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HERO Good Gym ;

The feel-good factor

31 August 2018

Keen runners at King’s are getting fit while doing good as they jog through London’s streets. We are the first university to have its own GoodGym – an innovative running club that sees members stop off on their routes through the city to carry out tasks for community organisations, or to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can’t do on their own.

Off to a good start

From shifting compost at a local gardening project to helping move furniture for older members of the community, the runners put their energies into making a difference to people’s lives.

Our GoodGym enthusiasts set off from the university’s campuses across central London, typically running between two and three kilometres to each task and stopping for a short fitness session on their return.

One event saw runners tackle a 6.5 kilometre route through central London from the Strand, to Blackfriars, across to Waterloo and back alongside volunteers from Groundswell, a charity that supports rough sleepers and vulnerable people.

GoodGym runners distributed cards from the Healthy London Partnership to people along the route who appeared to be sleeping rough and explained how they could use the cards to register and receive treatment at a GP surgery.

 

‘I don’t think the volunteers realised the impact they have had on our lives. It is more than just clearing the garden, it is giving me hope.’ – Mr C, GoodGym beneficiary
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Rachel Kearney, who led the run, said, "Due to the vulnerability of the people involved, we decided we would run along the river to get our legs working before slowing it down and splitting off into groups to hand out the cards in a gentle and approachable manner. It was incredibly worthwhile, with each person we approached appreciative of our support."

Alyx Murray-Jackman, King’s Physical Activity Co-ordinator and GoodGym leader, has been instrumental in setting up the partnership with the UK-wide GoodGym initiative. She said, "It feels fantastic to help charities and voluntary organisations on King’s doorstep that are doing great work to make London a thriving community."

Step by step, the GoodGym runners are supporting our aim to make the world a better place. Pounding the pavements, and putting up curtains, GoodGym is an innovative and fun way for staff and students to contribute to the wellbeing of the city in which they work and study. 


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