With just a day and a half to go before our Nearly New Sale and still a lot of sorting and pricing up to do, we called on the invaluable help of the generous joggers of GoodGym Newcastle.

Maddy Winnard has been volunteering with GoodGym since it began in Newcastle back in April 2018. On a windy Thursday afternoon, an out-of-breath Maddy rang the Children North East doorbell after running four kilometres from Jesmond to our Benwell HQ.

She was soon joined by Liz Bennett, from Gosforth and they quickly got to work organising all the children’s books donated for our sale into age groups and price brackets.

Maddy (above, left) said:

It’s very fulfilling and it puts me in touch with doing things I have never done before

GoodGym nationally was set up in 2009 by film maker and social entrepreneur Ivo Gormley (son of Angel of the North sculptor Sir Antony). Whether you’re an altruistic athlete or simply a fun runner looking to get fit and give something back, GoodGym welcomes all abilities.

Getting fit for good

It’s all about working out with a purpose. People meet up, run (or power walk) to where they’re needed – do their volunteering - then run back, all within 90 minutes. It could be a charity like ourselves that needs a bit of help – for example PhD student Maddy has previously helped out at SmartWorks which offers dressing and coaching for unemployed women and Fareshare North East which distributes surplus supermarket food. To date GoodGym Newcastle have done more than 8,700 good deeds! How amazing!

You can run on community missions during the day time like Maddy and Liz, join a weekly group run, or jog to an older person's home to help them with tasks around the house.

“It’s amazing how much we can get done,” Maddy added.

The group runs start from Newcastle’s Indigo Hotel every Monday night from 6.15pm overseen by qualified trainer Anji Andrews. Anji is on hand to help runners stretch and celebrate what they’ve achieved at the end of a run. She said:

 Running is incredible for my mental health…I love to pass that on. I try to motivate people by keeping running a positive thing rather than a punishment they feel they should do.

Running isn’t always about running fast, it’s about making an impact with every step.

Well, Liz and Maddy certainly made an impact here at Children North East, helping us get over the finish line for our Nearly New Sale. Thankyou GoodGym Newcastle – you’re all stars!

For more information about how you can get involved in GoodGym Newcastle click here or, if you're in another part of the country, click here for your local group.