills.

After nearly 30 minutes of focused fitness and flexibility fun, we wandered to meet Bablu from Trapped in Zone One by the DLR.

The story behind the task

Bablu had asked us to help out distributing 500 leaflets for a couple of new creative workshops, taking place in Shadwell shortly, to help create a design for a big new community mural, acknowledging both the impact and effect of the pandemic on the Borough, as well as the efforts by the residents. The mural also celebrates 50 years of Bangladesh independence this year.

We divided into two teams to tackle dozens of flats and shops. We chatted to interested, helpful and enthusiastic business owners and residents, all keen to know more about the project and help distribute the leaflets.

The time flew by, and before we knew it we’d clocked 7000 steps and 13-plus floors, returning to the DLR meeting point leaflet-less. Re-sult.

Great evening, everyone. Well done for your determination, and your patience (for posing endlessly for Yours Truly).

Next week we're at Meath Gardens for the first time this Autumn, for a big gardening quadruple-bill, plus pre-task, basketball-court fitness!

Until then.

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Jessica Farmery signed up to a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Monday Night Group Run: Leafleting and networking in Shadwell for new mural + full length fitness session

Mon 8 Nov 18:30 pm
Dellow Street Games Area, Shadwell, London, E1 0BW
Get the week off to a great start with this fitness + community double bill!

What's happening

We have been asked to put GoodGym fitness to fine use this evening in a leafleting task that promises to have us meeting the artists behind a new mural; chatting to residents and businesses around the Watney Market area, and in a fitness race against the clock, flyering 500 flats across four sites...

The leaflets will be promoting creative workshops that will be coming up with the design for a new community mural celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh independence this year.

We'll be meeting at 6:30pm for a pre-task workout in the Dellow Street Games Area for those who want a fitness double bill.

What you need to know

  • We'll be meeting Area Activator Laura at 6:30pm in the Dellow Street Games Area, E1 0BW, for those who want to start with the fitness session.

  • We'll be meeting task owner Bablu at Shadwell DLR at 7pm, for those who wish to join for task only.

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Jessica Farmery went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Sand Heft Auto

Mon 18 Oct
Report written by Laura Williams

✅ Rain: check

✅ Wind: check

✅ Mud: check

But that didn't deter 13 GoodGymers from showing up at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve to undertake the sixth visit to what I think is probably the toughest task since I started.

So what's the story?

The Nature Reserve has been able to upgrade the pond of this important area, as part of the Mayor's Greening Fund project portfolio.

It's allowed the team to fund paid internships, and boost this area of biodiversity, which also serves as a dedicated local space whose objectives include improving both physical and mental health of all residents.

Where do we come in?

However, it's a big project, and emptying one large space, only to refill another large space with sand and mud takes, well, a lot of work. A lot of dark, damp evenings shovelling, wheeling and lifting heavy stuff.

But there they were, out in full force last night. Take two large sand mounds, umpteen wheelbarrows -ditto shovels and coffee sacks - and turns out you have the ultimate total body workout. (And, let's not forget to mention the members who showed up for the Middleton Green workout beforehand - way to go).

Don't Stop Me Now

The team didn't stop: from the moment they picked up the first shovel, to the last wheelbarrow being returned, it was one huge hive of activity. Mainly working in pairs, the GoodGymers shovelled sand into coffee sacks, wheeled them to the edge of the pond, before carefully tipping them out of the barrows and dragging them to join the lining line-up. Toughgoing, with treacherous terrain to boot, a huge amount was achieved.

"Look at that," said Michael as we approached the end of the evening. "Seriously, that is a really enormous help."

Quite.

Well done, everyone. That was a Monday night truly well spent. You rock.

Until next time

That just leaves me to thank Liz for this week's spectacular pun, and to shamelessly promote the second session at the pond this week: a 60-minute full body workout on Wednesday, once again, as a small team help Michael start lowering the sacks into the pond.

Until next time.

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Jessica Farmery signed up to a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

GROUP RUN: Rebuilding the Pond at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve

Mon 18 Oct 18:30 pm
Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Middleton Street, London, E2 9RR
On this evening's Group Run, we're shifting sand and lining sacks...

Come and join this tough task, complete with two workouts, to really kickstart your week.

What we'll be doing

  • We'll be meeting at Middleton Green at 6:30pm for a pre-pond workout before we start the sixth installment of our big pond task.

  • If you'd like to meet at the task, we'll be meeting Michael at the Nature Reserve in Middleton St from 6:45pm.

  • We have allowed 75 minutes for this evening's task, but we may finish earlier.

  • There will be a short, post-pond stretch workout back on Middleton Green after the task!

  • There will be somewhere to leave bags if you're coming straight from work.

Why so early?

  • Daylight! (this is a big new project, and we need to maximise the daylight left during the evening, so if you are able to sneak out of work a bit early...).
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Jessica Farmery went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

No diggity, I got to bag it up, bag it up

Mon 11 Oct
Report written by Laura Williams

Hola, upper body extravaganza

The evening started with a speedy little workout on Middleton Green, just as the sun was setting. We whizzed through some laps of 'the little hill'; mobility and agility drills and the obligatory balance work.

We then made our way over to Bethnal Green's Nature Reserve where no fewer than 17 of us came together to help Michael and the team start filling hessian sacks with which to line the new pond.

It was an hour of heavy lifting. Anyone ever tried packing a large bag full of damp, tightly packed soil and moving it? Hola upper body extravaganza.

But the team did good: working in pairs and small groups, bags were neatly filled, expertly lifted and dragged and the job done, as per.

"How long have we got?"

"How long have we got? Shall we move some soil around to the billboard area?" asked Task Owner Michael at 7:40.

Yes, let's. It's not as if we need our lats for anything else for the rest of the week.

It was a brilliant evening of productivity. Fantastically managed, from start to finish, with bundles of equipment and lights; fab leadership from both the task team and our team (Simon, you are the best steward in town) and the usual huge commitment to Getting. The. Job. Done.

We came together for our cheerios, and planning our next sessions (this Weds at 6:30pm; next Monday's Group Run at 6:45pm).

Post-pond stretching

Then we dispersed into two groups: those who were headed straight home for dinner and feet-up and those who took a mini detour via Middleton Green again for some post-pond stretches.

A wicked night, everyone. Fantastic to see so many come out on a dark night to lend a hand that makes such a difference (this is a huge project, a big undertaking for the Nature Reserve and a lot of work that might not get done, or at least might take a whole lot longer without you).

Aaand the shout-outs...

Shout-out to Jess for this evening's spectacular pun.

And not forgetting the biggest shout out to our Charlotte who tonight reached her 50th good deed. Here's to the next 50, and thanks for all you bring to the party, Charlotte.

Until next time.

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Jessica Farmery signed up to a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

GROUP RUN: Rebuilding the Pond at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve

Mon 11 Oct 18:30 pm
Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Middleton Street, London, E2 9RR
On this evening's Group Run, we'll be tackling the next stage of this big pond redevelopment...

What we'll be doing

  • We'll be meeting at Middleton Green at 6:30pm for a pre-pond workout before we start the fourth installment of our big pond task.

  • If you'd like to meet at the task, we'll be meeting Michael at the Nature Reserve in Middleton St from 6:45pm.

  • We have allowed 75 minutes for this evening's task, but we may finish earlier.

  • There will be somewhere to leave bags if you're coming straight from work.

Why so early?

  • Daylight! (this is a big new project, and we need to maximise the daylight left during the evening, so if you are able to sneak out of work a bit early...).
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Jessica Farmery went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Full Nettle Jacket

Mon 4 Oct
Report written by Laura Williams

Slowly but surely we arrived one by one to this evening's meeting point by Mile End Park's wonderfully-located Art Pavilion.

Each were greeted individually by our brilliant Task Owner John, who equipped everyone with a fork, and some truly sturdy gloves.

Why were we here?

Well, the countdown is on to clear some dense nettles and brambles in time for half term activity. And so Friends of Mile End Park called on us to help out on this tough, time-sensitive task.

Fork of the town

And so to work we went, our small group growing less small by the minute. We uprooted, we chopped, we stacked, we carried. It was quite the workout, not least for Rohan's fork, who gave up the ghost during the first half of the task. What can we say? John did say the nettles were tough. Impressive stuff.

With good ground lights saving the day, we proceeded to make large piles of our treacherous, discarded plants, which looked quite the stinger stash as we called it a night.

We gathered for tool deposits and our last pics of the day.

"So, you can do your keep fit up there," gestured John to the floodlit area of the pavilion as we finished up. "I'll come and see if it's any good."

And so up the hill we climbed, to the well-lit area above the pavilion for some spectacular views as we tackled mini (slippery) hills, Bulgarian split squats, hip mobility, and some fab static stretching with an official barre. Hur-RAH.

What can I say?

Another night to remember. "They blitzed a fair amount," John reflected as we walked back down the hill after.

I should say.

Until next time.

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Jessica Farmery signed up to a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

NEW TASK: Clearing nettles, brambles and ivy in Mile End Park's 'Chris's Wood'

Mon 4 Oct 18:00 pm
Mile End Park, Clinton Road, London, E3 4QY
Today we join Friends of Mile End Park to get this pretty route ready for half term.

What's the story?

We've been asked to join the Friends of Mile End Park to get this Woodland Walk area ready for half term bulb-planting activity.

What we will be doing

  • We will meet outside The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park at 6pm. There will be somewhere to leave bags if you're coming straight from work.

  • We'll meet John from Friends of Mile End Park and spend an hour or so clearing brambles and nettles in this popular stretch.

What you need to know

  • Please wear long sleeves and trousers. John, our task owner, will be bringing tools and sturdy gloves, but do bring own gloves and head torches if you have them.

  • If you want to join us after the 6pm start, we'll be fairly easy to locate around this area - it's easy to locate, to the left of the Art Pavilion. Any problems, contact Area Activator Laura for a dropped pin! (laura@goodgym.org)

  • We'll work our running and workout around the task - it's time-sensitive due to daylight, so we'll start with task first, fitness after (the perfect way 'round if you''re a bit post-Marathon!).

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Jessica Farmery went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

All court up

Mon 20 Sep
Report written by Laura Williams

Well, we didn't plan on a double fitness bill tonight, that's for sure. Who knew.

So a small little group gathered in Museum Gardens this evening, for our pre-task run. It was fantastic to be joined by Nina, who we haven't seen for a while! And although the run started off as a short one on paper, Si thankfully took over and, after some brilliant navigation finding the quietest, longest route (including a lap of Middleton Green), we managed to squeeze in a little bit of extra mileage en route to one of our favourite tasks.

Many hands, etc etc...

Margaret greeted us with a well planned operation: brand new gloves; bundles of bin bags, and the obligatory crash course in "What's-a-weed-and-what's-not." The team busied themselves along Ellsworth Street, weeding the entire border and filling bin liner after bin liner in no time. It felt like we'd only just arrived when we were already posing for our cheerio end shot.

What's a single leg squat between friends?

The task was scheduled to take the GoodGymers ninety minutes but 45 minutes in, we were scrabbling around for the last little weed. "Well, we're here now," we shrugged at 7:15pm, and so we accompanied Margaret to the Nature Reserve to take a quick look at the pond that'll be the job for next week's two-part task (including our Group Run), and then over to the basketball court we headed, where we enjoyed 20 minutes of not-so-easy fitness: a few speedy laps, some balancing lower body work; the obligatory core moves, and some nice stretches, oh, and a last final lap to finish. Not a bad effort at all, team.

Another great evening, doing lots, interacting lots, and just a lot of doing what you do best: combining your fitness and your sense of purpose into a heavenly 90 minutes for all those who come into contact with you. Way. To. Go.

Until next time.

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Jessica Farmery went on a group run
Group run
Tower Hamlets

Don't Stand Bow Close To Me

Mon 13 Sep
Report written by Laura Williams

Not a bad-sized group for this evening's task, joining the wonderful Trees for Streets team for the second time.

But first, the workout...

Team GG showed up early in pretty St Stephen's Green a little earlier than our Task Owners, to enjoy a short workout (and few Cadburys Heroes). We sped through some slow-out-fast-back shuttle runs; endless squat variations and speed skating, and other lower body warm-ups, before handing over to the brilliant Lizzie and Simeon for tonight's intro and instructions.

Armed with A3 maps, highlighters galore and the best local knowledge going, we were soon divided into three teams, over two Bow wards.

Those brush letterboxes

It was a busy evening out on these bustling East London streets but we all managed to blitz our areas: no letterbox too tough; no dog bark too ferocious, no street too long. We did good.

And it was really great to get the opportunity to chat to residents, some of whom opened their front doors (mainly those who heard us wrestling with those pesky brush letterboxes), to come out and find out what all the fuss was about: "Trees, I tell you, it's all about the trees"

We arranged to meet back at the Lord Morpeth after 8, to compare our leftover leaflet stash; flyering anecdotes, pics and post-task plans.

Well. Done. All.

What a team.

A huge shout-out to Simon, who not only took the reins at dividing up all those many streets into teams, but who's also just became the most recent member of our Task Force. Amazing stuff.

And to Charlotte who took some great pics, and to all those who showed up to this step-heavy, productive task tonight.

Until next week, folks.

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