People in Solihull can now combine getting fit with doing good deeds, thanks to the innovative new fitness phenomenon, GoodGym.
GoodGym doesn’t have treadmills, cross-trainers or weights. It doesn’t even have a physical building. Instead, members run around the community to stay fit, stopping off to help people on the way.
Runners can help by doing physical tasks, such as planting trees, sorting food at food banks or by carrying out social visits for older people who are lonely or isolated.
The launch in Solihull has been made possible with support from Solihull Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
WMCA Wellbeing Board Member and Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr Karen Grinsell, said: “This is a wonderful scheme which looks to partner up runners with vulnerable adults in our community. It’s a win win situation because runners get some motivation and the people they are partnered up with become their coaches while getting some help in their homes and a chat.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “I have had first-hand experience of the great work done by GoodGym, and it’s a clever and meaningful idea to combine fitness activity with doing good deeds for the community.
“We have already helped to set up GoodGym in Birmingham and look forward to launching in Solihull as well. We are also looking at other locations in the West Midlands too.
“GoodGym provides a really meaningful workout – not only do members benefit from the physical exercise of running, they add something back to the community and make a real difference to people’s lives at the same time.”
GoodGym will organise a weekly group run, with members stopping off to help community organisations on the way.
Members can also be paired with an isolated older person, and are asked to commit to a weekly social visit to chat and have a cup of tea. The GoodGym befriending scheme has been proven to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing and 98% of older people would consider their runner a friend.
Additionally, GoodGym runners can run with purpose to an isolated older person in their community and complete missions such as checking a smoke alarm, gardening or helping move furniture so someone can come home from hospital.
Anyone can sign up to the launch here: https://www.goodgym.org/happenings/goodgym-solihull-launch-run
Or read more about the GoodGym Solihull here: https://www.goodgym.org/areas/solihull