Volunteering over the summer

I am taking the opportunity in this blog post to reveal a little more about the extra-curricular activities I get up to in the south-west of England! I believe that it is very important to have a varied lifestyle, incorporating study, work and leisure activities at varying ratios so that you don’t become overwhelmed with either of the former!

I enjoy running, especially when there is a great view! Running provides me with the head space to sift through thoughts and ideas, this is particularly important as a part-time postgraduate student requiring extra time for project ideas to take form.

Earlier this year one of my friends Gareth introduced me to the concept of ‘GoodGym’. The basic principle of this project is that people who are interested in keeping fit and healthy meet on a weekly basis to give something back to their local community. GoodGym is up and running in towns such as Bath, Bristol, Camden, Greenwich and Westminster; Plymouth does not have a group set up yet. I am on the team of founding members hoping to get GoodGym to Britain’s Ocean City. Check it out.

Last month I travelled up to Bristol with Gareth and we met the team in Bristol. For this project we ran to a community garden to free it of litter and weeds and to plant new flower seeds.

GoodGym is a ‘fine grain’ approach to volunteering, where participation is based on frequent low impact activities that are integrated usefully into our lives. GoodGym is a new model of voluntary action that focuses on our experiences as volunteers and runners. Because it fits into our lives it’s easier for us to commit for the longer term, it makes it easy for us to keep going.

GoodGym realises mutual benefit to its runners and the community groups that it helps; runners are given the opportunity to get fitter and also socialise with each other, whilst community groups which may have been overlooked by local government receive the attention they require.

A fortnight ago Gareth and I ran a 10k multi-terrain race in Truro; the route coursed through mud, rivers, fields and coast path. This was my first ever competition and I think I have the bug now!

Keep active everyone! Think about joining GoodGym Plymouth when we are up and running (no pun intended).