The Good Gym is a social venture that connects two unrelated objectives – encouraging people to keep fit and encouraging younger people to connect to elderly and isolated residents in their local community.
Set up in 2011, the Good Gym encourages runners to run with them and do good, rather than joining a commercial gym. That might involve taking part in a ‘mission’ – weekly groups runs culminating in a physical activity that benefits the local community, like raking leaves, planting bulbs or clearing a local park. More dedicated runners are paired with an isolated older person over 65 (‘the coach’). The runner agrees to run to the older person’s house once a week, stopping for a chat and perhaps delivering newspaper or pint of milk. Runners stay motivated in the knowledge that they are doing some good for more than just themselves.
The scheme was successfully piloted in Tower Hamlets, with 150 runners taking part, and has now been rolled out other parts of East London as part of the Olympic Park Legacy. Five further sites are planned for 2013.
For more information see: http://www.goodgym.org/