27 Month Streak
Wed 8th Nov at 6:30pm
Last night we celebrated seven brilliant years of GoodGym Hounslow in our usual style - completing a local task which would have taken the volunteers many hours, some silly fitness which saw us running about like mad people, a trip to the pub and of course, many laughs. Long may it continue!
We started off by meeting Jan of Friends of Turnham Green, to scarify and rake a huge area ready for bulb planting. Rakes in hand we formed an efficient line along the grass and took turns getting the soil ready and picking up the waste. Jan was impressed with how much ground the team covered, remarking how much time we have saved the volunteer group. Great work everybody. We even had a surprise visit from Beth, fresh off the plane from NYC with her marathon bling around her neck - amazing job Beth!
Next we moved on to fitness, and a typically chaotic game. This year we played something I like to call 'Now We Are Seven', a challenge which consisted of two teams fighting it out to see who knows more about GG Hounslow and the local area. Taking it turns to grab a clue, the idea was that every does seven reps of whatever exercise was on the paper, and answers a tricky question. These included posers such as 'how many good deeds have been completed in Hounslow so far?' (an enormous 4545), how many underground stations are there in Hounslow, and how many bulbs are there to plant at this Saturday's mission. In a nail biting final, it was Team Awesome that won by a hair, and magnanimously chose to share their prize with everybody.
A huge thank you to each and every one of you for all your efforts and enthusiasm. Even when it's wet and cold, there aren't enough tools to go around, it's dark and we don't know what we're doing and I make you do some ridiculous fitness challenge, you always have a smile on your face and bags of energy. Thanks for being a great team that really support the local community. Here's to the the next seven years of GoodGym Hounslow!
Wed 4th Oct at 6:30pm
It was feeling decidedly autumnal last night in Hounslow, so we made sure we had a brisk warm up and set off quickly for our task.
It had been a while since we'd visited Strand-on-the-Green school, and it's always exciting to see if the codes work and we can actually get in! Luckily we breezed straight in to tackle our two jobs for the evening.
The first group selected their brushes and wood treatment and made their way to the two sheds that needed a lick of paint. While we were just one brush short, GGers are always happy to share and there were even some scooters to entertain us in the meantime!
Across the playground the rest of the team was busy cutting back the hedges that had grown over into the carpark. The fading light meant that topiary art was out, but there was still some very smart and tidy bushes in evidence by the end of the session.
Jobs done, we found ourselves the perfect spot for our fitness and set about doing a lower body blast. Just as we were drawing to a close having done split squats, crab walks, single leg calf raises and more, we were treated to the sight of a beautiful old steam train passing right by us....or was it a ghost train? We finished off the night with a tough round of power lunges and a run back to base.
If anybody can spare an hour on Saturday afternoon, we need some more helping hands to plant snowdrops - sign up to bring a smile to local people's faces in Spring!
Wed 12th Jul at 6:30pm
It was a great start to the group run last night as we got to welcome some lovely familiar faces we hadn't seen in a bit and there was also some GG touristing, which we always love!
Our job for the evening was back at Cultivate, helping this local community organisation in their epic task of moving location.
We divided ourselves into two groups, one to tackle the huge job of dismantling the polytunnel, the other to shift masses of plants to create space for a temporary gazebo. It soon transpired that both teams had some challenges to face!
While team Polytunnel had the satisfying job of cutting away the massive plastic covering, they also had to contend with some rusty and temperamental screws. However, Jonny was not to be defeated and put all his energy into bringing down the pole in question. After a good twenty minutes of elbow grease and persuasion, he was victorious.
Meanwhile, team plant shifting was trying to figure out the logistics of shuffling hundreds of pots and creating a space in a horticultural tetris style endeavour. Jo, Eloise, Alanna and Georgia quickly set about trying to fit in as many pots as possible while avoiding the rampant nettles. It was a physical and mental challenge that also involved convincing some huge and very stubborn trees out of their containers, but Alan, Divya and Florian were not going to take no for an answer.
Well done everybody, another night of using our time and energy to help out, and having fun while we were at it! Next Wednesday there is a community mission for our regular visit to Chiswick House. Good luck to Paul in getting closer still to his parkrun alphabet completion, and to everybody that did the Asics 10k last week. Have a great week, GG!
Wed 12th Jul at 6:30pm
Come and help with this time sensitive taskRead more
Wed 5th Jul at 6:30pm
Last night we were back at an old task location for us - we've been to the Chiswick Methodist Church several times before to paint the walls, write Christmas tags for kids and for a general tidy up. It's the home of several different community organisations including youth groups and support for people who have had strokes. So it was great to be back - and not just because it was one of the shortest runs we do!
A mere few minutes down the road we met up with Carol who had a list of jobs for us, starting with carrying a huge pool table up a flight of stairs. Luckily the Hounslow crew are highly experienced furniture shifters, and it didn't take long for the stairs to be negotiated and the table to be transported safely to its new home. Of course it had to be tested out, just to make sure it was in the right place, of course...
First job done we headed outside to tackle the overgrown areas. Gloves on and bin bags at the ready we pulled out weeds, thistles and every other plant trying to exert its presence where it was not wanted. After 40 minutes of hard work it was great to see a real difference. Job satisfaction!
We said goodbye to Carol and ran back to Turnham Green. It may have been a short run but we certainly weren't going to neglect the fitness. Diving up into two teams, and after a lot of discussion about the logistics, we started off with a plank relay before moving onto a more traditional relay featuring sprints and static hold exercises. After all that it was declared a tie - that's the GG spirit!
Next week we're back to Cultivate for one of the last sessions at their old site before they move.
Good luck to all doing and volunteering at the Asics race this weekend, for the special NHS parkrun takeover on Saturday and for all the other brilliant things you're doing!
Wed 17th May at 6:30pm
It was an extra special session last night in Hounslow yesterday, as we celebrated the 100th good deed of our one and only Prof Alan - give him a whoop, give him a holler, give him a cheer! Alan, after hundreds of hours of gardening, shifting compost, mulching, painting and litter picking - not to mention all the miles run in between - you have well and truly earned your wings! We were also delighted to welcome Madhan from Ealing GoodGym for a very special milestone - a huge congratulations Madhan on reaching that magic 50 and earning yourself a brand new tshirt! It was great to welcome you to the Hounslow group.
We are dedicating a few of our Wednesday sessions to helping Cultivate London ahead of their relocation to a site down the road. Time is ticking for them to shift all their plants and other resources as the buildings developing the nursery site edge ever closer. We have a couple more Wednesday with them, and there is still plenty to do - but rest assured they are extremely grateful for the help. This morning I got this message from Romina:
"Just a quick message to say thank you very much to your group. We were amazed of what we were able to achieve at the end of the day, it might have been a petty task to sort and move pots but it made the difference. We are very proud of our connection with GG."
It's lovely to receive feedback like that and a good reminder that whatever the task is, we are making a difference. Well done, team!
Big thanks to Lucy for the Lion King/100 wings run report pun this week! It was close to being Michelle's pun for the title ('A task with huge POT-ential) - the inspiration for it was evident as soon as we arrived and found a looming pile of pots waiting to be sorted and stacked for transfer. There were pots as far as the eye could see, pink pots, square pots, giant and tiddly pots. As Lucy said, it was enough to drive us potty!
While most of the team were forming a highly effective pot sorting squad, Kash and Madhan were using their considerable strength to shift three bath tubs and other bits and pieces over to the school. There was a slight delay when we got there and I couldn't figure out how to open the gate, but luckily Madhan came to the rescue, swiped us straight in and saved the day.
Time ran away with us and before long we were overdue for our run back to base. It didn't take us long to get there and finish off the night with some stretches. Don't forget there are missions every weekend now until mid-June, so there is lots to choose from. Next week we'll be helping at Cultivate again, hope to see you there! Until then, have happy weeks everybody.
Wed 19th Oct 2022 at 6:30pm
A mashing time was had by all as we made our way back to the community kitchen garden at Chiswick House last night after a long time away.
Before we set off for what turned out to be a very a-peeling task, we did a warm up and took turns in guessing the highest number of parkruns completed by one individual. The answer, as of July this year, was a whopping 811. That's no small fry!
Chiswick House and garden operates as a charity, and the Walled Garden dates back to 1682. However, it was only converted into a community kitchen garden by a group of local volunteers in 2005 and is now an important community outreach resource. So with lots of jobs, and plenty of muscle required to get them done, GoodGym is the perfect mash.
The job for the evening was to empty compost pens and break down the wooden structure so that a new seating area could be built in the community garden. This means that eventually the gardeners will be able to escape the summer heat beneath the boughs of a 200 year old oak tree. It was a big job and no room for spec-taters, so everybody quickly grabbed a fork and wheelbarrow and got to work.
All of a spudden, Michelle spotted the first little potato hidden beneath the compost. We all kept our eyes peeled for more buried treasure, and before long our stash of spuds was growing by the minute.
After an hour of chipping away at the task we had flattened the bins and cleared most of the compost. It just goes to show that going out to do good and get fit is much more fun than being a couch potato.
Next week we're back at Cultivate. I'll see you tater!