Group Fitness Activities
Saturday afternoon at the Oxford Mutual Aid food bank:
We didn't have as many food parcels as usual to prepare this week. After finishing up the 2nd load for the van and the handful of Emergency Parcels we moved on to a range of jobs to get the hall ship shape.
Katie and Lucy portioned up hundreds of nappies, Sarah flattened endless cardboard boxes and organised the toiletries, Jo sorted fruit & veg, got the fridges in order, and took the soft plastic over to CoOp for recycling. Meanwhile Zoe, and then Katie too (suffering from nappy fatigue - it's a thing), restocked the food shelves and I sorted through the bread and then took out the crates of food waste.
We left the food bank in good order, ready for a busy Sunday morning.
Welcome to GoodGym Lucy!
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.
The last few weeks Oxford Mutual Aid have been very short-staffed on Saturday shifts, so we have spent much of our time packing food parcels to be sent out that afternoon. We will give training on this if you haven't done it before. Obviously, providing the food is the highest priority, but we always try and make sure we do some cleaning and sorting out too.
Please wear a mask.
Escape the city for a 10km walk through the Cotswold countryside.
We’ll take the road through the pretty village of Kingham, venture out along the farm track (wellies required- this bit gets muddy in winter) towards Daylesford. We can pick up hot drinks at Daylesford farmshop at the 4km point (pricey but excellent coffee) before carrying on through the woods, over the fields and back through Bledington village.
I have booked a table for lunch at The Kings Head for 2pm. It is at about the 8km point.
If you’re driving there is plenty of parking at the workshops.
Train from Oxford to Kingham leaves at 10:44am and arrives Kingham at 11:10am. The station is 400m from the workshops.
Toilets available at the meeting location.
The John Radcliffe Hospital has requested our help to clear up the litter around the site. There are lots of masks, food wrappers, cigarette butts etc. They are hoping that we can do a big sweep around most of the site, so we will divide into smaller teams of approximately 6 people to head in different directions and clear up as much as we can.
Things to note for this task:
Please wear a HI-Vis if you have one. We have a few spares which we will bring along. Although we will be sticking to the pavements as far as we possibly can there's a lot of traffic around the site and I want you to be as visible as possible.
On which note, if you have a torch or head torch please bring that too.
Litter pickers and bags will be provided, but if you have your own litter picker do bring it please.
Gloves are always good kit to have for litter picking.
* 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 the John Radcliffe Hospita 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 the hospital.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm at the layby as you enter the hospital site off Headley Way. Location pin here.
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.