(she/her) Liverpool Area Activator, mountain hiking beach wanderer at heart, a surprised runner, and wild swimming wannabe.
34 Month Streak
Sat 10th Feb at 11:00am
The Pagoda Arts Centre works to be “a big family for those people who have an interest in Chinese culture”, and it was a big Goodgym family who turned up on a bright, chilly February Saturday morning to help prepare for Chinese New Year.
Five of the Goodgymmers met at local Princes Park for Parkrun, then headed straight to the task afterwards (and by headed straight, we of course mean via a local coffee shop to refuel!)
On arrival, a fantastic 14 Goodgymmers had turned up to help out, and introductions were in order as we had three new members who had each separately heard about Goodgym and decided to join us. Welcome Mel, Pri, & Aditi!
With so many willing pairs of hands the team sailed through a number of tasks, to prepare the centre for the Chinese New Year celebrations the following day. We cleared out an alley, moved furniture to make space for the performance, litter picked, swept and cleared leaves and weeds from the exterior, mopped floors, hung decorations, cleaned toilets – you name it, we sorted it! Hidden talents were unmasked when veteran member Sophie casually confirmed which way to hang a Chinese sign, revealing she’d studied Chinese and translating the sign for us. It just goes to show you never know how much people have to offer, and even after all these years Goodgymmers can still surprise us.
In no time the centre was looking clear and refreshed and there was even time for a rare treat of a cuppa together provided by the centres kind staff.
The Pagoda do a huge variety of great work including ESOL lessons, Tai Chi, Orchestra performances and a number of events for the Chinese community, so it was fitting our help was so varied and we were glad to contribute to the fabulous celebrations taking place over the weekend.
Gong hei fat choy!
Mon 5th Feb at 6:30pm
This week we were once again helping Kahn and the Mulgrave Street action group to maintain their community garden.
Due to my poor timekeeping Sallyann stepped in last minute to lead the run from Hope Street (thank you!)
When all eight of us had arrived on Mulgrave Street, we were given a variety of tasks; from bulb planting to litter picking and cutting down the old sunflowers! We finished so quickly we even managed to do a quick litter pick of the street and be done with time to spare. Amongst the most interesting finds were some skateboard wheels, - weight lifting belt and an awful lot of bread!
The garden on Mulgrave Street is always a lovely place to be and we are always glad to help out. I've no doubt we'll be back again soon!
Sat 27th Jan at 8:45am
It was a big day today, marking both Liam’s birthday and our last session with Aditya before he returns to India. Over the last seven months Aditya has been a committed and enthusiastic member of the GoodGym community, turning up in all weathers to help out at tasks and discovering a newfound love and talent for running. He has become a friend to us all and will be much missed from the team, but will always remain part of the GoodGym Liverpool family. To celebrate Aditya’s time with us and wish him well for the future we organised a group trip to the parkrun at Sutton Manor in his honour, with Liam, Sallyann and Heetu being super helpful by giving lifts. We had been warned that it was a hilly and difficult run but it was also really friendly with lots of other participants giving us a warm welcome, which was good for morale. The route passed the famous Dream sculpture which symbolises hope for the future and honours the mining history of the area, and continued on through woodland. It was picturesque but hard work so it was a relief to see Ema and Sallyann waiting for the runners near the end, their cheers and encouragement giving us a final push to the finish. After the run many of us met up with other friends at our regular favourite post-run spot, The Third Cafe on Lark Lane, where we enjoyed brunch very generously and secretly paid for by Heetu as a leaving gift to Aditya. Subtlety is not a strong point in our group and it wouldn’t have taken a detective to notice all the whispering and passing of parcels around the table, not to mention the long queue for the bathroom where cards were set up to be signed. Despite it all, Liam and Aditya were still surprised as they each assumed the preparations were meant for the other, but of course the celebration was for both of them! We all got to enjoy a slice of Liam’s birthday cake while we watched Aditya open his card, a collage of his achievements at GoodGym, and his present, a model lambanana. It was a bittersweet and emotional moment as Aditya thanked everyone and left the cafe en route to an important final GoodGym mission with Sallyann and Ema - introducing little lambanana to Superlambanana. Happy birthday to Liam, good luck to Aditya, and thanks to everyone for a lovely morning!
Mon 22nd Jan at 6:30pm
This week 12 goodgymmers ran, walked and cycled to Sunflowers Cancer Care Centre to lend a hand (or 24!) Their team do amazing work providing support to local people following a diagnosis of cancer or other life-changing illness. On our arrival at 7pm, we found virtually all the rooms full with no doubt invaluable counselling and group support sessions taking place. Our tasks for the evening included some coin counting, mould scrubbing (with appropriate safety gear and windows open of course) and wall painting. Delighted with a rare indoor task as the wind howled outside, we quickly spilt into 2 teams and got to work. With face masks and a need to not lose track of counting reducing our ability to chat somewhat, we finished all the tasks surprisingly quickly! All that was left to do was head to Lark Lane for a drink to celebrate Sallyann reaching the big 100 (deeds, not years…) and Aditya’s last group run with goodgym Liverpool. Aditya has been a very valued member of the group since July 2023 and he will be greatly missed. Tonight also marked Chris’s 40th deed and Jake’s 30th - well done everyone!
Mon 15th Jan at 6:30pm
Mon 8th Jan at 6:30pm
Our first task of the 2024 on a crisply cold evening with the fabulous Vicky from Litter-Clear Volunteer supporting her Bloomin' Bays project!
12 Goodgymers came together on Tunner Road, with Liam and Heetu running from Lark Lane for some extra miles, picking up Aditya and Jo at the Suitcases on Hope Street to then run onto the task meeting point, the Suitcases on the corner of Tunnel Road / Earle Road, joined by 8 others (including Sallyann who had said she was too tired after doing the Round Sheffield Run on sunday but her FOMO got the best of her and out she came!)
After a little confusion with names (sorry Jo!) we welcomed Jo visiting from GoodGym Exeter (and look forward to some further ad hoc visists!), and welcomed back Matthew after 18 months of not being at a Monday evening session, lovely to have you back Mat!
Setting lights in tree branches and picking our tools, we quickly got going on clearing the first bay of weeds and debris. Some scraping, sweeping and lopping of branches later and the first bay was ready for a few daffodil bulbs to be planted around the tree. We made sure Aditya planted some of these so when they bloom in the spring we can all have a little smile and remember our good friend who is about to go back home to India and will be very much missed!
With 20 minutes to spare we jumped onto the second bay and with some speedy work got that cleaned up too! We'll be back at the Edge Hill Suitcases on Monday 29th to plant some bulbs around the Luggage Trolley and surrounding land