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Ruth went on a community mission

Sat 25th Nov at 9:00am

All present and correct - helping make Christmas special for young people with mental health needs

Bath Report written by Ruth

This weekend, at a secret location in Bath, Santa’s elves are hard at work making Christmas special for around 1,500 children and young people with mental health issues. Today they were joined by six Goodgymers. At least the red and white GG T-shirt is somewhat Santa-like.

Most children wake up on Christmas morning to a wealth of presents and a wonderful time with their families. Imagine how hard it must be to be cut off from all that, having to spend the holiday on a mental health ward. Pretty bleak. But a Bath charity has made it a mission to bring those young people a little seasonal magic.

Christmas for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) was set up by Dr Ro Bevan - seen here giving the briefing - who saw the piles of presents donated to children’s wards of general hospitals while CAMHS units were largely forgotten. The charity stepped into the gap and, thanks to fundraising and impressive organisational skills, young people in mental health care across the country now receive gifts tailored to them. Even the wards get something like sports equipment or a big board game. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the unit that got a set of boxing gloves!

And the gifts really do help. One young patient told the charity that they made them feel less alone.

That’s why, for one weekend only, a community hall in the city had been transformed into Santa’s workshop. We were part of a small army of volunteers unpacking, sorting, picking and packing mountains of presents, ranging from crafts and cuddly toys to sensory stuff and socks.

Clipboards were out in force and those familiar song lyrics, “He’s making a list and checking it twice “ came into their own.

It was a huge relief to learn that we didn’t have to wrap the presents. That’s done on the ward - paper supplied by Christmas for CAMHS of course.

A big GoodGym welcome to Pippa and Ange on their first missions - they truly have the ‘gift’. And a festive cheer for Jer who not only stayed on afterwards to help but also wore the most amazing Christmas jumper.

And that’s a wrap! (Or not…)

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MikeJer Boon
Ruth signed up to a community mission.

Sat 25th Nov at 9:00am

Packing Christmas gifts for children in hospital over Christmas

Help the charity to provide gifts to children at Christmas

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Ruth went on a group run

Sun 24th Sep at 1:00pm

A GoodGymer here and a GoodGymer there…

Bath Report written by Ruth

Missions at Bath City Farm are always popular with GoodGym Bath members and it has everything to do with the pygmy goats.

This particular visit was a bonus as our original task was cancelled and co-ordinator Helen had to come up with a last minute alternative.

The six of us were asked to clear an area of land and, in a first for me, we were given a video briefing as to which weeds to clear, which plants were unwelcome and which should be left to grow alongside new plants tba.

We set to with spades, forks, secateurs and loppers, not to mention the "Picture This" app - that was very handy in identifying the plant life - thanks Emily.

I lost count of the number of wheelbarrow trips to the compost heap. We filled it up so much that Aaron had to trample it down... using a highly entertaining trampoline method.

Our progress can be seen in the before and after photos. Special mention to Kate for her sterling efforts on her first task with us.

We rewarded ourselves with a visit to the goats - the girls were charming as ever. We even got to meet some new arrivals - a trio of alpacas just in from Devon. We'll be back again very soon!

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Helen Conner
Ruth signed up to a group run.

Sun 24th Sep at 1:00pm

Help at Bath City farm

Help the community with the city farm

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Ruth signed up to a group run.

Sun 24th Sep at 3:40pm

Help Julian House - hand out medals

Julian House provides homeless services and accommodation

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Ruth went on a group run

Sun 3rd Sep at 8:25am

Hi-fives all round - GoodGym gives Junior Parkrun a helping hand

Bath Report written by Ruth

Fluorescent vest, check. Whistle (in case of disaster), check. Laminated instructions, check. Giant foam hand, check. Bubbles, optional. Enthusiasm, bucketloads.

Yes, GoodGym was back at the Odd Down Cycle Circuit helping out at the weekly junior parkrun for children aged four to 14.

The six of us had a special task of leading the warm-up for those taking part and their parents. And no matter how high the team jumped, kicked or bent in strange directions, the audience followed with gusto.

The sun also did its bit at warming us up, which was a welcome change.

Then, armed with our foam hands, we took our positions on the course, ready to hi-five the pint-sized athletes as they aimed to run the 2km the fastest possible.

"Great job", "Fabulous", "Brilliant", "Fantastic!", "You're amazing!", "Yayyyy!". Just some of the encouragement we gave to the parkrunners (and occasional parent) as they passed by. We meant every word. It's fantastic to see these young people show up on a Sunday morning and give their all.

You can see their sense of achievement on their faces.

69 children completed the course - that was a lot of GoodGym hi-fives.

The fastest did it in 8.05 minutes - though it is clear that everyone is a winner in the fun and friendly atmosphere.

Hi-fives also to the GoodGym team who ran to and from the sports ground - quite a challenge in itself.

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Helen ConnerTanya LockMikeMary Caudle
Ruth signed up to a group run.

Sun 3rd Sep at 8:25am

Help marshal at Odd down junior parkrun

Help children get fitter and happier

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