Get Fit By Doing Good

Organisation

GoodGym

Location

39 places across the UK

Vision

GoodGym combines people’s interests in running and volunteering to support their local community. It was founded on the principle that instead of investing energy pedalling, running, pushing and lifting in the gym, energy should be directed into supporting local people, such as older people, and the local community. GoodGym has running groups in 46 towns and cities across the country and aims to be operating in every big city by the end of 2018.

Action

GoodGym has three main focus areas: mission, coach and group runs. Mission runs involve 2-3 runners going out to help older people with one-off practical tasks that they can no longer do on their own, such as changing a lightbulb. Coach runs involve visiting and enjoying a cuppa with an older person (a ‘coach’) during a weekly run. Group runs involve a 90-minute session where a group runs to help out a community project such as planting trees or moving boxes in a food bank and then runs back.

Participation

GoodGym is run by a number of staff, fitness trainers and volunteers across the country and involves 5500 members. GoodGym supports many community groups and in 2017 they supported over 1000 older people with the aim of tackling isolation and loneliness.

I really don’t think the volunteers that I had… realised the impact that they have had on our lives. It is more than just clearing the garden, it is giving me hope.

Impact

Since establishing in 2009, GoodGym has helped to organise over 100,000 ‘good deeds’ by over 12,000 people. Volunteering has positive benefits for the wellbeing of both runners and ‘coaches’; ‘coaches’ feel happier and 98% considered their runner a friend.

For more information please visit the GoodGym website: https://www.goodgym.org/

I was very lonely. You've opened up a whole new world to me. Being a runner's coach is wonderful. They've given me the confidence to get out there again.

Sheila – Good Gym coach

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