By Andy Hirst
The name GoodGym says it all for this is a group of dedicated Huddersfield people who keep fit while doing good.
That’s a brilliant win-win as this group of runners do far more than just run … they get stuck into any community chore that needs doing.
They meet up, run to the project that needs tackling, put in a shift there and then run back.
The GoodGym has operated UK-wide for more than 10 years with groups across the country and, so far, they have completed almost 155,000 missions. It ranges from major community projects through to gardening for someone who is elderly or disabled.
They will even run to see an elderly person who is isolated and has few visitors, stop for a cuppa and a chat and then run back.
The Huddersfield group (https://www.goodgym.org/v3/areas/huddersfield) was set up three years ago by 49-year-old Saul Muldoon from Newsome who has completed 140 tasks with the group.
The group meets every Tuesday at 6.30pm – often at the John Smith’s Stadium – and go on a group run to do a task and then run back to finish by 8.30pm.
They do bigger community projects on Saturdays – usually two a month – which can take a few hours and GoodGym members usually make their own way there.
The group has 100 members but about half a dozen are regulars who do most of the tasks. They could do with more members and more tasks … and it’s exceptionally easy to request a task on the group’s website.
Saul said: “Runners can dip in and out of what they what they want to do for the group depending on the amount of free time they have. We can do quick one-off tasks or bigger projects where we keep going back time and time again.”
One of these has been removing unwanted shrubs and trees from Christ Church in Moldgreen. Following a few visits over the summer they are now down to the toughest task of digging out the most resistant roots and stumps.
They helped an outdoor therapy called Growing Works based on Wakefield Road in Dalton. They needed a path on their community allotment to be weeded, cleared and covered in woodchips. GoodGym volunteers also help them make willow stars in November as Christmas decorations.
They have been litter picking in Norman Park at Birkby, weeding around the war memorial there and planted bulbs. They have also weeded Ravensknowle Memorial Garden in Ravensknowle Park.
GoodGym volunteers can often be seen picking up litter from Kilner Bank and the river banks around the John Smith’s Stadium.
They have also tidied up Dalton and Rawthorpe Library Community Garden and helped Golcar Environment Group weed and tidy up ginnels in the village.
They also help the Pigs in the Wood sanctuary at Scissett and a major scheme there this summer was to construct a retaining wall of railway sleepers to stop the pigs from climbing on a muddy bank and also to hold the bank back.
The Huddersfield group is just one of four in Yorkshire with the others in Leeds, York and Barnsley.
To request help from the GoodGym simply request help via this page on their website https://www.goodgym.org/areas/huddersfield/request-a-task
To find out more about the group or to join up simply email Saul on firstname.lastname@example.org
* Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who now runs his own Huddersfield-based agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting for business in Yorkshire and across the UK.