A gravelously good job 👏

14 Goodgymers helped their local community in Southwark
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Wednesday 8th November 2023

Report written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

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It rained all day and then stopped a couple of hours before our group run, so our numbers stayed at around 15 sign ups. As Sam arrived at Old Spike, he prepared a small cake and candles as tonight they were celebrating Nathan's 200th good deeds with GoodGym! Congrats! 🎉

Our run tonight would take us over 20 minutes as we would have to run just under 4k to get to Galleywall Nature Reserve, so Sam opted to skip the warm-up and take it slow to run there. Yet, first the intros and ice-breaker question.

Since it was STEM Day, Sam's ice-breaker question for tonight was about this day celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths: Tell me any fun or interesting facts about STEM Day?

Everyone had weird and wonderful facts, but I can remember Mikhail's clearing as he said if you ever find yourself in a car that is sinking in water and you are trapped...take the headrest out of the driver or passenger seat and head to the back of the car. You need to smash the rear window with the two pointy metal things to get out. The pressure from the two points will break the glass.

Shift work with 3.5 wheelbarrows

Straight out of the blocks as Sam lead the way whilst Mikhail backmarked as we ran through the busy Rye Lane before going into the quiet and dodgy (at night) Surrey Canal path, over Old Kent Road and onto the cycle path that would take us to Galleywall Nature Reserve. On the way over, we met Tim on his bike, so he followed us before seeing Benjamin and Folarin at the task. We made our way into the dark Galleywall Nature Reserve to find Alan and Eddie.

The task tonight was a two-fold. Five GoodGymers were needed with Alan to move sand from a tonne bag to the polytunnel so he could start laying tiles on the floor. Daryl, Katy and Tim were up for moving sand in wheelbarrows whilst Clare and Gemma helped Alan lay the brick tiles down. Putting it in place and ensuring it's level. The other task required all hands, but having only one wheelbarrow and a half, we started off slow.

Firstly, Benjamin and Emma had to finish off burying a wooden plank to mark the edge of the path whilst Lindy, Isaac, Nathan and Sam all took it in turns to shovel wet and heavy gravel from tonne bags onto a wheelbarrow to transport it and dump it onto the path. Here Folarin and Maria proceeded to rake the gravel so that it was even.

Noticing that the time was edging closer to 20:00, we opted to retire one wheelbarrow for the sand moving to help with the gravel moving before all three wheelbarrows were on gravel. There was a fourth wheelbarrow, but it put in a shift before retiring altogether.

Mikhail was our residence photographer for the night and ensuring he captured all activities. Whilst we had the "All Out 00s" playing in the background.

40 minutes after we had arrived, we had to call it. Half of the polytunnel was done and a first layer of gravel was put down. It was tough work tonight and with a 4k run each way, everyone felt it by the time to arrived back at Old Spike. Some of us just had to get in a Guinness or two at the Gowlett's Arms...

Thank You to all the GG-ers

A personal thanks from me to all those who came out tonight! It's our longest run in GG Southwark, so thank you for keeping up with the pace to get to and from the task. It was also a harder task as shovelling and transporting wet gravel and sand is heavy, so extra kudos to those who did this. It was all worth it in the end as we got Alan and Eddie prepped to finish off the task this weekend!

Thank You to Alan and Eddie

GoodGym is all about getting fit and doing good! We praise the runners/cyclists/walkers who come to get fit and help out, but we often forget about our task owner. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alan and Eddie for preparing all the tools for us in advance and giving us a hard, but rewarding task! We will be back in January for more!

Session Leader
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Galleywall Nature Reserve
The Galleywall Nature Reserve is a small plot of land which has been owned by Southwark Housing for decades.

The Galleywall Nature Reserve is a small plot of land which has been owned by Southwark Housing for decades. It was used by the adjacent Galleywall School for some time before the school closed. It has been maintained by a group of volunteers, the Friends of Galleywall Nature Reserve, since 2004, under an ongoing long-term agreement with the council.

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Benjamin Crouch
Isaac Beevor
Katy Hulm
Nathan Wood
Daryl Shaw
Emma McNally
Sam Lefevre
Lindy Macfarlane
Clare Nicholson
Tim Wheatley
Mikhail Amran
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