Michelle Burke

Windsor and Maidenhead

19Good deeds

39runs

105cheers

Michelle Burke has done a 12 month mission streak. Mon 27 Sep 2021

Wow, Michelle has completed a 12 month mission streak. That means they've cleared gardens, moved furniture and changed light bulbs in spring, summer, autumn and even winter. Show your support and give them a massive cheer!

Michelle Burke went on a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

Human bicycle chain

Mon 27 Sep
Report written by Amy Lovell

A huge well done to Tessa and Michelle, who escaped during their lunch breaks today and joined me in helping the Cycle Hub move premises. Michelle ran from her desk, Tessa walked, and I cycled, so we had every aspect of GoodGym's 'Run, Walk, Cycle' mantra covered.

Active travel is also at the heart of what Cycle Hub do. Their goal is to promote the benefits of cycling and to get more people out on their bikes. You can read more about their brilliant work by clicking here. One of their many activities is to take in donations of unwanted bikes, refurbish them and sell them on. Their current stock of donated bikes is around 900, so moving premises means shifting a LOT of bikes!

They hired a flat-bed truck to ferry bikes from the old work-shop to the new, and estimated that the truck would need to do 10 trips to shift all of the bikes. I had in mind for the title of this report to be 'push it wheel good', but with lots of flat tyres and a spiral staircase thrown into the mix, the task involved less pushing and much more lifting and climbing. Think less pedal in the park and more Alpe d'Huez!

I arrived after Tessa and Michelle had helped Sarah, Mark, Toby and Shyam from Cycle Hub to unload the first truck-full and haul them up the stairs. The team were all smiling, but it was clear they had been working hard. While we waited for the next load to arrive, we had the fun task of helping to assemble the bike racks, which were made out of scaffolding poles and had arrived with the first load of bikes.

One of the challenges of bulky bikes, many hands and a spiral staircase is finding room to pass on the stairs, so for the second and third loads we made a human chain...it was a bicycle chain, but not as you know it! It was an effective system and still a great workout for biceps and quads. Michelle had to get back to work after load two and Tessa had to dash after load three. Having missed the first load, I stuck around for load four, before I had to hop on my own bike and head for home.

By the end I felt wheely tyred, but it was super satisfying seeing hundreds of bikes racked up in their new work-shop and knowing that we had helped with a big chunk of the move. Huge kudos to the Cycle Hub team, who continued working hard after we had gone.

Next Monday is part two of the move, so please sign up here to help if you can. The listing is three hours but if you can only stop by for part of it then that would still be a great help. Part two promises fewer bikes and fewer stairs but more tools and boxes of bike parts. Can't wait!

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Michelle Burke went on a group run
Group run
Windsor and Maidenhead

Thrive little champions, thrive!

Tue 27 Jul
Report written by Amy Lovell

On the day that Maidenhead's Tom Dean won Olympic Gold in the 200m freestyle in Tokyo, we were out helping some future champions of our own: the champion carbon-absorbing, oxygen-giving, habitat-providing trees of the future!

When we started working with the team from the Braywick Nature Centre to help create the new Thrift Wood last Summer, we understood that this was a project that would take 200-300 years to come to fruition. We had community missions removing dead saplings and their supportive canes and guards, harvesting acorns, planting acorns, and planting whips of various native species before the December Lockdown. Each session was a little step in the right direction, and today was another little step.

6 of us met in the Ockwells car park, warmed up with a few dynamic stretches and a lap of the junior parkrun 'top field' and then ran through the beautiful parkland beyond to reach the planting site. We met our task owner Alistair there and he explained our task for the evening: identifying living saplings and pulling up the grass around them to allow the sunlight through, encouraging them to thrive. Sheila, Michelle, Juli and Amy worked along the perimeter fence, while Sophie and Kelley focused on one of the quadrants where we planted acorns last Autumn.

We did say goodbye to a few dead little whips, tidying away their canes and protective spirals to be used again, but happily we found plenty living too! It was also really encouraging to see that some of the acorns we had planted had grown into baby Oaks. Nevermind 200 years, in less than one year we can see progress! At the end of our 45 minute session we had tackled about an eighth (8 fence posts worth) of the perimeter and the one quadrant.

We will be coming back for more on Wednesday 11th of August so sign up here! We also plan to list some more community missions for the same task, so keep an eye on the listings for those.

Afterwards we ran the most direct route back to the car park to allow time for....the Olympics! Well, sort of. The events included:

  • Athletics (running to that tree and back a few times)

  • Weight lifting (lifting a litter picker and whatever rubbish we could find)

  • Cycling (upside down to work our abs)

  • Swimming (Pilates style to target backs of legs and upper back)

  • Surfing (aka squat jumps)

  • Taekwondo (more for comedy value than anything as this is definitely not a discipline we have mastered)

Everyone gave it their all and did team GG proud. The medals awarded were in the form of yummy courgettes and beans from Juli's allotment. Some of them were even gold!

Well done to everyone who came along! Thank you to Alistair for another great task and also for taking some of the photos.

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Michelle Burke signed up to a group run
Group run
Windsor and Maidenhead

GROUP RUN/WALK to survey trees at beautiful Ockwells Park

Tue 27 Jul 18:45 pm
Ockwells Park, Maidenhead, SL6 3YX
Help survey and maintain the New Thrift Wood planting site

Group runs are back! If you remember group runs from before the pandemic then you might recall they always happened on Wednesdays and started at Maidenhead Town Hall. Well things have changed a bit and this week we are group running (or walking if you prefer) on a Tuesday evening and meeting at Ockwells Park Car Park, but otherwise its the same: getting fit and doing good all rolled into one. It is the stuff that GoodGym dreams are made of!

We've had some great community missions planting trees and acorns to help grow the New Thrift Wood at Ockwells Park, and we are thrilled to be invited back to survey the planting site on this Group Run.

If you joined GoodGym during the pandemic and you're wondering what a group run is: it is like a community mission but with more fitness and opportunities to be social thrown in, and the helping at the task part of the session might be a bit speedier than at a community mission. It is lots of fun and all fitness levels are welcome.

  • This evening we will meet at the car park at Ockwells Park for a quick warm up and briefing.

  • We will then set off on a 1-2km route to the task. Walkers are likely to take a more direct route than runners.

  • All paces are welcome. We always make sure there is an experienced GoodGym member back-marking on walks and runs to make sure no one gets left behind.

  • Walkers and runners will then gather at the planting site to get busy with our task: identifying dead trees and removing their guards and canes, and counting up and weeding around the survivors.

  • Don't forget you will need your own protective gloves.

  • Be warned also that the ground might be a bit uneven and boggy at the planting site.

  • At the task we will take some photos (just let me know if you don't want to be photographed) and hopefully have time for a quick fitness session too.

  • Then we all head back to our start location running or walking for a quick stretch and to say our goodbyes.

Can't wait to see you there!

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Michelle Burke went on a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

Ockwells junior parkrun #99 meets GoodGym community mission #450

Sun 4 Jul
Report written by Amy Lovell

After GoodGym sessions we always write a run report, and one of the jobs on the parkrun volunteer roster that we were invited to sign up for was Run Report Writer. So we decided to roll the GoodGym and parkrun reports into one, et voila! Thanks to GoodGym member Kelley Sharpe for the wonderful photos above.

A huge thank you to Run Director and GoodGymer Jen Francis and to the regular junior parkrun volunteers for welcoming GoodGym to help out at Ockwells this week. Thank you also to the weather, which smiled upon us at 9am despite being totally miserable an hour before. And kudos to the 25 runners and their families, who looked outside, saw that miserable weather and decided to go for it anyway.

Before the running began, Jen and her family did a great job of setting up the 2km course with cones, finishing funnel and flag, and briefing all the volunteers on their tasks for the morning. High vis jackets were distributed, tokens, token buckets and the virtual volunteer app were held at the ready and Tail Walker Anna donned the traditional lion's tail.

Attendees then gathered for the main event briefing and warm up. This started with a celebration of milestones acheived. Congratulations to Eleanor Hatchett-Walkers, who has now completed an incredible 50 junior parkruns, Phoebe Warren on completing her marathon (21 junior parkruns) and Tuana Demir on completing her half marathon (11 junior parkruns). Three cheers for each of you!

We also celebrated a GoodGym milestone, presenting Tara Isherwood with a medal for completing an amazing 50 good deeds with GoodGym. Tara's good deeds have included everything from volunteering at the Maidenhead vaccination clinic, to painting a pirate ship at a local school, gardening for local charities and and weeding Maidenhead's Waterways. Tara you're a superhero!

Jen also shared the important news that next week will be the 100th Ockwells junior parkrun, and we are all invited to wear fancy dress to celebrate!

Then came the fun warm up and countdown before we headed over to the start. As always the runners set off with great energy and there was much cheering. On their way round the course, runners and their families continued to show impressive energy and determination. Well done everyone!

First across the finish line was Oliver Credland with a PB of 9:31. He was followed by first timer Patrick Isherwood, and then Thomas Loveridge on his 45th time around this course. First female finisher was Caitlin Carey with a PB of 10:09. In total 7 runners achieved PBs today - nearly a third of the field. Awesome running! If you haven't already seen them, full results can be found here.

If today's event was the first time you heard of GoodGym, then you might be wondering who we are. GoodGym is a charity whose members combine getting fit with volunteering in our local community. Like parkrun, GoodGym believe in improving physical and mental health by bringing communities together, and chances are that if you like parkrun you'll like GoodGym. This 2 minute video helps bring to life what we are all about.

Check out our GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead home page to see what we've been up to recently and to browse our upcoming events. We love to welcome new participants and it is easy to get involved. You just need to be over 18, register on our website and complete a quick online safety module before you can sign up to a session. There is no minimum time commitment or specialist equipment needed to take part. All of our activities are drop in to fit around busy lives.

If you have any questions about GoodGym or know of a charity of community project that needs our help, please get in touch with amylovell@goodgym.org.

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Michelle Burke signed up to a race
Race
Windsor and Maidenhead

Challenge for the whole of July - Team Run Around the World

Sat 31 Jul 23:45 pm
Wherever your legs take you, Wherever your heart desires, SL6 XXX
Join Team Nomads for a month long race around the Equator

GoodGym's partner Run Things have launched their virtual event for July 2021 - and I just know this one is going to capture the imagination of the GoodGym crowd in Windsor and Maidenhead...

The Run Around the World pits 5 teams against each other in a race around the equator. During the month of July, it's our job to run and walk as far as we can to contribute to our team's total of 40,075km.

All participants get a medal, and Run Things donate profits from their events to charities who support, develop and benefit the mental and physical wellbeing of the public.

GoodGym is the captain of #TheNomads, so that's the team we want to be part of and cheer on. I have also created a sub-team called GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead, so search for and join this team when you sign up.

Get involved by entering on the Run Things website, and spreading the word.

Kids can't sign up to this GoodGym listing, but you might be interested to know that Run Around the World entries are available for them too - they won't need an account area and their distances won't be tracked. They'll get a medal though, just so long as they are active.

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Michelle Burke went on a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

GoodGym out in a-Boyne-dance!

Wed 30 Jun
Report written by Amy Lovell

This evening's task was weeding in the quadrangle and painting in the parish hall at All Saints in Boyne Hill. And wow, what a turnout! This was our 444th community mission, so it is possible I'm not remembering all the details, but I'm pretty sure that never ever have we ever had this many people on an in-person community mission before! (No not that All Saints! Oh dear...)

A big GoodGym welcome to new members Nivi, Emma and Gylla. Yes the puns are always this terrible. Everyone please do click on their names to find their profiles and give them a big cheer on their first good deeds.

Thanks to Father Jeremy and All Saints Church historian Ken for giving us all a warm welcome and for arming us with lots of tools. This listed Victorian church is a lovely setting for a GoodGym session, particularly on a mild June evening, with the majestic tree in the centre of the quadrangle in full leaf.

Emma, Hannah, Nicola, Nivi, Gylla and Amy were team All Paints. Step one was sanding - a great arm work-out, if a bit noisy. Step two was a speedy wipe down, and step three a theraputic application of gloss. By the end the skirting boards looked satisfyingly pristine. We look forward to returning to give the remaining woodwork the same treatment.

Vicki, Louise, Kanika, Diya, Roberta, Tara, Michelle, Juli, Tessa, and Georgeta were the weed dream team, fanning out across the quadrangle and battling the weeds with great energy. The grass encroaching onto the tarmac from the central circle was particularly stubborn, but the team made great progress and pulled up an a-Boyne-dance of weeds.

As well as all this weeding and painting, we also managed a few more things this evening...

  • Georgeta taught Tara how to speak to weeds in Romanian
  • We learnt about the famous architect George Edmund Street, who designed this beautiful church in 1857. The tiled floor is currently undergoing a huge refurbishment project, so the church is closed, but some of us got a peek inside.
  • We learnt about Nic's pet rat George (an intelligent chap, but easily distracted by food....aren't we all George!?)
  • Green-fingered Juli ran 4km carrying a caddy of gardening tools
  • Amy, Nivi and Gylla found common ground reminiscing about working in the toy industry
  • Michelle found a secret strawberry farm
  • Tara got her documents checked by Amy, so she is now on the road to becoming 'mission verified' - whoop whoop!
  • Vicki took delivery of a bag full of plastic bottle tops to use in crafts at her pre-school
  • Diya mastered (invented?) the three different ways to use a hoe. Can we call it the hoe-ly trinity?

So all in all a very productive evening. Well done everyone! We hope to return to help at All Saints again soon.

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Michelle Burke has completed 15 good deeds with GoodGym. Thu 24 Jun 2021

Michelle has completed their 15th good deed with GoodGym

Michelle Burke went on a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

Ooo! aaa! a little bit more!

Thu 24 Jun
Report written by Sophie Lack

Tonight's community mission was our first for the Mencap society and we were tasked with helping to clear / de weed their rather overgrown back garden space. We spread out and tackled different spots. The nettles were as high as us which made us go "ooo", the thorny brambles made us go "aaa" and when it got to 8pm we all wanted to do "a little bit more". A satisfying task and also a great stress buster! We hope to come back soon to tackle more of the same...!

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Michelle Burke signed up to a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

Weeding and painting for All Saints Church in Maidenhead

Wed 30 Jun 19:00 pm
All Saints Church, Boyn Hill Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4HE
Help tidy up the church grounds

Gather at All Saint's Church in Maidenhead for a busy session weeding in the beautiful quadrangle and painting skirting boards in the Parish Hall. Do bring your gardening gloves and wear clothes that wouldn't mind a bit of paint splatter.

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