Last week, DCMS Secretary of State Matt Hancock, ran 4.45 km to Mrs A’s flat in Bermondsey, where he met two other runners, Conroy and Anna. Mrs A is partially sighted and had 12 boxes of belongings in her home that she couldn’t move to her garage. Between them, the runners shifted the heavy boxes to the garage in less than 20 minutes.
Mrs A was thrilled to have a bit more space and some company – Matt, Conroy and Anna had a different motivation to run. In 90 minutes Matt had left the office, had a good run, met some new people and made someone’s life a bit better.
Matt was on a run with GoodGym – a community of runners who get fit by doing good. Running to help people in their communities is something that hundreds of GoodGym runners do every day. On Monday, almost 200 Londoners ran from City Hall to help with tasks across the city ranging from weeding and watering at Spitalfields City farm and packing boxes for the Royal British Legion, to helping the Blackfriars Settlement clear out their storage cupboard. In Newcastle runners cleaned and gardened for Changing Lives which supports vulnerable people and their families. In Norwich runners cleared a patch of derelict land in Bowthorpe. In Portsmouth, on Saturday, runners cleared 39kg of waste and plastic from Southsea Beach.
Across this week, hundreds of GoodGym runners will have run to help people who are isolated and lonely – stopping off for a friendly chat and providing help with basic household and garden tasks.
Getting involved for #VolunteersWeek
Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is a celebration of the extraordinary work of volunteers across the country. Volunteering makes up some of the fundamental fabric of community. However you volunteer, the act of helping other people provides both you and the people you are helping with a sense of self, community and belonging.
Many of us lead busy lives and sometimes it can be hard to fit-in all the things that matter most and make us feel good – like exercising and volunteering. GoodGym runs, by combining these two, mean that time isn’t such a barrier. GoodGym is one of many projects that are helping to make it easier for all of us to find the time to contribute a bit more to our communities; making us happier and our communities stronger by doing so.