I often heard (pre-covid) from organisations and groups across York who desperately wanted to mobilise large groups of volunteers for one-off tasks, but didn’t know where to start. “GoodGym” was always my first response.
We had a visit from GoodGym at our Malthouse project just before launch – a crazy sight of 50+ people running round an abandoned warehouse with no electricity, head torches and buckets!!
I recently caught up with my football and basketball buddy Michal Czekajlo who has just taken on the role of Area Activator Co-ordinator for GoodGym York – a job that includes making sure the GoodGym team can get out and support as many local organisations as possible, so thought I’d find out more about how they can support you…
What is GoodGym, and why does it exist?
GoodGym is a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good deeds in the community. We stop off on our runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can’t do on their own. It’s a great way to get fit, meet new people and do some good.
How many people in York are involved in GoodGym?
There are a couple hundred members across York and we are now focusing on re-engaging everyone as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.
What’s been your hardest task to date?
The first task that we did in York on the launch date back in January 2017 deserves the name of the hardest. We were asked to remove graffiti tags from lamp posts around Foss Island’s Road, however the wipes provided for the task did not really work and we could barely see the results after half an hour of vigorous wiping by 20 runners!
And what’s been the most fun?
It was the group fitness session and jumping in and out of tractor tyres back in August 2018. We went to help clear the community garden located between Better and High School in Acomb. I had a lot of fun at that task and it was a great fitness session.
Who can apply for a GoodGym visit?
Any local charity or community project which needs assistance with a physical task can make a request. We very much like tasks where we can work alongside community group volunteers, so we can socialise, make connections and learn from them about their group.
When do tasks take place?
We are pretty flexible now and can do a community mission on any day, or time of the week, however early evening tasks are the most popular, as most of us work during the day.
How can somebody apply?
To make a task request just fill in this form https://www.goodgym.org/request-a-task . It is dead easy and once you have created your organisation profile you will be able to use it for future requests (yes we can come multiple times and do different tasks for you) and have access to run reports which you can use to promote your project