Group Fitness Activities
Give your bonce a break - try earmarking 5 mins in the morning, at lunch or in the evening for a little bit of mindfulness. Spending a small amount of time daily or weekly to be mindful or meditate can work wonders for our busy brains.
The John Radcliffe Hospital is the main Accident and Emergency centre for Oxfordshire, and provides acute medical and surgical services. It is the largest of Oxford's hospitals, covering around 66 acres, including the Children's Hospital, Eye Hospital, Heart Centre, Women's Centre, blood donor centre and many other services. The John Radcliffe site is home to the Oxford University Medical School and the base for most medical students who are trained throughout the Oxford University Hospitals Trust.
All this makes the hospital site very busy, with lots of footfall from students, staff, patients and visitors. And sadly, with people comes litter. The Estates team can't possibly be expected to keep such a large site litter free alongside everything else they do, so tonight we trialled a GoodGym litter pick to see if we could make a difference.
We met on the outskirts of the hospital site, briefed everyone on safety policies, divided into teams, tooled up with bags and pickers and then set off to clean up. One of our teams headed up the hill to the main entrance, another went along the path towards the blood donation centre, a 3rd team cleaned up outside the West Wing and Children's hospital, and our final team concentrated on the car parks.
Masks were the most regular find tonight.
They were everywhere....in the hedges, under cars, by bus stops. LOTS of cigarette butts too, and (oddly) a huge stash of cider cans in one of the car parks - did someone have a party in the car park?! Hats, hoodies and gloves were all found, but astonishingly NO PANTS. We even had a few appreciative comments and 'thank yous' from passersby.
We collected 18 large sacks of rubbish, a broken umbrella, a large box, and a folded mattress-y thing, and lugged them all off the hospital land for collection by Oxford Direct Services.
Well done everyone - the litter is an eyesore, as well as potentially dangerous, so it's great that we managed to clear up so much of it tonight.
Our Wednesday shift at the food bank was a little bit different this week. A shortage of delivery drivers meant that most of the food parcels went out on the van round before we got there, leaving us just 6 Emergency Parcels to prepare and a handful to finish up from the regular delivery list. This gave us a bit more time than usual to train up new parcel-packers, which was very helpful.
Rachael turned up laden with a food donation from the parents of another GoodGymer, which we added to a parcel going to someone we know is struggling to get enough to eat at the moment. We then worked our way through the packing lists, delivered 2 food parcels locally, and did restocking and reorganising of the hall shelves and kitchen.
Save a life today - register to give blood.
We know that not everyone can give blood, but if you are able to then your advent calendar item today is to go to https://www.blood.co.uk/ and register as a donor. It'll only take a few minutes and it could save a life, or several!
If you're already a registered blood donor consider booking your next donation appointment, or if you suit the criteria you could register to donate platelets here.
There's a blood donor centre where you can also donate platelets at the John Radcliffe Hospital, so if you're able to give blood it really couldn't be easier for Oxford residents.
If you're a first time blood donor there's lots of information here.
Rachael has just reached another level: 100 good deeds with GoodGym. That's at least 100 times when they could have easily done something easier. But they didn't, Rachael has kept going and going. Helping a lot of other people and getting a bit fitter at the same time. Congratulations Rachael.
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.
Wednesday = a couple of hours packing food parcels at the food bank. ALWAYS.
It's hard to overstate the importance of this task. We've done shifts at least once a week (and more often 2 or more) for over a year. We know that the food bank is a life line to many, but nonetheless any task can become routine after a while, until something brings you up short and reminds you how awful it is that people are forced to rely on a food bank.
Last night one of the regular delivery drivers told me that one of the recipients hadn't eaten for 2 days when their parcel was dropped off.
This just shouldn't happen.
I know that Oxford Mutual Aid hugely appreciate the GoodGym volunteers. Please know how crucial your role is in ensuring people can eat each day.
On to the stats:
- 340 food parcels were delivered last week, containing essential toiletries, cleaning products and baby products too. They helped 620 adults, 308 children and 89 babies.
- Oxford Mutual Aid also delivered over 300 reheatable meals to households across Oxford - a joint effort including teams at the Dragon School, Refugee Resource, St. Edwards School and Taste Tibet.
- 24 parcels went to residents who are being supported by St. Mungo’s and were recently rehoused having been living precariously.
- 30 parcels were distributed to 66 adults and 84 children through partnerships with Syrian Sisters and Oxford Asian Women’s Voice at Rose Hill.
Well done on your 10th Good Deed John!
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!