Creating relational capital

“GoodGym is helping to deliver Local Government outcomes for the environment, social care, communities, sport and health.”

November 26, 2019

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GoodGym works with local authorities to help address substantial social issues. Joe Micheli works for City of York Council and has been instrumental in helping GoodGym develop.

I’m part of a new breed of collaborative commissioners active in councils across the country. We are more focussed than ever on prevention, building relationships and exploring how we can tap into the power of people to help reimagine our society and public services. GoodGym’s support in helping us develop this is invaluable.

I am fortunate that I have a career in community development which I love, and I’m now Head of Commissioning at City of York Council.

I also love GoodGym! Besides supporting my beliefs and values, it is enhancing our city’s journey to becoming a genuinely asset-based place and it is helping us deliver council priorities relating to the environment, social care, communities, sport and health. As a wise man said recently to me: “It’s the relationships that we develop and build with people that will change the system – not the system itself”. GoodGym is a ready-made relationship builder for the 21st century - the century of the citizen.

Joe on a group run with GoodGym York

My first few GoodGym runs blew me away. Led by York’s inspirational run leader Egg Cameron, we ran a couple of miles to the YUMI allotment. YUMI is an amazing project supporting new arrivals, refugees and the broader BME community to connect, contribute, grow and smile.

While sprucing up the allotment and its overgrown spaces, I overheard runners’ conversations actively connecting and growing community capacity. “How can I help you with that older lady who needs support leaving the house”, said one, “How might I volunteer with your fitness in the park sessions to reach more families?” said another, while many just asked: “How can I help?”

The runners were instinctively growing volunteer capacity to help address some of the city’s problems such as loneliness and isolation, health inequalities and young people realising their potential.

GoodGym is helping to address these challenges through building an active relationship with the city and the council, and by being deeply embedded within our volunteer networks and civil society. The relational capital being developed by GoodGym across the public, private and social sectors alongside communities is significant.

This fills me with hope and optimism as a commissioner. Based on strong values of inclusion, GoodGym is supporting York to be a more connected, caring, compassionate and collaborative place.

Get involved:
-Find out about GoodGym in your area

Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email and we'll be in touch.
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