Vanessa Del Campo Perez
Tonight's GoodGym task was "Pick own Adventure" style.
* Teams must be back at base by 7:30pm or points are docked.
* Teams must get at least 3 items from each list.
* Finds must be photographed as proof.
* You can go anywhere within the ring road as long as you’re back by 7:30pm.
The items to hunt down:
Coffee cup (will allow just lid)
Energy drink can
Fast food wrapper
Plastic bag (dog poo bag permitted)
Piece of clothing – 5 BONUS points for pants
Selfie at a GoodGym Task Location (a point for each one)
Number 48 (we were the 48th GG area)
A pictorial representation of GoodGym – get creative!
Gold Letter box
Strategic thinking was all the rage tonight, with tactical approaches from 'run fast around lots of task locations' to 'focus on the litter', with most opting for 'just try & find ALL the things'. An impressive amount of litter was collected, many miles walked and run, numerous GG task locations and Oxford landmarks visited, and so many photos submitted as evidence that there were too many to upload to the report. I especially enjoyed the creativity shown in the 'pictorial depiction of GoodGym' - gold champagne bottles, the logo spelt out in leaves, bodies twisted into logo shapes.
Prizes were awarded by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, although apparently he'll only make a speech if you give him advance warning.
On this week’s Group Run we’re introducing some healthy competition to our Good Deeds.
We’ll split you into teams at our meeting point at East Oxford Community Centre, give you the scavenger hunt challenge, and allow you an hour to complete as much as you can. You can run, walk, or cycle. May the best strategists win!
You will need a camera/smartphone per team. Gloves are advised. Everything else will be provided.
We will be allowed use of the Lounge at EOCC, which is on the right as you enter. We also have both somewhere to leave bags and access to the toilets this week.
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 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.
The Ark-T centre are a cultural hub for Oxford's Christmas Lights Festival. The lights need to be set up by 19th November for the evening launch. Tonight we will be getting our twinkle on dressing the Ark-T playspace and back garden with fairy lights!
* 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 6pm. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets there. It's a little over a mile to Ark-T from there.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm at the Ark-T Centre
For the first time in its long history, the Oxford castle will host a full-scale projection to mark it’s 950th year. Created by sound and light artists in collaboration with researchers, a video projection will be beamed onto the side of the Castle as part of a unique and free public event. There will also be socially-distanced interactive games for your amusement.
Oxford Castle – 950 years - Different roads lead to the same castle George R. R. Martin
To join us at this FREE open air event book your ticket on Eventbrite here.
Meet outside the Central Library at 6:30pm if you would like to walk down to the Castle together. The entrance is the revolving doors at the Westgate entrance opposite Bonn Square.
I've booked a table at the Oxford Retreat on Hythe Bridge Street for 7:45pm. Let me know if you'd like to come to the pub for food/drink so that I can adjust the numbers firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa has done 10 good deeds. They are a trusted GoodGym runner and are now eligible to join their local TaskForce.
ARK-T centre is a community-minded arts centre and the home of the Waste 2 Taste cafe. Along the side of the centre it has a playground space which is open for members of the public to use every day. Over the summer months the play space has been heavily used, and has also attracted some anti-social behaviour, so the space had to be closed for a couple of weeks to tidy-up. We've been called in by Ark-T a couple of times previously at this time of year to help get the play space ship-shape, so we're old hands at it now.
While 4 of us disappeared off to get extra tools and a wheelbarrow from the Waste2Taste garden all of the other GoodGymers got straight to work weeding, digging out mushrooms (best not to take risks on whether they're the poisonous kind or not!), clearing out the storage benches (SO much rotten wood and heaps of wellies inside), and pruning back the buddleia and willow which were eye-level hazards.
The litter picker team whizzed around the playground, along the lane and plogged the surrounding roads, striking gold early on with a bucket (repurposed for our garden waste) and an onion, as well as the usual cans and (literal) crap.
Back in the playground we rigged up our portable lights and deployed the head torches to keep going as the daylight faded. Leaves swept up, brown garden waste bin filled and several trugs of gardening detritus and plastic tubing were piled up ready for the skip which will be arriving soon.
I call that a highly effective hour's work - Great work dream team!