GoodGym Bristol is a non-profit organisation that combines cardio with care in order to support and help the local community wherever aid is needed. The group in Bristol meet up on a weekly basis in central Bristol before being let loose on a nearby allotment or local park that needs some much needed TLC.
The first GoodGym meet up I went to was coincidentally the sunniest and most beautiful day in January so far, so really I didn’t feel like there was much of challenge there. The format is that you meet up in the city centre, jog on the spot in a circle and introduce yourself before running across Bristol city centre (walking lunges with 19 other people across the fountains was too much fun – some classic reactions from the old biddies waiting for the bus). The destination of the first run ranges from wherever you’re needed. The pictures below are in Brandon Park, Bristol where our goal was to clear up dead leaves from the pond, weed and de-root any brambles.
Today we went to a community allotment and helped out with moving humongous soil beds, de-weeding plant beds, raking and cleaning up dead leaves, wheel barrowing compost around. I’d expected the numbers to have dropped since the other week, but the sun poking through the clouds at 10:30 before the meetup probably convinced a lot of ‘maybes’ to head down. We ran down to Castle Park and did some drills before shooting over to Easton via unknown territories to get to the allotment, altogether we racked up an overral distance of 5.4 miles (8k) which was an added bonus.
GoodGym welcomes all runners and non-runners alike which is refreshing from a standard running club, here you can just jog at a leisurely pace and chat to a number of other people. This setup is a welcomed change from the standard ‘go out, run fast, push hard’ mantra that you inherit when training for a race. Everyone in the group seem to have a similar mentality. On the basis that everyone has made the effort to get out in order to do a good deed, it’s safe to say everyone is incredibly friendly and chatty. The Guardian wrote about the GoodGym in London on the 3rd of January (click here for article)
It’s always important to know what effect your work is having and so when I spoke to the allotment’s co-ordinator, Cristina, she explained that the allotment is discounted by Bristol City Council and used for gardeners and non-gardeners to come together every Thursday. The allotment helps people with previous drug addictions or depression in working towards a community project, at the end of the day they’re able to take home any fruit or veg that has come through on the allotment. The produce is equally spread across all the individuals so, in the words of Cristina ‘if someone’s particularly hyper-active they won’t get more than someone else’. It’s so good to see that the land is being put to fantastic use and restoring calm in the world’s of the individuals who have had a tough time with life.
The hut made out of wood and mud accompanied with some little dream catchers. This would easily fit into the chill area of Glastonbury!
How to sign up