Blackstock and Back (4 years of Area Activator Simon)

11 Goodgymers helped their local community in Islington
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Monday 7th August 2023

Report written by Simon Fitzmaurice

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It was wonderful to be joined by so many familiar faces and new runners at the Arsenal Community Hub last night- a lovely dry Summer's evening for visiting the Elizabeth House Food Hub. As an introduction, we asked each other what their preferred "frozen iced treat" would be for the upcoming heat wave- top options included:

  • Classic Solero (ice cream and passion fruit)- I remember those
  • FAB
  • Rocket lolly
  • A discontinued US popsicle that sounded awesome
  • Anything chocolately and in a waffle cone

We were happy to celebrate the 4 year anniversary of Area Activator Simon Fitzmaurice, who has absolutely loved setting up tasks and hosting runs over the years!

Here was Simon's first run report as the replacement for Goodgym legend Paul Bown in 2019:

We performed a series of warm up drills together up the Emirates slopes, before setting off as a run-walk towards Elizabeth House Food Hub- a busy and super efficient supermarket style enterprise that provides essentials for families and isolated individuals in the immediate area. We met with Roshni at the main access door for cycle pick-ups and vehicle deliveries, and found a collection of about 9 large parcels of shopping, ready to be dropped off around the Blackstock Estate. In pairs, our crew contacted each household before making short work of these deliveries.

Elizabeth House Food Hub starts to wind down its operations at about 7.30pm onwards, so we all pitched in to get the place ready for more food bank work tomorrow. Ritchie grabbed a broom and got stuck in with sweeping up the hall, and Anne dismantled loads of folding tables. Paul, Adam and Ramona took it in turns to ferry any leftover produce back to the kitchen, while Erayna and Victoria disposed of any overly fresh food in a specific food waste recycling bin outside.

As we finished up our task for the evening, we were invited to bring home any produce that would otherwise go to waste. Between us, we found inventive ways to carry back spring onions, courgettes, bananas, lettuce and oat milk!

Due to the extra weight being carried, we decided to walk back to the Emirates (through the lovely former Arsenal grounds estate off Gillespie Road), followed by a trip to Someday Canteen in Finsbury Park for some celebratory pizza and refreshments. Well done everyone!

Goodgym Islington News

Thornhill Square Gardens - Saturday Session!

Saturday 12th August, Thornhill Square Gardens, Islington.

Come and join the lovely crew of resident gardeners at Thornhill Square Gardens! Expect a fun morning of wheelbarrowing, digging, planting and pruning alongside Anna and the team! Super friendly, and always welcomed.

GROUP RUN: Goodgym x The Running Works - Marvellous Morph Map!

Saturday 12th August, 5.30pm, The Running Works, Aldgate

A social run starting and ending at London's largest independent running shop, passing as many "Morphs" as possible! Aldgate Connect has set up a local art collection, featuring over 70 sculptures of the famous Aardman character, and we are planning on visiting as many as we can!


Caledonian Park Junior parkrun - Summer Time Marshal Help!

The team at Caledonian Road Junior parkrun (a free weekly timed 2km run designed for youngsters and families to run safely and independently - ages 4-14) are in need of more marshals and volunteers to allow the event to happen. Many of the core helpers are away for Summer, so any assistance would be hugely appreciated. It's the best way to start a Sunday!

Sunday 13th August, 8.45am:

Sunday 20th August, 8.45am:

Sunday 27th August, 8.45am:


Weekday Community Mission- Housing21 Aftercare and Retirement Home Gardening, Mildmay

Wednesday 16th August, 11am-2pm (flexible with times)

We had a referral through Goodgym Islington from the team at Mildmays and Housing21 regarding an ambitious gardening project for their residents. The community gardening spaces are in need of some attention for anyone who would be up for some digging, lifting and shifting! Super satisfying task!


Goodgym x Jog On Recycling Clothes Swap and Group Run @ The Running Works

Wednesday 23rd August, 6pm, The Running Works, Aldgate

Come join us for a social group run with Goodgym and The Running Works, in collaboration with Jog On and Athletic Brewing Company! We will be hosting a clothes swap and donation drive for running and athletics kit as well. A great night to be had!


Penn Road Gardens Open Volunteer Morning

Sunday 27th August, 10am - midday, Penn Road Gardens, Islington Every last Sunday of the month, the residents of Penn Road invite keen volunteers to help with maintaining this lovely community spot just off Holloway Road.

Local volunteers will be on hand to direct anyone who arrives to offer their help between 10am- midday. Come on down to enjoy a lovely morning community task!

Session Leader
Ritchie Xavier
Adam O'Riley
Miss Erayna Spencer
Caitlin Rollison
Victoria Hanau
Simon Fitzmaurice
anne malcolm
Join us on our next session
The Garden Classroom, Hillside Park- Volunteer Morning
🗓Tomorrow 10:00am

Thursday morning drop-in community gardening sessions by Caxton House

Constanza Diaz
One GoodGymer is going

Discuss this report
Jack Da Silva

Wed 9th Aug 2023 at 12:09pm

congrats Simon!