Londonderry Goodgym runner, Parkrun novice, originally from Brighton area
It was an extra special cakey night in Wandsworth yesterday, as we had a bake sale after the run to raise money for Paul's cancer Support centre. Last week was the Macmillan Cancer Support cake morning across the UK, so we thought we'd join in with our own event for a local cancer support centre that we have volunteered at as a group at in the past, and which does so much for the community. It was hard to resist the scent of delicious baked goodness, but first we had a run to do!
News you can use
It's monthly social time! This Thursday we'll be meeting up in Islington from 6:30 to discuss all things GoodGym, pun and running related. Click here to sign up and for all the details.
Well done to everybody that raced this weekend - if you're up for a challenge this coming Saturday, Herne Hill Harriers are putting on a 6 mile cross country in Streatham. Local, well organised, and a bargain entry too.
Welcome to Lucy, whose first group run was last night - give her a cheer!
No half-baked efforts here
Our job tonight was at a local school that is creating an incredible hidden garden for the pupils. They are doing all the work themselves and raising the money for it from fundraising - it's a huge project but one that will see created a lovely and educational area for the children to use all year round.
As we were warming up ready for the short run down to the site, we voted on the best cake out there. Cheesecake and chocolate cake were the outright winners, with a paltry two votes for the classic Victoria sponge!
We made it down there in good time to find Barry the caretaker waiting for us with jobs and tools, and got stuck straight in. Dividing up into groups we shifted tyres and paving slabs, moved fences, wood and other bits and pieces, cut back prickly bushes and prepared things for recycling. After the task was done we got a little talk from Barry about the future of the garden, but if you want to find out more check out this link to the project. We'll be back next week to tackle more jobs, so bring your headtorch if you have one!
After a shortish run back to base we took advantage of the newly opened road at the back of the BAC to tackle some conditioning and hill sprints. Seven minutes might not sound that long, but when you're switching up squats, planks, and lunges with tough hill reps, it can feel like an eternity. This is really great for your general fitness though - the reps against resistance increase your endurance, power and muscle elasticity while the conditioning exercises are great for strength and therefore preventing injury. Excellent to see you all putting in maximum effort and working so hard!
All that was left was a nice long stretching session and then CAKE. Thank you so much for all your efforts - I'll let you know how much we raised once I hear back from Paul's Cancer Support. Next week we're back to the school, see you then!
Another Wednesday, another sprinkling of goodness in the borough of Hounslow.
It was lovely to see some GG tourism - a big welcome to Fiona and Kate! It was a special night as we were also celebrating the birthday of lovely Michelle -happy birthday from us all at GoodGym Hounslow!
After a quick warm up that tested our agility, balance and coordination we started off our run pledging to do some kind things during the rest of the week. It's going to be a lovely few days for friends and family of GG Hounslow, as we promised to do extra missions, take loved ones on holiday, make scones for the office and look after our flatmates' cat. Oh, and help eat our mate's birthday cake. Nice!
We only had a short run to the local primary school, so we set off at a nice steady pace taking the railway bridge steps in our stride. Arriving at the school we found caretaker Claire, who had provided us with a list of jobs earlier that day, waiting to say hi. She let us know how appreciative the school was for the time we spend there after they've suffered budget cuts and are having to do extra work to avoid making redundancies. So it was with renewed purpose that we got stuck into the jobs!
After a surprising amount of discussion on how to divide ourselves up into small groups, we each took a job from the list which included trimming bushes, tackling bamboo (our Hounslow nemesis), weeding, skipping chairs and other bulky stuff and even putting together some water play tables for the kids. After 45 minutes of work we had ticked off all the tasks, and decided (after a non conclusive vote) to take a slightly longer route back to Turnham Green. With a very pretty yomp along the river, we got back to the park and smashed out a tiny tabata session which really got our hearts pumping, and a minute plank challenge where we took our minds off the pain by singing Michelle Happy Birthday. Then we went to the pub. Because, GoodGym Hounslow.
Next week we have an exciting new task at a local rowing club, where we'll be helping them revamp their clubhouse. Sign up here for more Wednesday running and gooding.
We have been asked by Strand on the Green primary school to come and lend a hand in their garden. We'l be cutting back and tidying hedges along with some other jobs.
Are schools are under pressure from funding cuts, so need our help!
They'll be a fitness session and a safe place to leave bags.
With 44 runners ready to run to an amazing community café, we kicked off the week good and proper last night.
We had some great parkrunning over the weekend from the Wandsworth troops - don't forget to wear your tshirt if you're heading to a parkrun this weekend, and you'll be almost guaranteed to find another GG buddy there!
Before our run down to Caius House, an amazing community youth centre, we had a warm up outside the rapidly refurbishing BAC. After getting our heart rates up, we asked everybody to tell the group one nice thing they planned to do this week. From treating friends to meals, to ringing elderly relatives, to making a cup of tea for flatmates and baking cakes, you lovely lot have a week full of kindness ahead of you.
With a shortish run we set off down the hill, and it really is heartwarming to see the general public's reactions to the sight of almost 50 runners streaming through the streets of Wandsworth on their way to do good. We soon arrived and met Aisling from the Grub Club waiting for us with a list of jobs.
There were lots of painting jobs to do, so we split into teams to tackle furniture, walls and those lovely murals, while one massive group set about giving the kitchen a huge clean ready for the café's upcoming inspection ahead of the big opening. The Grub Club will run free after-school cooking courses for disadvantaged families who wish to improve their cooking skills, confidence and knowledge, and we've been helping them set up this brilliant initiative for a little while now. With the opening in sight, Aisling has promised us an invitation, so watch this space!
With all the jobs done, we enjoyed the watermelon and cola bottles that the Grub Club had laid out as a reward, and headed off for a nearby park for a quick fitness session. Dividing up into small groups we took it in turns doing sprints and thinking up fiendish exercises for the rest of the group to do. After that we nailed a little abs blast featuring a variety of planks, before heading back up that hill to the BAC.
Great job everybody! Next week we have a massive community garden to help out - sign up here.
We're off to Kew Bridge tonight to do some more plastic picking and to move some of the small stones from closer to the water's edge up to the muddy area closer to the slipway to create a mud free path to the water. This will mean more people have access to the shoreline and the area will be lovely and clean!
As always, your GoodGym session will include a backmarker, a safe place to leave your bags, and a fitness session, all for your pleasure!
The past two years have flown by in a blur of gardening, painting, human chains, cleaning, sanding and many, many squats. Last night we celebrated our second birthday in Wandsworth!
In this time we have done a colossal
3707 good deeds
184 jobs for older people
62 runs to our coaches
37 413 kms run in the process
That is pretty inspiring stuff!
A huge shout out to Anil who reached a very special milestone last night, having clocked up a massive 50 deeds. Next time you see him in his black 50 tshirt, give him a high five for all the good he's done! A special mention should be given to Matthew who has not missed one single Wandsworth group run since we very first began. Way to go!
It was also lovely to have some great GG tourism from Lewisham, Hounslow, Westminster, Haringey and Lambeth - great to see you all!
Our task last night was a very well timed one given the ongoing heat. We had been asked by Leonard Cheshire, a fantastic organisation in Battersea that supports disabled people, to come and wash their fleet of mobility buses. So after a nice steady mile run down, we arrived to find buckets and sponges and a list of jobs to do.
While half the group got started getting those buses squeaky clean, and themselves a little dirtier, two other sets of runners got stuck into sorting out the garden and washing windows respectively. Forty minutes later, the place was looking much tidier, and we could see our hot and sweaty faces in the shining buses! Setting off for the park we were even 'treated' to a surprise watery ambush by Chi and Andrew from behind the fence. Naughty!
After a little jog over to the park, we eschewed the usual fitness session for a series of party games that still managed to get our hearts pounding. There was some excellent action from the ladies in the biggest British Bulldog game of all time, so amazing super strong Planking lions, and a semi successful game of Blob Tag.
All that was left was a run back to base, a good stretch and then to head over to the common to celebrate our birthday with a special Wandsworth picnic. There were laughs, there was cake, there were party poppers and hats!
Here's to you, GoodGym Wandsworth, for making our borough proud and putting so much into doing good. Happy birthday!
ps our special birthday video will be making an appearance on twitter and facebook, so keep an eye out for it!
We had some amazing news to start off our run last night. In GoodGym's biggest milestone yet, we have reached a whopping 100 000 good deeds. That is an almost unfathomable contribution to community, to the fight against isolation in the elderly, and to strengthening local organisations. For the past 18 months, the GoodGym Hounslow family has been part of this huge achievement, so well done each and every one of you. You can be proud whether you're on your first good deed, or your 500th! Here's to the next 100 000!
If you're in the mood for more celebrating (and who isn't?), then don't forget that the monthly GoodGym social is next Thursday, and that Wandsworth turns 2 on Monday, so come and join us for a run and celebratory picnic. It was also great to see some GG tourism from Jenna and Dilly, and to welcome Alicia back to the group. Hurrah!
We had some fabulous news from within our own lovely group last night, as we cheered lovely Michelle for reaching that magic 50th good deed. Well done for your commitment Michelle, and thank you for always cheerfully supporting your community with such positivity!
During our warm up we discussed what thing we should do at least once. Travel the world, party all night, watching the sunset/sunrise, live abroad, and, from Dave, don't die. Good advice!
We had a slightly unusual task last night. Some very lovely,and very expensive, bamboo had kindly been donated by a local resident to a community garden that we had previously worked on. So our first leg involved running to collect the bamboo, which, we were to find out, was easier said than done. Expecting a nice easy digging up of the flimsy looking stuff, we actually found that it was a complete pain in the glutes. Taking it in turn to have a go, while the rest of us pulled pesky caterpillars off plants and did a fitness session, we eventually managed to get a load out of the ground. In two groups we set off for the community garden. Imagine the stares we got - a group of red t-shirted runners running army-style with armfuls of bamboo. Never before seen in Chiswick!
Eventually we all made it to the garden and set about planting and watering it in. And, after all that, it was definitely worth the effort. The bamboo looked beautiful in the garden, and will no doubt flourish (we hope).
All that was left was a nice easy run back to the Town Hall, some stretches, and then a trip to the pub to celebrate all the good news. Andy and Remy are doing a long run on the weekend, if you'd like to join them, and it's Jenni's 50th good deed in Ealing next Tuesday, So much to look forward to!