Project Shoebox has been one of our favourite festive tasks over the last couple of years.
Volunteers collect toiletries, self-care items, fluffy socks, confectionary etc to pack as gift boxes for individuals and families who are in Oxfordshire domestic abuse refuges, homeless shelters, or who are refugees/asylum seekers. The aim is to offer a bit of kindness in a tough time.
Packing a box is like a very festive game of Tetris - if it rattles you can fit more in!
Please note: the hall where this task has been held in previous years is unlikely to be able to host this year, so venue is TBC. Will confirm asap.
Please wear a mask.
There's only space for a few people on this task, but there is a group task at Oxford Mutual Aid the same evening if you miss out on this one.
We've been given access to the Roger Bannister Track for a running session this evening, so if you didn't get a spot on the Shoebox Project task this is your alternative.
Track sessions are great for all speeds and experience of runners - since we run around in circles no-one can get too far ahead or behind the group!
We will do an introductory session including a warm up, section of fast and slow intervals, then a cool down jog at the end. The principle is similar to a HIIT session, where you alternate sections of higher effort with gentle recovery sections. Everyone will run or run-walk at their own pace, so the faster runners will just have to complete more intervals in the time ;-)
Open to all, come and join in!
Meeting point: Meet outside the main reception to the sports centre at 6:10pm. If you are late then explain to reception that you are with GoodGym and they will direct you through to the track.
Today’s Advent Calendar suggestion is inspired by our task monitoring bee boxes in Wytham Woods - commit to taking part in a citizen science project.
Here are some suggestions of projects:
- Do some more monitoring of the bee boxes in Wytham Woods or the ones around Oxford City. All the info on how to take part is in our report from monitoring the boxes in Wytham Woods. Find it here.
- Browse NASA Citizen Science projects and pick one to get involved in here.
- Get prepared for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (28-30 January 2022). All info here.
- Browse projects needing volunteers to help across many disciplines on Zooniverse. You can choose from history, architecture, or social sciences, to name just a few.
Maybe you could put up your own bee nest box or bird feeder and monitor wildlife from the comfort of your own home?
Let us know in the comments which project you’ll be taking part in and send in pictures of you taking part to firstname.lastname@example.org for the report.
Strettttttccccchhhhhh! Start the week in a cloud of calm with some online yoga.
Whether you do your yoga in the morning, during the lunch break, or save it for a lovely moment of evening serenity, get your stretch on this week with one of our recommended yoga sessions.
Cozy Yoga is a gentle 40 min Yoga With Adriene (featuring a delightful amount of Benji the dog) session designed to help you rebalance, destress, stretch, soothe and find calm.
With a distinct lack of Benji but a brilliant session nonetheless there is Yoga for Psoas, a video I come back to time and time again. This one is a bit shorter and a bit more dynamic, with some lovely warrior poses in the middle.
Prefer your yoga IRL? The following studios run classes in Oxford:
EveryBody Studio on Magdalen Street, East Oxford
Prana Yoga in Jericho
Sunshine Yoga at the Old Fire Station, Central
AJ Active in Rose Hill. AJ also has an excellent YouTube channel full of fantastic videos ranging from yoga to step aerobics.
GOODGYM ADVENT CALENDAR DAY 1 - Register for 'Run Up to Christmas'.
Run Up to Christmas is a festive themed virtual running event – it can be run anywhere in whatever way you want. This year the profits from the event are going to be divided between GoodGym and the mental health charity MIND. You can register to take part here.
You have from the 1st December up to and including Christmas Day to run as many miles as you want. You can choose a goal reach and you can start on any date on or after 1/12/21. You can take part on your own or with your running buddies as part of a team! If you want to be part of the GoodGym Oxford team use this link. You can change your target along the way if your circumstances change. The targets are:
50km (avg. 2K a day)
100km (avg. 4k a day)
150km (avg. 6k a day)
200km (avg. 8k a day)
or a whopping 250km (avg. 10k a day)
This is not a run streak challenge, you do not need to run every day (and please bear in mind that injury sucks and rest days help make it less likely you'll get hurt). You just have to set a goal to hit one of the targets, track your runs through whatever running site you use. We would encourage the use of Strava as this can be linked directly to your account on the Run Things website, and we have a GoodGym Oxford Strava club here where we can encourage each other. If you prefer not to use Strava you can manually upload screenshots as proof of your runs from any popular running app, treadmill or watch.
At the end of the 25 days submit your distance through your account area on the Run Things dashboard. If you’ve hit one of the milestones you get a festive medal with a unique lanyard to mark your achievement.
Kids entries available, too - they won't need an account and their distances aren't tracked. They'll get a medal sent, just so long as you keep them active.
On this week’s Group Run we’re introducing some healthy competition to our Good Deeds.
We’ll split you into teams at our meeting point at East Oxford Community Centre, give you the scavenger hunt challenge, and allow you an hour to complete as much as you can. You can run, walk, or cycle. May the best strategists win!
You will need a camera/smartphone per team. Gloves are advised. Everything else will be provided.
We will be allowed use of the Lounge at EOCC, which is on the right as you enter. We also have both somewhere to leave bags and access to the toilets this week.
Ark-T are a cultural hub for Oxford's Christmas Lights Festival, which launches on Friday, so last night they called in GoodGym to get the play space and back garden fully dressed with fairy lights in preparation for the event.
Everyone got very creative - trees, shrubs, fences, and boulders were all artfully draped in fairy lights - but biggest KUDOS goes to Hattie for spelling out ARK T in fairy lights on the play space fence!
We worked away for an hour or so, sweeping up leaves in garden and play space, uncoiling and detangling strings of lights, scratching our heads a little over making sure all the links connected correctly, and trying to ensure we didn't create any trip hazards. The big switch-on of the power was our reward, as the garden and play space turned into a magical kingdom of twinkling lights. It'll look beautiful on Friday.
It's Christmas Party time!
We're still pinning down all the exact details, but the date of our Christmas celebration is confirmed, so please sign up if you're interested in attending so that we have an idea of how many of you to expect.
We're currently considering whether to have the whole event at the Lord Mayor's Parlour, or to have a drinks reception there then head out for dinner around 8pm. There will be a cost to attending due to food and drink costs. This amount will be confirmed soon.
Let's get dressed up and celebrate everything you've all done in the last year!
What a lot of litter!
Helping Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon 17 runners, walkers and cyclists met at Rose Hill Community Center where Trev and Katherine from RHILC explained how we can help the environment by clearing up our litter.. or in this case Rose Hills!...
no strangers to mess the last time we were in Rose Hill in April we cleared an amazing amount from under the bridge Watch the video if you missed it!! Trev initially was worried there wasn't much to be picked on this Wednesday evening in November... how wrong he was!...
So splitting into group, we covered streets around the Oval, Rivermead Road, Spencer Crescent and Asquith Road, and the Southern Bypass (a little futher along that last time!). The estate is now looking spick and span but there is still quite a bit on the Bypass (why do people chuck rubbish from their cars? or even bag whole bags of rubbish or clothes and not take it to... a bin!!!)
Pant, yes! Shopping Trolleys, tick! Pumpkin, indeed.. Mog the forgotten cat, aww.... serial killer in the paper, aahhhhhh!!! we got a bit of everything! Thanks especially to the committed GGers who were stuck on the A34 on the way to the task.. no COPing out though and even Bethan and Lorenzo joined us in the end! Top picking commitment guys!
If you would like to know more about RHILC, or to get involved please do goto the website, sign up to the mailing list or let Trev know!
Tonight we are litter picking around Rose Hill. There is often a lot of litter around The Oval and the estate surrounding it, and with both the community centre and the primary school in the area it would be a better example to the younger generation if it was litter free.
We know you love a good plog - one of our most satisfying tasks - let's get to work!
Litter pickers and bags will be provided but please bring your own gloves. As the evenings are dark now I suggest hi-vis if you have them, and headtorches would be helpful for everyone. I'll bring our portable lights and a couple of spare head torches.
* Anyone wishing to run to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 5:45pm. There will just be a running group this week as it is a little too far to get to Rose Hill in time if we walk. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets. It is just under 2 miles to Rose Hill.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm outside the Rose Hill Community Centre, Carole's Way, OX4 4HF