Connecting with community

“We think that gyms are a waste of energy. There are many neglected tasks and people in our communities that need that energy. We want to bring these things together.”

Good Gym founder, Ivo Gormley thought up the idea for this unique social enterprise when he’d become frustrated with the gym and bored with running around the block.  Like many of us, he needed something else to motivate himself to keep going.

Through chance, he heard about an elderly man in his wider community who had no family around and who could do with some help.  Gormely extended a kind hand and the neighbour accepted.  Speaking to The Big Issue, Gormley explained that “He said it would be very helpful if I could bring the newspaper. And that’s what I started doing every Tuesday and Thursday.”. The two struck up a friendship and the idea for Good Gym was formed.

Gormley went on to take part in a Social Innovation Camp and ended up winning first prize. The platform was set and through prototyping and by adopting an approach of continuous improvement Good Gym is in 47 locations in the UK and looking to expand further.

An inspiring mission

“We think that gyms are a waste of energy. There are many neglected tasks and people in our communities that need that energy. We want to bring these things together.”

The team have been focusing a lot on loneliness and isolation amongst older people.  In the UK over 1 million people aged 65 and over admit to always or often feeling lonely, and 17% of those living alone see family and friends less than once a week.

As one person describes it: “With aging, you lose a lot of friends. It’s really sad, and it does affect your quality of life. Loneliness is difficult to cope with.” – Joan Boulter, 87

The team at GoodGym and all of the runners doing good across the UK are making a magical contribution to improving the quality of life for older people.

If you want to get involved you can find them at getinvolved@goodgym.org

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

 

Posted by Steven Thomas

Fan of great ideas and (especially) the people that make them work. Steven is the creator of CurveFinder exploring subjects like collaboration, leadership, creative endeavour and personal development. He's spent over two decades working in the UK media industry holding various senior business and creative leadership roles, most recently with a focus on Digital Transformation and Start-ups. Accomplished coach and mentor. Seth Godin's altMBA Alumni. Lives in Edinburgh with his wife and young family. Always in the kitchen at parties.

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