Goodgym and Mencap working together in Bexley

Almost a year ago, Bexley Mencap RunTogether group were lucky enough to be the first recipients of the good deeds carried out by the local GoodGym initiative. Led by Tim Dickson, Bexley GoodGym are a group who combine keeping fit with performing handy tasks and jobs. What’s unique about them is that they run to and from their tasks. Typically, they run to a local centre or group, carry out cleaning/ painting/ tidying and then run home again.

Bexley GoodGym members meet at a Monday evening Crook Log Sport Centre at around 7pm which is just the time when Bexley Mencap’s Monday night Keep Fit Group finishes. Bexley AC member Nick Marsden helps to run Bexley Mencap's Monday Night Keep Fit Group told us, "We always see the group, in their distinctive red vests as we’re heading home. Usually, we exchange a friendly wave and have a bit of banter about where the group is running to tonight and what jobs they’ll be doing. It always feels like we are just clocking off our exercise when Bexley GoodGym are about the start their evening activities."

So, approaching their first anniversary, what better way than for Bexley Mencap to try and catch up with Tim and his crew and check out how things are going by inviting them back to the Mencap Offices to clean and tidy up the side alleyway. Oh and wash the windows, as well!

The Mencap members met the Bexley GoodGym group in the foyer at Crook Log Sport Centre on the evening of 17 January, after their own Keep Fit group session. After a quick photo, Bexley Mencap members quickly walked back to Mencap Offices, while Tim briefed his group about the work ahead and went through some warm up exercises. By the time the Keep Fit group had arrived at Mencap, some of the Bexley GoodGym members had already got there via a different route.

The group carried torches to help them see in the dark. They also had spades and litter sticks to help with the weeding. Some of them also polished and cleaned the windows. Bexley Mencap members Luke, Matt, Emmanuel and Chris, helped with digging up the weeds and picking up the litter and putting it in rubbish bins.

Nick continued, "Everyone seemed very organised and knew exactly what they were doing. No one bumped into each other! We also had a little chat while we were working about Bexley parkrun and other local Keep Fit and running events. It wasn’t very cold but helping with the cleaning up meant we kept warm, anyway. Afterwards we used brooms to clean up the side alleyway and sweep up to make sure everything was nice and tidy."

A group photograph was taken (see below) of everyone smiling afterwards in front of the Mencap Offices.

Nick finished by saying, "The side alleyway looks much cleaner and better now. Job done! Thanks to Tim and everyone at Bexley GoodGym from Bexley Mencap."