Connect, Be Active, Give

The Good Gym pairs runners with isolated less mobile people in their area. Runners jog to their house, deliver something nice, have a brief chat and are on their way again. It helps people get fit by providing a good reason to go for a run and it helps the person being visited by providing them with some friendly human contact and a newspaper or piece of fruit.

The timing of the visit is up to the runner and the person they're visiting. After work and weekends usually works best. Runners have to commit to at least one run per week.

The Good Gym finds someone in the runner's area, gives them some advice and running tips and a list of phone numbers to call in case they need help. They are then introduced and get going. Good Gym checks in with both parties from time to time to make sure it's all going smoothly. The Good Gym is for anyone who exercises, would like to exercise or would like to help.

The Good Gym arose out of a frustration with normal gyms being a waste of energy and human potential. After a year or so of thinking from a small group of residents from Tower Hamlets, London, and testing and developing ideas, the project was submitted to the Social Innovation Camp in December 2008. Social Innovation Camp brings together ideas, people and digital tools to build web-based solutions to social problems, all in just 48 hours (see The project was developed rapidly and won first prize. Since then The Good Gym has established an advisory board and put together the basis of a pilot project to prove the concept and its potential impact.

The Good Gym is currently running in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, but hopes to be launching a version that can be used more broadly.

Unabridged version: Good Gym

15 September 2011

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