With the start of every new year that age old mantra starts to sound out across the land; ’a New Year, a new you’. In 2016, instead of providing a fifty deep list of the generic resolutions you might consider making to improve your own life, we’ve investigated the resolutions that will enrich not only your life, but also the lives of others.
New Year, a new way: Resolutions you’ll want to keep.
“A community of runners who get fit by doing good”
In 2009, Good Gym was established in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength, boasting more than 1400 members, with several running teams across London and beyond.
What sets Good Gym apart from hundreds of running clubs across the country is the combination of getting fit while doing good. Along with a good old fashioned run, Good Gym members get involved with helping local communities, such as running in a pack to work on a community project, one off missions to assist vulnerable people, or weekly visits to isolated older people.
“We are a group of runners that believe 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. Something we’ve been working on a lot is loneliness and isolation amongst older people: 13 per cent of people over 65 in the UK say that they always or often feel lonely, and 17 per cent of those living alone see family and friends less than once a week.”
So, if you’re finding it a little difficult to build the motivation you need to hit the pavement, why not get in touch and see if there is a Good Gym near you?
“Using surplus food to strengthen communities”
Food Cycle operate with a clear vision, to create a world where communities unite so that no good food is wasted. With the help of volunteers and access to spare kitchen spaces, Food Cycle create nutritious three-course meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation.
Food Cycle started cooking in 2009, and since that time, they have served over 125,000 meals. Working with the major supermarket chains, they have created meals using over 146,000kgs of surplus food; this is the equivalent of saving 657,000kgs of CO2 emissions.
Food Cycle have made an incredible impact within the communities they serve. Right the way across the country, those in need have been able to visit Food Cycle to access something sorely missing from their lives; a good meal and social interaction.
Those who have benefited from Food Cycle’s project have taken the time to share their experience:
“Due to circumstances and being made redundant, I lost everything. I found myself on the streets. You feel worthless – the lowest of the low. Out of 10, I’d give it 11! A lot of people leave here with happy faces and full tummies. It’s really beneficial for people like me. They are basically guardian angels”. Chris, FoodCycle Manchester
Fancy becoming a ‘guardian angel’? There are loads of ways you can get involved even if there isn’t a Food Cycle location near you. Check out their website and social media for more details.
Black Sheep Coffee
“Leave the herd behind”
Last year, Black Sheep Coffee started a very simple initiative; when you pop in to buy yourself a cup of coffee, you can buy a second cup half price which will then be donated to a homeless person unable to buy one for themselves. As soon as a coffee donation has been made, a post it note is placed on a blackboard outside the cafe for people to claim.
The project was created not only to help homeless struggling with cash, but to also offer the opportunity for social interaction. A lack of human interaction leads to isolation, which further compounds the problems homeless people already face. Through this initiative, these people are offered the chance to visit the cafe, grab a cup of coffee and have a chat with the staff. It didn’t take long before many of the staff were on first name basis with those coming by to claim a hot drink.
Black Sheep Coffee are located in Charlotte Street and Aldgate, but they have cafes opening in St. Paul’s, Goodge Street and Great Portland Street soon. Why not pop in, try some of their fantastic coffee, and leave one behind for someone too.