I really can’t believe that it was a week ago that I was at the Swindon 105.5 Radio Station recording the programme for Girls About Town.  Of course, I never have too much trouble wondering what to use for my Blip on a Wednesday, because invariably we have our obligatory “selfie” and once again, today was no exception.

We were a bit depleted today because Clare is at home confined to bed and feeling “proper poorly” whilst Jo is in Kent, looking after her Mum, who is very ill, so Shirley was driving the desk today.  You can see her giving a “thumbs up” over my right shoulder in the selfie with our lovely guest, Emma Sperring, on my other side.

Emma is the Active Lives Officer at Swindon Borough Council and in a voluntary capacity is the Events Director at Swindon Parkrun, an event which has been taking place since its first event in March 2010.  Parkrun is a collection of 5 Km running events that are held every Saturday morning at over 1,400 locations in twenty two countries across five continents with a Junior Parkrun providing a 2 Km run for children aged between 4 and 14 on a Sunday morning.

Emma has been involved since the beginning and was very passionate about her voluntary role in this wonderful project - in the ten years that it has been going, there have been 500 Parkruns, which started with 30 runners and now regularly has 600 -700 each week.  It is held in the grounds of Lydiard House, a beautiful park on the western side of Swindon.  The Park is relatively flat and fortunately has a lot of gravel paths, so even if it is raining, which it has been often just lately, they can still run.

Not being a runner myself - and confessing that I had “wonky knees”, I was interested to hear about another project called "GoodGym", started in June 2018 specifically for those who want to get fit, but who don’t want to go to a gym and get all sweaty but who would rather make an impact on people in the community!  

Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the members meet at The Oasis, a local Leisure Centre, and they then either run or walk to a community location or perhaps to someone’s home, where they do “good deeds” or as Jo would have said, had she been there this morning, “earnest good works”!

These good deeds include, painting, weeding, cleaning and litter picking and Emma told us that they sometimes go into local residential care homes to help out.  What a great idea.  Once their “good deed” is completed, they run or walk back to The Oasis where they have a cuppa and a piece of cake - I’m guessing that all that running absolves the fact that the cake is full of calories!  

Shirley thinks it would be a good idea if I went one Tuesday to meet some of the folk who do these good deeds and get them to “say a few words into the microphone” - now I need to decide whether I will go at 6 p.m. or meet them afterwards at 8 p.m. for the cuppa and cake!  

After Emma had left, the second hour of the programme was presented by Nichola and we were joined by Karen, who is the Wednesday Receptionist, with some interesting snippets but before we knew it, that hour had gone too - amazing how that happens! 

All in all, a great morning - it was especially good to hear about all the things that runners and walkers do in the community, not for reward but just to be kind to others - but of course, cake at the end is a huge bonus!  If you are interested in hearing the Podcast, then just click on this link and look for the “Girls About Town”  Podcast for today’s date.

“When you are kind to others, 
     it not only changes you, 
          it changes the world.”    
Harold Kushner

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