Running for a purpose - join the GoodGym revolution

Other | Monday 20th February 2017 | Jenny Desborough

For those of us who find it hard to brave the cold in the name of fitness, the team at GoodGym have come up with a solution, run to help elderly people in need.


This running club is unique in its purpose. It’s designed to help people get fit, make friends, and help their community. Namely helping lonely, elderly people living around them, many of whom can go days without seeing another person.


Runners can complete any task from planting trees, visiting elderly people or moving furniture, with everyone back at home within 90 minutes. And, IT’S FREE.


One of their runners, Kevin, met 78 year-old Connie in September 2014 after her husband passed away from a longterm illness, and visited her once a week through GoodGym.


Kevin said: “I had little experience of working with older people beyond visiting my own grandmother so I was a bit apprehensive about whether we’d have anything to talk about. I’m happy to say that there’s never been an occasion when we’ve run out of things to discuss - it’s really easy and relaxed.”


Connie, who had grown nervous about talking to new people, said they clicked straight away and called him her ‘angel’.


“To tell you the truth, when my husband passed away I was feeling really down,” she said.


“But when I started talking to Kevin, it was like weight was lifted off my shoulders.”


GoodGym was started by Ivo Gormley in 2009, who combined his weekly run in Tower Hamlets with a visit to his elderly neighbour. Now, they have carried out over 45,000 good deeds and operate in 28 areas nationwide, with the aim to launch in every UK city by 2018.


To find you local London runners and make a difference in your community, head to the GoodGym website.