Good Deeds

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Doing good since September 2019

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Faruk went on a group run

Wed 18th Sep 2019 at 6:00pm

Puns and Poses

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

With apologies to Munro Leaf for borrowing his story of Ferdinand the Bull and twisting it!

Watch this first....Ferdinand the Bull.

Once upon a time in Oxford there was a running club and their name was Goodgym. All the other running clubs in town would run as fast as they could without stopping, but not Goodgym. They liked to jog along socially and do good deeds. They had a regular haunt up in the East close to the Oval. It was a friendly community centre and they would run there regularly and help the community.

One day a parcel arrived from London containing the biggest, shiniest, red-est flag in the country. All the runners ran around full of ideas of where to pose with the flag, leaping and jumping and hanging off the monkey bars so the flag would be displayed to its best advantage. The runners knew that it was important to get a great picture to celebrate 10 years of Goodgym. So they went to their favourite outdoor gym equipment and posed around the monkey bars.

The community centre staff saw them and they shouted with joy. Here was the most useful running club of all. Just the one for the leaflet delivery for the National Careers Service! So they gave them leaflets and litter-pickers, and what an evening it was! Flags were flying, litter was being picked up, leaflets were delivered ... and all the lovely runners had the warm glow that comes from doing good.

First came the Anwen and Bethan with long grabby litter pickers and silly sunglasses. Next came Trev and Ben who ran around the streets at the fastest pace, then Tim and Julia and Isabella and Faruk working one way and another round the streets of Rose Hill distributing their leaflet cargo. Then came the ultimate pairing, the proudest of all — Sarah and Rachael with the Garland of Joy. Rachael glowed in the glory of the garland having run her furthest ever distance in the Round Norfolk Relay at the weekend. She was beautiful in the flowers, and bowed to all her admirers.

Leaflets delivered and litter picked the runners ran to the middle of The Oval and everyone shouted and clapped because they had done their Good Deed for the evening so it was time to run home. But not so fast. When they got back to the community centre and left the 2 sacks of rubbish for the bin and saw there was still light from a beautiful sunset in the sky they stopped for a moment and posed as a group for the ultimate Goodgym 10 years photo. They had red flag and litter-pickers, and bin bags and a Garland of Joy. The best of Goodgym.

And we definitely know the runners will be out again next week, running to another community group, doing another good deed, wearing the flower garland. They are very happy.

For those who ran and got involved in the conversation regarding Bull Fighting (red flag to a bull?) and Minoan Bull leaping, here is your Thursday inspiration: Minoan Bull Leaping.


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Rachael HJuliaBethan GreenawayAnwen Greenaway
Faruk has done their first good deed with GoodGym. 🎉

Wednesday 11th September 2019

GoodGym Runner

GoodGym Runner

Faruk has done their first good deed with GoodGym.

Faruk is a now a fully fledged GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the first time. They are out there making amazing things happen and getting fit at the same time.

Faruk went on a group run

Wed 11th Sep 2019 at 6:00pm

Roll Up! Roll Up! Weed all about it!

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

Weed a treat in store on this week's Group Run (grooooaaan)...a longer run than we've done for a few weeks, some beautiful evening sunshine, and exploring a corner of Oxford that most hadn't visited before.

It's been a few weeks since we did group introductions, so with new people joining us all time it was definitely time to make sure everyone knew each other. Garland of Joy was awarded to Julia on the occasion of her 24th Good Deed (random number, as we missed the 21st!). Welcome to Laura and Miao, and welcome back to your 2nd run Faruk and Mark. It isn't easy to walk into a room of people you don't know yet and try something new, so thank you for plucking up the courage to give Goodgym a try!

This Wednesday's Group Run was to help OxGrow at Hogacre Common. OxGrow have a lovely community garden there, tucked away on the otherside of the railway line, where they grow lots of fruit, vegetables, and herbs. The garden is run by volunteers, and vegetables are donated to food banks in Oxford and the community cafe next to the garden, as well as being given to volunteers as a reward for their hard work.

2 miles of running over Magdalen Bridge, through Christchurch Meadows, and along past the South Oxford Adventure Playground took us to the edge of Hogacre EcoPark. Popping out of the tree line, we introduced ourselves to Simon, and were treated to a mini-tour of the community garden, getting a taste of fresh tomatoes as well as the (slightly less local, but highly appreciated) biscuits he'd kindly provided for us hungry runners.

We do love a task owner that provides water and snacks - it's a sure fire way to our hearts!

Our task for the evening was to weed and dig over a couple of beds which hadn't been used this year to get them ready for planting up with next year's crop. The beds were full of thistles, dry grass, and dried poppy heads, so we gloved up and got to work pulling out the less tenacious of the plants. Once weed pulled out the easier stuff (sorry, couldn't resist) it was time to tool up with forks and spades and get digging to remove the wilier roots. With half an eye on the sun dropping towards the horizon, and a determination to get the task done, there was some speed digging and plenty of dashes to and fro to the compost heap with armfuls of dried up weeds before we had to call time on the task. Buried treasures found: last year's potatoes, and jerusalem artichokes. Stepping back to look at what we had achieved we were pleased to see weed (last one, I promise) cleared both beds and dug them over pretty thoroughly.

Good work team!

After a few more biscuits (we'd worked up an appetite), some raspberries off the canes, and accepting a bag of treats from the garden, we had to go before we lost all the daylight.

Our run back to base was a particularly lovely one, taking us along trails and over the reservoir, with the sunset lighting up everything in shades of gold and pink. Picking up the Thames Path to Donnington Bridge we surprised random members of the public with a human archway to run through (fast becoming a new Goodgym Oxford tradition), before fartleking our way along the lamp posts of Meadow Lane.

There's nothing quite as lovely as a sunset run.

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JuliaBethan GreenawayAnwen Greenaway
Faruk went on a group run

Wed 4th Sep 2019 at 6:00pm

iv y

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

iv September

On this day in History:

476 Romulus Augustulus, last Western Roman Emperor abdicates
1666 The most destructive day of the Great Fire of London
1781 Los Angeles was founded
1870 Napoleon III was founded as Emperor of France and the Third Republic declared
1914 France, Russia and Britain agree the Pact of London
1923 Maiden flight of the first US Airship, USS Shenandoah
1944 Antwerp liberated
1951 First live transcontinental TV broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference
1972 Mark Spitz, an American swimmer, becomes the first competitor to win 7 medals at a single Olympic Games, all in world record times
1981 Beyonce was born
1998 Google was founded
2016 Mother Teresa canonised
2019 Goodgym Oxford make their iv visit to the Children's Allotment

On this momentous occasion Goodgym Oxford liberated trees from the iv y that was strangling them (see what we did there?!), dug out roots of brambles to ensure they can't come back to overwhelm the site in future, admired the pumpkins, damsons and apples which are nearly ready for harvest, removed broken glass and a syringe, and chatted about the plans for further work to get the site child-safe.

Trotting back to base vi a Florence Park we paused to admire some impressive trapezing, then practiced some running form drills.

Which drills were genuine form drills, and which were just for Anwen's amusement?! Answers on a postcard.

We were back before dark this week, but we'll be needing to add headtorches and hi-vis to our outfits very soon. Get ready for autumn-winter volunteer tasks!

With thanks to Bethan for the run title. Clever.

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Anwen Greenaway