14 Month Streak
Mon 15th May at 7:00pm
A good sized group of GoodGymers gathered in the main hospital reception at the Royal London this evening.
We were joining the Barts Volunteers Team for our monthly activity, headed up by Nancy, Tom and Richard.
In previous visits, we have been making up activity packs for the Patient and Family Contact Centre, as well delivering London evening newspapers to the wards, and completing Friends and Family Test (FFT) surveys on the wards.
This evening, GoodGymers who arrived early accompanied Tom to a busy A&E department, to offer patients a newspaper.
Meanwhile Nancy and Richard welcomed other GoodGymers as they arrived, completing sign-up and briefing on tonight’s task.
At around 7:15, the team were ready to go...
One team accompanied Richard to the Paediatric Ward to complete the FFT surveys. (This is the third time GoodGymers have participated in this task on this ward, chatting to young patients and their families, gathering essential feedback for the Trust).
The second team headed to two wards with Tom and Nancy: first to the Elderly Care Wards, and then to the Trauma Ward. Again, it was good to be given the opportunity to connect with patients, and help out with these these important conversations for the hospital.
At shortly after 8, we met up again in the light, airy reception area to chat about how we’d got on; feedback to Nancy, and enjoy some well deserved chocolate (courtesy not only of the Barts Volunteers team, but also of Raleigh!).
After saying our farewells, we headed out in different directions: some walking, some cycling, some pub-ing…
Until next time.
Mon 15th May at 7:00pm
We're back to The Royal London for a variety of enjoyable tasks.Read more
Mon 3rd Apr at 7:00pm
Well, technically the sun was shining, but was it a warm night for fitness? Absolutely not.
Nonetheless a good-sized group of us gathered in Meath Gardens for tonight's fitness session. We welcomed Ben and Hannah who were joining us for the first time (you did brilliantly, and we really look forward to seeing you again soon!).
Background to the session
With some fabulous Spring tasks around the corner, a quiet start to April as we head into the Easter break made tonight the perfect opportunity to catch up on some fitness.
With playlist and mini bands at the ready, the little group of GoodGymers sped through some brilliant moves, warming up with walking lunges and band walks.
We rotated exercises, so just as one muscle group was growing a little fatigued, we moved onto another.
With most of tonight's participants being regular cyclists and runners, who also happen to enjoy the odd half marathon, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to catch up on those physio's faves, such as the time-honoured, single-leg squat and side-lying clam, not to mention an old school static stretch or two.
The time flew (well, I thought so any way), and as 8pm hit, we were looking up at a clear blue sky to finish, hamstrings stretched, ready for dinner, and pleased to have got the week off to such a productive start.
An excellent Monday evening. Well done team.
Until next time.
Mon 3rd Apr at 7:00pm
Come and enjoy an hour of fun fitness, on what looks set to be a sunny Monday evening!Read more
Mon 20th Mar at 6:45pm
The drizzle and dark were no match for tonight's group of sturdy GoodGymers.
Gathering just around the corner from tonight's task, the team focused brilliantly on a variety of lower body moves. Working hard on balance, strength and patience, they moved swiftly from one exercise to another, pausing only to contribute to "Highlight of your weekend?" our regular Monday game.
After a couple of familiar lower body stretches, at 7pm we headed to the GET OUT garden gates to meet Kieran.
What is GET OUT?
GET OUT is a charity whose goal is to use environmental education to strengthen the connection between Tower Hamlets' young people and the natural world.
Through a programme of outdoor education, surfing and food growing projects, GET OUT strives to increase young people's self-confidence, life skills and experiences, helping to enhance their education, and encourage them to become environmentally-conscious members of their local and global communities.
Tonight Kieran needed us for a variety of tasks...
One team was heading over to the large bed to remove everything, including the green, leafy vegetables! Their job was to take everything out of the ground, separating weeds from the edible, collecting snails as they went (not a typo).
Another team headed to the small polytunnel to remove the jalapenos, to make way for new produce in this little indoor space.
...While a third team headed to the large polytunnel to clear another bed, before heading over the compost bay to spend the rest of the night turning compost.
Then shortly before 8, a final, tough task was introduced: the carrying and laying of three large compost bags over the paving stone area.
Tonight's members worked hard and continuously, digging, carrying and turning.
This help is much appreciated as the garden will be busy come the summer months. Used by local newly-established gardening groups and local schools, getting these beds cleared, and making the concrete areas smooth and safe was a job well done.
We gathered around the shed for our final photo of the night, and to select our produce for the week's meals. Armed with kale, chard and a few onions to add a bit of flavour, we headed back onto Harley Grove for a quick upper body flexibility blast.
What a lovely night.
Shout-outs to the whole team tonight: To Simon for heading up The Big Kale group; to Rohan, Chris, Jonny and John, for lifting and distributing the compost at the eleventh hour, and to Jonny for a great GoodGym debut!
We'll be doing it all again next week, so do join us for another fitness-filled, fun task!
Mon 20th Mar at 6:45pm
We're heading to Bow, to help Kieran with a big garden clean-up...Read more
Mon 13th Feb at 6:40pm
A clear Monday night meant only one thing: a terrific opportunity for 11 GoodGymers to get together to shift a LARGE amount of mulch...
But before that
Gathering in the St Leonard's Churchyard just before 7, the pre-task workout crew enjoyed a handful of moves using benches and planters as a multi-gym. We welcomed first time GoodGymers, Naomi and Eva, who did brilliantly, speeding through our regular top-to-toe faves: the Bulgarian split squat, single-leg tricep dips and seated leg lowers, to name a few.
As the rest of tonight's team trickled in, we slowly made our way over to the entrance to greet Larry, our regular task owner at this lovely park.
What is St Leonard's Priory Park?
St Leonards Priory in Bromley-By-Bow is the pretty remains of an ancient church and its grounds. Originally part of a Convent, a large Benedictine nunnery, there is 'tremendous potential to develop this forgotten space into a local community area for local people to enjoy'. And that's the plan. Currently the park hosts a gardening group every Saturday from 11-1, and there are plans afoot to work with local schools in further developing this space for, and with, the young people of this area.
Tonight we were shovelling, wheeling and spreading two huge sacks of mulch to the woodland glade area.
This area is in total shade, and little can grow here apart from...ferns. But before the ferns can be planted, the area needed clearing of leaves and the woodchip distributing (Fascinating Fern Fact: Did you know ferns are ancient plants, dating back millions of years?...).
The teams were divided into four, initially: a couple leaf-raking; a larger group shovelling mulch into sacks; several wheeling, and two brave souls across the other side of the garden, on an unrelated task, lopping a thorny-looking tree.
The team worked industriously for an hour and a quarter, rotating out of tasks and into new ones to help distribute the muscle-load evenly, posing patiently for pics, and not stopping until those two huge bags were emptied.
It was a fantastic effort!
On finishing, the glade area looked clear and well-covered, ready for its new leafy residents.
After posing for our final group shot, to accompany task owner Larry's spectacular pun, we packed the last rake, unchained bikes from railings, and headed out into the night, another marvellous Monday done.
Mon 13th Feb at 6:40pm
Come and enjoy a satisfying Monday night workout at our monthly visit to St Leonard's!Read more
Monday 6th February
Stephanie done a 6 month mission streak.
Stephanie just completed a six month streak of doing missions. That’s so many bags of garden rubbish cleared and jobs done to help someone out and put a smile on their face. Give Stephanie a cheer to encourage them to keep up the good work.
Mon 6th Feb at 7:00pm
A fantastic team of 14 met in Devons Road this evening, with Ken and Terry from the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.
Why were we here?
Ken explained that this planting project undertaken by the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park is helping to create a green corridor through this area of East London.
What does that mean?
Well, by populating the Lea Valley Green Route (the area from Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, out to Bow Docks and on to the Lea Valley), with bulbs, plants and trees, we’re essentially making more nature available to more residents.
It will allow more wildlife to move between the Lee Valley, and the Lee Valley Park, into the Borough.
Creating ‘stepping stones’ in this way, between green space and urban street spaces, benefits everyone: green spaces that are inhabited by wildlife, trees and plants, not only mean more areas for all residents to enjoy, they can also help to reduce the effects of pollution, often an issue in large cities.
Terry talked us through the mix of trees we were settling into the ground, which included:
Purging Buckthorn (Google that one)
Various factors were involved in the choice of the trees, including:
Comfort (avoiding too many thorns, so litter-picking isn’t too much of a mission).
Butterfly appeal (the Brimstone butterfly seeks out buckthorn on which to lay its eggs).
Green-ness (beech and hornbeam tend to hang onto their leaves).
…And a general ambition that plenty of berries and flowers will come out at different times with this mix, and attract insects.
Our large team set about this big planting mission, all around the park, following careful, precise instructions from Ken.
Tree after tree was produced for the GoodGymers to expertly settle into their new home.
No sooner had the obligatory pictures been taken, and the final few poorly-lit areas been populated with trees, than Ken called it a wrap.
200 trees in less than an hour! Way. To. Go.
We collected tools, loaded the wheelbarrows, posed for one last group shot, before saying our cheerios for the night.
The big cheers this week go to:
Clare, whose first GoodGym event it was! Well done Clare, hope to see you again very soon.
Johnny, for saving the location day, and speedily dropping the all-important pin.
Kevin, our brilliant head torch technician…
And most of all, to Ken and Terry for three, fabulous Monday nights out in Tower Hamlets.
...we’re back to Devons Road, for another big gardening task with St Leonard’s Priory Park!