Tonight's task was a real community event. We were helping a local councillor (Madhuri Bedi) with a playground clean to help the local kiddies enjoy a safe, clean area to enjoy. As ever, one of our GoodGym members Mabu was instrumental in making this event happen for us...thank you Mabu.
Before we go on and tell you about the task, let's talk about turning three!
Ha-pea birthday to us
This week marks our 3rd year of starting GoodGym Slough. I simply cannot believe how quickly this time has gone, how much we have achieved and how many lives and community groups we have helped support.
We've spent one and half years in a 'normal' world and the other half in a pandemic world. The pandemic months have seen us stop doing what we loved the most - our Group Runs, yet seen us grow and expand in so many ways. For those of you who like stats, this sums it all up
2018 - Good Deeds 314
2019 - Good Deeds 836
Then came the pandemic...
2020 - Good Deeds 1115
2021 (so far) - Good deeds 798
Suffice to say we will smash the 2020 good deeds tally by the end of 2021!
Let it slide...
GoodGym is more than a community of runners - it is now a community of walkers, cyclists and runners all who want to get fit and do something good back for our town. We could of taken a downwards slide during the start of lockdown 1, with us loosing our ability to meet up, run together and hang out, but we didn't. We put on our big girl/boy pants and started to help our community by making well-being calls to our vulnerable residents and shopping and prescription tasks to those shielding. And when the time was right, we were back out in the community with our Community Missions.
Swinging into the next phase
In July 2020, soon after our 2nd birthday, we started our Community Missions - capped sessions where we made our own way to the task. Boy were these popular! With so many charities and community groups needing our help, we were out in allotments, in church gardens, at recycling centres, charity shops doing something to help them re-open, re-start or just have a tidy up.
During this time we've had members reach 50 milestones to 100 milestones. Some have gone on to the 200's, 300's and even 400!
The GoodGym grit has always been there and we made sure our team had a focus and something to enjoy. We had endless virtual fitness sessions on the go as well as quizzes. Keeping in touch was important - hanging in zoom became a 'thing'.
Did you know?
We've covered over 27, 000 km's since we started in 2018!
That's the same distance as running to Darwin, Austrailia and back!
So once again, from the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU to each and every GoodGym member in Slough for helping us to achieve all these milestones!
50 Club As well as our birthday celebrations it was also Gauri's 50th Good Deed today - well done Gauri, welcome to the Club!
Back to the task in hand. With the freedom to meet anytime, any day, any place for our group sessions - tonight's meet up was at Kederminster Park where did our welcome brief, task brief and warm up before heading out the 2km distance to Grampian Way park.
So off we went down this road, up that road, left here, right there until we eventually reached the park to find the local community already hard at work! This is what you call a community task. Councillor Bedi had put a shout out to the residents to help and/or provide equipment like brooms and brushes and wipes! And low and behold, there it all was. Well done Foxborough for really getting into the community spirit.
Brushing up on our techniques
It's been a while since I've had to stand in front of a group of people to sell the GoodGym story, but Madhuri wanted us to go on facebook live to tell the followers who we were - and I never shy away from a camera!
Soon we were all in full flow of the actual task. We paired off and took a section of the park each.
Meera was on the biggest slide straight away! She had that piece of kit ship shape by the end
Gauri was below deck giving the poles a once over whilst Sut focused on the ropes and made sure they were safe
Sandy and Ruth were on the flat swing, the baby swing - or just any swing really - no monkeying around from these two
Jean was our sweeping beauty whilst Pam and Jen brushed up on their piling skills (think Jen was just practising last week with her piles in readiness for today!)
Mabu was in all corners of the play area - brushing here, sweeping there, with Kam was moss lady today, digging out all that green!
In 45 minutes we had helped to clear up 5 bags of debris, leaves, moss and litter off the play ground floor!
There was no hanging around tonight as we had birthday cake to enjoy, though we did enjoy a cold ice pop kindly given to us by a local resident before we set off.
A great task! And thank you for your hospitality Foxborough.
With a group of children at both parks as our captive audience (and there really was an audience as we warmed up in Kederminster park and then when we did the task in the Grampian Way park), so we took this opportunity to tell the families all about GoodGym for the adults and junior parkrun for the children! Some very keen kids eager to show us their running speed skills. Lets hope we get a few signups for both.
Our second return group session and it’s also our 3rd birthday!
This session will be to help a local councillor improve the play area for her local residents. Madhuri Bedi would be delighted to have our help in making the play area on Grampian Way cleaner for the local children to enjoy over the summer holidays.
We will meet at Kederminster Park (if you are driving down park on Reddington Drive). The meet up point will be near the play area. Meet up time is 6:15pm
After our welcome brief and warm up we will make our way to Grampian Way via Trelawney Ave, onto High St then into Common Rd and ending at the bottom of Cheviot Rd
This will be 2km each way so a nice run/walk distance.
Today was our second year of running the Slough Half Marathon in a relay fashion but this time we combined it with our celebrations for Pride month!
Pride not prejudice
Each year GoodGym Norwich have been setting the challenge for all the other areas to join in the month-long celebrations for Pride month. In any normal year there would have been street parties and celebrations but sadly Covid has prevented that, so we decided to join our Norwich team mates in running our own celebrations
Pride month is about teaching tolerance, education in pride history and continuing to move forward in equality.
Run our town
GoodGym Slough launched in July 2018 and in October 2018, the Council had arranged for the return of the Slough Half Marathon after a 20-year break! Even though we were fairly new we still had a red army of runners taking part. So this half marathon is one we will always remember for many many reasons - the weather not being one of them!
After completing our junior parkrun duties, those of us starting out of Salt Hill Park got ourselves ready to go..
S'miles all round
The zero heros got ready to start as some were keen to do to whole 13 miles whilst others were in it for just the mile: Ricky, Mabu, Tracey and I were all planning on going for gold! Whilst Sandy and Claire were completing the first mile.
It really did feel a race with so many of us running (safely!), out of the park and into town for the first leg and we really did look like 'unicorns' as one child at junior parkrun told me!
Start to mile 1 completed - we had one in the hole already!
Now Ninja Pam (Pam might regret ever telling us her nickname); had already walked her mile to the junior parkrun community mission so already we had one in the bag! She'd passed the baton from me to you for number 2 so we just powered on from 2 to 3.
Already left behind by the super keen lean team (Mabu and Tracey), I was very happy to see Chrissy for mile 2 to 3. Tri-ing so hard to run that Langley Road incline with smiles on our faces!...thank goodness that was our only incline - No wait! we still had Horlicks Bridge to come yet.
The next mile saw the same crew with no additional members picked up on route! This route will always be un-4-gettable for us. As we reached the top end of Langley High Street we picked up Nisha and Kam for the 4th s'mile!
Approaching the next mile was the party crew. Always a popular stretch of the course and a popular run route of many a run club, we picked up Sara, Meera, Jean, Roisin, Ruth and Agnie giving them a virtual high 5 for the 5th mile down Upton Court Rd. Knowing the running rules - we stuck to a pack of 6 as we merrily made our way down the road.
As we waved goodbye to the famous 5, Agnie stayed with us for mile 6. The Chalvey leg of the race with a hill! Another one...who knew Slough had so many?
The route takes you back to the starting area - it's so tempting just to stop right now and dip back into the park and just pretend I'd done the rest of the miles - I mean...who would actually know? Other than all my Strava followers?? But after a quick 7-Up, I was raring to complete mile 7 and not be late for mile ate! And oh look, another hill! Horlick's bridge!
Here we had Team B (Alison and Sut) ready and waiting to complete the rest of the course from miles 8-13 with us. We'd waved goodbye to Agnie so it was back to Team A again.
This end of any race is where is starts to get tough. You are past halfway yet not close enough to the finish to know that you've nearly done it. We were on cloud 9 to finish 8 up in Manor Park heading into Britwell. The next few miles saw us take on the trading estate and it's maze of roads (I always get lost driving around the trading estate - running it is no easier!).
Always glad to see legs 11, we knew it wasn't far off now. The Farnham Rd area with all its eateries were enough motivation to delve deep for mile 12 and another flippin' hill! The railway line this time. Seriously, I thought Slough was meant to be flat!
Oh the joys of Salthill park - think we were more excited than those getting their vaccines done there! Finally, we had made it.
Well done to all of our runners and walkers who completed one mile, two miles or the whole 13! and to our team member Jen who was doing her mile slot later on, Harsha who did her's in Portsmouth and Keira who did her mile yesterday
Once again, great spirit, vibes and energy from everyone! We certainly had PRIDE in Slough today.
Special thank you
So I'm sure I told you all of my night time problem last night! No, not what you think! I had been up since 2am with tummy troubles so I really wasn't thinking straight this morning. I was literally going to take it a mile at a time and just see how far I could go! But you're energy kept me motivated as I completed all 13 miles! So Thank You from me.
So here is our first ‘race’ of 2021!
I say race, but you can run or walk it.
This year we will combine the Slough Half Marathon relay with the #runwithpride event.
What does this involve?
It involves choosing a mile distance (or more) from the Slough Half Marathon route and running or walking it on Sunday 27th June..... AND.... wearing something colorful for PRIDE
If you would like a medal for this event and wish to support Pride, you can sign up here ⬇️ https://totalracetiming.co.uk/race/252
Otherwise just sign up for this session and I’ll give you more details soon (including map of the route and your preferred mile)
We can also do a ‘takeover’ community mission of Salt hill junior parkrun on the same date (seen as we will be in the park anyway)...Here is the link to that.
So ... sign up... get your rainbows ready and I’ll chat to you soon about the details
This evening’s task was our first task helping Britwell Youth and Community Project with an exterior grounds clean.
This task originally came through as a task referal in the winter time of 2019 but with little lighting outdoors it was one that we were saving for the Spring of 2020!
But something stopped us all in our tracks in 2020...
So back to 2021 when by complete chance I meet Qudsia at the vaccine Centre... a fellow volunteer... we got chatting and realized our paths had crossed once before (albeit digitally!)
So hey presto! Here were are with some clear objectives to:
- washing windows,
- cleaning paneling and facia
- and clean the railings
The A team tonight consisted of:
With Paula from BYCP on site to give us the tools, it didn’t take us long to wipe down the exterior and get ready for the escape (I mean photoshoot)!
It’s always great to get involved with new task owners. A return visit is already on the horizon
I love it when a plan comes together
Britwell Youth and Community Centre would like help with gardening, window cleaning, washing down the panelling/facia’s outside the building and general tidying of the building outside.
General tidy and clean up of their premise outside.
Tools will be provided but please bring gardening gloves
We are at our Adopt a patch Salt Hill this evening.
After 30 minutes of litter pick, they ran 2km distance. Well Done Meera for running the whole distance! Speedy Joe ran 11 miles of the park before starting the task, in still trying to work out how many laps that was. ( 22 laps) .
Every Mile counts for our April Challenge.