OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE
Goodgym helps you get fit whilst doing good! They’re a group of like minded local people that combine regular exercise with helping their communities. The group aims to tackle localised social issues like isolation and loneliness whilst also picking up good deeds in the community and squeezing in a workout! This role is flexible so it ideal if you’re looking to do some volunteering without the weekly commitment.
You can get involved in different types of interventions depending on your schedule. Goodgym’s Group Runs usually take place on Wednesday evenings starting in Headingley, West Park or Hyde Park (so right on our doorsteps) and involve running, physical community-based tasks like gardening and lots of socialising. Mission Runs see runners help elderly members of the community with one off tasks like changing light bulbs and clearing gardens. And lastly, Coach Runs pair up runners with isolated older people for a chat and a cuppa!
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Goodgym volunteers can get involved in three different types of activity to suit their schedule & interests:
- Group Runs: The group runs take place on Wednesday evenings starting in Headingley, West Park or Hyde Park. The group is led by the local Goodgym trainer and you’ll get involved in running, workouts, socialising and a good deed in the local community! Following the warm up you’ll run to that week’s chosen task which could be anything from digging to painting to litter picking. The group will complete the nominated task before running away again into the night. You can see each week’s task and sign up here. The amount of running from week to week varies depending on the task but the pace is very inclusive and nobody is left behind!
- Mission Runs: Mission Runs are a little more ad-hoc and meet the needs of local community groups. Similar to the group runs you’ll arrive on foot, perform a task then leave again alongside other Goodgym runners. If you’re struggling for motivation or looking for some new routes, then Mission Runs might be the perfect set up for you!
- Coach Runs: Coach Runs see Goodgymmer’s make regular visits to the home of an isolated older person. You’ll be paired up, run there, hang out then run home again! Older partners are labelled ‘coaches’ by Goodgym as they motivate people to run and share their wisdom! You’ll be helping tackle loneliness and make an impact on the life of an older person in as little as 20 minutes per week!
SKILLS & EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Anyone of any running ability can get involved. Goodgym welcomes everybody regardless of their fitness level so all you really need is a pair of trainers! We don’t recommend wearing your favourite pair as many tasks can get a bit dirty! None of the Goodgym roles require any special knowledge or experience, just enthusiasm & energy! All Group Runs & Mission Runs are risk assessed and equipment provided by the communities involved. If you want to take part in Coach Runs you will require a background check which will be processed by your local Goodgym trainer.
Communication, Team Working, Creative problem solving, Flexibility, Initiative, Independent working, Time management.
TRAINING & SUPPORT
You’ll receive on the job training on any Group or Mission Runs you choose to get involved in. Each Group or Mission Run will be led by a Goodgym trainer or member who will be your point of contact – they will be able to answer any questions you might have and support you with your task! All of the tasks however, are very straightforward and you won’t be asked to do anything you’re not comfortable with. You can view the tasks from week to week on the Goodgym Leeds website so you’ll know what is expected in advance! Your Goodgym trainer will always be on hand to support you. If you elect to get involved in Coach Runs you’ll do some online training and receive a training call from the Goodgym operations team.
REWARD & RECOGNITION
Goodgym volunteers stand to benefit just as much as the recipients of their time:
- Goodgym volunteers work directly in their own communities so will see the local benefits of their time and effort! You’ll make new connections and probably discover places you didn’t even know existed!
- You will increase your own motivation to exercise whilst also making a difference in the lives of others.
- Join Goodgym as a member and you’ll receive a red New Balance technical t-shirt to wear on your runs!
You can participate in Group Runs & Mission Runs as regularly or irregularly as you like – there is no minimum commitment. Ideally you will be able to commit 1-2 hours of your time each time you sign up for a Mission Run or Group Run. You’ll be able to see what each individual Mission Run or Group Run involves and sign up on the Goodgym Leeds website.
Coach Runs involve a weekly commitment over a period of at least six months as you’ll be individually matched with a local older person. Ideally you’ll be able to commit 1-2 hours per week to maintain your connection with your Coach including the time it takes to run to their home and back.
Of course you can get involved in Goodgym whenever you like but as a University we get involved in a Goodgym Mission Run once every semester. The group is based right on our doorstep and we are keen to be a good neighbour! This is a great way for the students and staff to see what Goodgym is all about and give something back to our local community.
Our next Goodgym Mission Run will be a fun painting session in Kirkstall on Wednesday 9th February from 6-7.45pm. As part of Student Volunteering Week we will be joining Goodgym to help paint some chairs! The chairs are going to be used for a wedding which Kirkstall Valley Development Trust are hosting. There are a few meeting options for this task – you can meet Goodgym there, or join us for a 1.2 mile jog to and from the task starting in Kirkstall. You’ll need to wear clothes you don’t mind getting paint on and also bring a mask as the task itself will take place indoors. If you’re also joining for the run please wear trainers and a bright colour or high vis top. Both students and staff are invited to join us to try out Goodgym together. (Please note you must also be registered with Goodgym to participate. You can register for free here).