A need for deeds: the gym where running isn’t about speed, but doing good

Rather than ploughing energy into treadmills and dumbbells, GoodGym members keep fit by helping their local communities. And the concept is spreading fast

Forget expensive gym membership fees, say those at GoodGym: why not burn calories and help your community at the same time?

GoodGym is a free-to-join network of runners across the UK that carry out workouts with purpose: from running to visit isolated elderly people, to helping out on big community projects. Those behind the concept describe traditional gyms as ‘a waste of energy and human potential’, and estimates that members have performed more than 55,000 good deeds to date - writes positive.news.

Founded in London in 2008, the network has swelled to 33 local groups across England and Wales, with a further 72 in the pipeline, including plans for the first groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Norwich branch of GoodGym was launched this week, and a Brighton contingent is meeting for its first session on 11 July.

Sessions include feeling the burn while tackling an elderly person’s overgrown garden in York, and ‘stretching for litter’ to keep Croydon’s streets tidy

Tara Shanahan, a runner since 2009, will be among the Brighton group’s ‘trainers’: those who help lead the local groups.

“We’ll be lacing up our trainers and hitting the streets for GoodGym’s first ever run in the city,” she said. “We’ll be running about 4km in total on the night and doing something amazing for the Brighthelm Centre.

“Don’t worry if you’re new to running. We’re a very friendly bunch and never leave anyone behind. Runners of all abilities are welcome.”

The first of what will be a weekly session, the launch will see volunteers run along the seafront followed by painting a fence and laying a woodchip path in a preschool garden. The school provides affordable care to disadvantaged children at the Brighthelm Centre – a community space in the heart of the city.

We’re a very friendly bunch and never leave anyone behind. Runners of all abilities are welcome

GoodGym advertises its ‘missions’ online for members to sign up to, with runs ranging from 3-15km. Sessions currently advertised include feeling the burn while tackling an elderly person’s overgrown garden in York, working up a sweat setting up an outdoor event for a Bournemouth-based homeless charity, and ‘stretching for litter’ to keep Croydon’s streets tidy.

Though GoodGym is free to join, members are given the option of a monthly donation to the GoodGym Charity when they sign up. The money goes towards running the network and to help with outreach to older people – a particular focus for the organisation.

Read other news on the city site of London.

GoodGym energy Londonrunners
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A young man has been knifed repeatedly in a horrific broad daylight attack outside a north London station. Police and paramedics were called to the scene in Kentish Townshortly after 3pm on Monday. They found a 20-year-old man suffering from stab injuries. He was rushed to hospital. Video footage posted on social media showed a police cordon in place on Prince of Wales Road, next to Kentish Town West station. Former Camden councillor Matt Sanders said on T...
A "jealous" husband who murdered his estranged wife after she rejected the offer of spending "one last" night with him has been jailed for 16 years. Martin Cavanagh, of Chatterton Road, Bromley, was handed the jail term on Monday at the Old Bailey after being found guilty of murder by a jury - writes standard.co.uk The court heard the 35-year-old was “controlling and possessive” towards victim Sophie Cavanagh, 31. Jurors were told he sabotaged her Match.co...
A man who survived 12 years in a children's home blighted by a "paedophile ring" told a public inquiry how he cowered under his bed most nights as he called on the council who ran it to apologise to him directly. Paul Connolly, 56, spent 12 years living at St Leonard's Children's Home in Hornchurch while staff routinely attacked boys in their care. Mr Connolly this week told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse how he arrived just before his eig...
U.S. lawmakers have reached an agreement on the Farm Bill that drops a proposal to tighten food stamps restrictions backed by President Donald Trump, and are looking to vote on it this week, according to congressional staffers. Attendees wait in line to enter the 2018 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, U.S., August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jordan Gale The agreement between Republicans and Democrats on the crucial piece of legislation caps a months-long bitter deb...
Historic black and white images give a glimpse inside London's abandoned central London Tube stations which still survive to this day. Londoners are being given the chance to explore inside sealed-off stations including Aldwych and the Jubilee line branch of Charing Cross this winter. Though all tickets for these stations were snapped up within hours of being released, additional tours are expected next year. Remarkable photographs show the escalators lead...
Protesters will march through central London for a pro-Brexit rally backed by English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and Ukip's leader. Several thousand people are expected to descend on the streets of the capital this Sunday to demand that there is no “betrayal” over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The rally will take place just three days before parliament’s crucial vote on Theresa May's deal. Almost 4,000 people have said they are going o...
Westminster council has launched an inquiry into discrimination and “body-shaming” at nightclubs in the heart of the capital. Officials have revealed a “task group” has been created to look into the problem following recent reports of discriminatory door policies, including at exclusive clubs in areas such as Mayfair. Body image and anti-discrimination campaigners today welcomed the move after a series of cases of alleged racism and “fat-shaming” were high...
A teenager has been stabbed to death in south-east London. Police were called at about 21:40 GMT to Topham House in Prior Street, Greenwich, following reports a man was unresponsive after being stabbed. The 18-year-old died at the scene. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death and taken to a police station for questioning. More than 120 murder investigations have been launched across London this year. Image captionPolice have cordo...
Thames Water said the Beast from the East and summer heatwave had an impact on its ability to meet leakage targets as it reported interim pre-tax profits crashing to £67.7 million from £218.5 million a year ago. The water company also revealed the extreme weather sent complaints soaring as it battled supply interruptions, with written customer complaints jumping to 11,083 in the half-year to September 30 from 8,242 a year earlier. Thames Water was ordered...