Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street joined a group of Coventry runners to congratulate them on doing hundreds of good deeds for the local community over the last six months.
GoodGym Coventry, which is jointly funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Coventry City Council, doesn’t have treadmills, cross-trainers, weights or a physical building. Instead, members run to get fit and stop off to help people and community projects on the way.
Since GoodGym Coventry was launched six months ago, 76 people have completed more than 400 deeds helping community projects across the city. These include transforming gardens, clearing spaces, setting up festival events and picking up litter.
Members of GoodGym Coventry with Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street at Eric Williams House
Mayor Andy Street ran three miles earlier this week with GoodGym Coventry to Eric Williams House, a care home for up to 43 older people living with dementia, and joined in the group activity of clearing an outside garden area for the residents.
“GoodGym is a fantastic idea, inspiring people to get active while doing good deeds for the community,” he said.
“I was very proud to run with GoodGym Coventry on their latest run, get involved in the activity at Eric Williams House to help the residents there, and see for myself the real difference members are making to people’s lives.
“The group has had a brilliant first six months and I’d like to congratulate them on all the great work they are doing in the Coventry community.”
Nationally, GoodGym is a social movement set up for local people to get active and use their energy on doing good deeds. Members run to do voluntary work for community organisations, and also support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can't do on their own. This work is carried out in association with Coventry City Council and Age UK.
Cllr Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for public health and sport at Coventry City Council said: “GoodGym provides a really meaningful workout – not only do members benefit from the physical exercise of running, they add something back to the community.
“Since its launch, GoodGym Coventry has helped a wide range of organisations including Spon Gate Primary School, the Langar Aid, the Mind Coventry Hub and the Canal and River Trust.
“This is our community and together we can all make a difference to improve people’s lives. I’d encourage as many residents as possible to get out their running shoes and join in.”
GoodGym Coventry's trainer Liz Pharoah added: “It’s wonderful that we’re creating a new running community for local people to come together, get fit, make friends and improve lives for others in their own locality. I’m looking forward to more people joining GoodGym so that we can build on this success.”
The group runs take place every Tuesday, starting from Drapers Bar and Kitchen, Earl Street, Coventry CV1 5RU, at 6pm.
The WMCA has helped to set up GoodGyms in Birmingham and Solihull over the past year.
Watch this video of the Mayor's visit to see how GoodGym Coventry is making a difference to the local community.