High Spirits, Low Key, Medium Ability.
Organisations Steve Lee has pledged to support
Today GoodGymmer Steve had a short and pleasant jog to today’s task. Miss D had a really overgrown front garden that needed taming, to help let in the light through the front windows and ease pressures with the neighbours. When Steve arrived Miss D had some lovely new and sharp tools to cut things back down to a more manageable size.
After an initial charge into the undergrowth, it turned out that packing away all the foliage into the bags was going to take a fair bit longer the time required to lop things down! So after an initial frenzy there was lots of snapping, crushing and compacting to get things tidy again.
A second wave of trimming was hurried as the sunshine gave way to a torrential downpour, making the jog home more of a soggy gauntlet, but Miss D was really happy with the results!
Ringcross Community Centre has been operating a large foodbank since the start of lockdown, and currently offers food and essentials to over 70 Islington households every week.
Islington Cycle Club have also offered assistance to the project, by arranging a food collection pickup from shops and supermarkets, often using a cargo e-bike.
Goodgym have offered to assist with delivering shopping parcels to various households around Islington (no more than 2 miles from the community centre).
Would you like to be a foodbank cycle courier?
All deliveries will be prepared in advance, with addresses and contact phone numbers attached to the parcels.
You will need:
A method for carrying pretty heavy stuff
This can be pannier bags, or a large rucksack (12 ltrs or larger). Most deliveries would be the size of 4 shopping bags of items, so a larger capacity bag will make your trip easier. A few spare bags will be available to borrow if required.
There are 3 large bags available to borrow if you are without a suitable rucksack!
Some sort of map
Google maps on your phone would be fine.
Confidence when cycling on London streets
We are looking for safe cyclists! Steady, controlled and predictable cycling is preferred over speedy deliveries!
Any questions, feel free to contact Simon Fitzmaurice (Islington Trainer).
The plan is to meet up outside the Arsenal Community Hub on Benwell Road, and after a short warm up, health and safety briefing and a warm welcome, we will run together to Elizabeth House Community Centre.
Task Location Elizabeth House Foodbank, 2 Hurlock St, London N5 1ED
If you are not planning to run with us, our arrival time at Elizabeth House Foodbank will be 7.10 - 7.15pm.
After our session, we will aim to arrive back at The Arsenal Community Hub for 8.30pm at the latest.
Things to Note
Please only bring items you are willing to run with.
The bag drop option is not currently available to us at the Arsenal Community Hub, as the space is being used as a Covid testing facility.
This also means that we do not have access to toilets or changing areas yet either.
Goodgym Islington were so happy to celebrate their first group run back at The Arsenal Community Hub since 2020, and were thrilled to have 12 Goodgymmers along with us. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces from classic group runs past, regulars from lockdown community missions and complete first timers giving Goodgym a go (welcome Matthew).
After a short warm up utilising the mighty slope up to Emirates Stadium, our team run to Market Road Gardens (one of our favourite task locations) via Mackenzie Road (passing Ringcross Community Centre on the way). 2 miles total distance covered this evening by everyone involved (Thank you for backmarking, Steve)
Area activator Simon unlocked all the gates for Market Road Gardens (a lovely permaculture project), and our crew wheeled out a collection of wheelbarrows, rakes, spades, huge brushes and shovels. We even created a glorious vehicle called "Herbie" out of an abandoned shopping trolley and a storage tub found in Heyward Adventure Playground. Our primary focus for the evening was to clear a huge pile of wood chip off the vehicular access point for the playground users, and into an allocated storage bay. Many hands got cracking with shoveling and transferring the wood chip across the park, while Patrick took charge of depositing the wheelbarrows neatly in the loafing bay.
Our 2nd task involved sweeping and clearing lots of mud, green waste and debris off the pavement surrounding the entrance to the community centre. This was all strewn across the paths after the very heavy rain over the weekend, so we collected as many of these obstacles as possible.
We admired our handiwork for a bit (all major tasks completed within 45 min!) before running and cycling back the Arsenal Community Hub, and topping off our group run with a final hill rep and a bit of stretching.
9 of us then made a visit to a great local bar called "The Highbury Library", located just behind our start point for some light refreshment and a quality catch-up!
Sign up to next Monday's group run to Elizabeth House Foodbank here:
3 Goodgym Islington regulars met up at Highbury Quadrant Estate Gardens around mid-morning (after parkrun timekeeping and well deserved lie-ins!) to help Octopus Community Network with their ongoing regeneration project.
Frannie was on hand to show us direct us the tasks on offer (all centred around the main decorative meadow). The new toolshed is due to be opened up to the public very soon (as a neighbourhood gardening hub), so we wanted to make the space look as sharp as possible.
Area activator Simon helped out by moving large bags of compost to the orchard via wheelbarrow, and by organising some donated plant pots for future gardeners. John grabbed a set of shears, and did a smashing job of snipping away at the overgrown tree line surrounding the toolshed (in good time as well, as Frannie was worried about the gutters getting blocked before the torrential rain on Sunday). Steve had arguably the most satisfying task- the plan was to rebuild an old table, to become a work top for visitors. This involved trimming, whittling and sawing down some wooden slats to create a perfect dovetail joint to hold the table together- no nails or glue required!
We thoroughly enjoyed our busy morning of odd jobs at Highbury Quadrant, and look forward to returning soon!