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Good Gym runners’ keep-fit regime results in good deeds

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18 January, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Members of Good Gym moved 120 bags of compost at Compton Square Gardens in 27 minutes

THESE runners gave a helping hand in Compton Square Gardens last Saturday while keeping their New Year resolutions to stay fit. Twelve runners jogged from the Arsenal Hub to Compton Square Gardens where they got mucky helping with weekend gardening, lifting and spreading 120 bags of compost among the flowerbeds to help with the gardens’ maintenance. They completed the work in just 27 minutes, despite a couple of the wheelbarrows suffering flat tyres. This session was specially aimed at new members of Good Gym, a run­ning club which combines exercise with helpful contribu­tions to the neighbourhood. Liz Jordan, 31, is a new addition to Good Gym Islington, and this was her first session. “It was surprisingly fun and went by quickly,” she said. “We were busy pushing wheelbarrows and emptying out the compost. I am definitely going to do it again! It is a good way to get some exercise and also socialise with a fun group.” The Good Gym works with a number of different organisations across Islington and participation is free. They meet every Monday outside the Arsenal Community Hub, 56 Benwell Road, N7, at 6.45pm. To join, email

Self-esteem among young Mermaids

Mini Mermaids ambassador Khara Mills

THEY say looking after the body in turn looks after the mind, and Mini Mermaid Running Club UK for young girls combines the two. The project aims to help 7 to 11-year-olds feel good about themselves and is soon to come to Whittington Park Community Centre, something which Khara Mills, lead coach and London Ambassador for MMRC, wishes she had at that age. The eight-week programme has been running in Islington for 18 months in Newington Green School and St Joan of Ark School. It focuses on a new theme each week, discussing emotional resilience and tying these themes in with games and workouts for primary school girls.

Youngsters taking part in Mini Mermaid Running Club activities

“I did not have enough opportunities to talk about thoughts and feelings as a young person,” said Khara. “We want to help build young girls’ self worth and help their resilience, giving them a better understanding about balance and thoughts and mind. Young girls’ self esteem peaks at nine years old before taking a nose dive, so we want to help as early as possible.
“The project builds up to a 5k run in Highbury Fields. Girls are encouraged to take on the challenge and set goals whilst learning to set goals for life. A lot of the time lots of girls are not encouraged to set goals and we want to change that.”
She added: “We are very excited about being given fund­ing from the Gunners’ Community Fund and The VINCI Foundation. We are delighted we are now able to offer places in Mini Mermaids to girls from the local community that would benefit most from the programme. We’d love to hear from people that would like to find out more and we are always looking for new volunteers!”
For more information, contact Khara Mills:



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