ZCT donates £200,000 to GoodGym to scale up support for the vulnerable during Covid-19

  • £200K grant is enabling GoodGym to meet huge demand and help safeguard its future post-Covid
  • Partnership forms part of Zurich Community Trust’s £2 million funding package for charities affected by Coronavirus

Zurich Community Trust (ZCT), Zurich UK’s charitable arm, is partnering with GoodGym to increase community support for the most vulnerable during Covid-19.

GoodGym is a charity operating a 17,500 strong network of members who combine exercise with doing good in their communities.  Spanning 58 local authority areas, including 24 in London, GoodGym members are given missions (tasks that help neighbours and communities) that they run, cycle or walk to to complete.

The partnership with GoodGym is part of ZCT’s Covid-19 Response Plan and has been made possible by a £200,000 grant from Zurich’s Global Foundation, the Z Zurich Foundation. It comes at an exceptionally busy time for the charity, where requests for member support have increased tenfold since lockdown.

ZCT’s grant is supporting GoodGym to meet growing demand for its services, ensure those who are struggling financially are able to receive the shopping they need and, vitally, help to secure the charity’s future at a time when projected income has been postponed and donations have fallen.

The outbreak of Coronavirus has seen GoodGym members completing essential missions to support the most vulnerable to stay safe and well. Missions range from collecting prescriptions, delivering shopping, to (for members with DBS certificates) changing light bulbs and readying homes for people who are returning home after a stay in hospital.

In April alone, GoodGym members, who have all received Covid-19 training to ensure they adhere to social distancing restrictions, completed 985 missions. This compares to an expected monthly average of around 150.

GoodGym’s usual focus is on older people aged 60 and over. In response to Covid-19, the charity has extended its remit to include all adults who are vulnerable, at risk or need extra support. These include single parents, people with disabilities and those for whom English is not their first language.

Ivo Gormley, GoodGym CEO and Founder said: “This is a very difficult time for the health and well-being of our communities and we’re proud of how we’ve been able to respond by providing much needed support to vulnerable people. We have extended our reach to help any adult who is struggling and for whom the crisis has magnified the challenges they face.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Zurich Community Trust for the very first time. The grant has been a lifeline, allowing us to increase the number of people our members can support in communities across the country. The funding is also safeguarding our future as a charity – assisting us to meet operational costs and sustain the viability of the organisation.  With Zurich Community Trust’s support, GoodGym will not only survive the crisis, but hopefully come out stronger.”

In addition to the grant, Zurich’s 4,500 employees in the UK are being encouraged to become members of GoodGym to help reach more people at this time of need.

Rachel Steele is a Scrum Master at Zurich UK’s offices in Swindon and has been a member of Bath GoodGym for 16 months. Over the last year she has completed many group missions to support local organisations and charities in need of help. This has included weeding community gardens, painting housing shelters and putting up Christmas decorations at a care home.

Rachel says: “Social distancing and lockdown mean we can’t complete group runs, but we have still been busy doing missions to support people in the community during Covid-19.   Recently I helped deliver Sunday lunch in Bath to local residents who would normally attend a free community meal at St James and St Phillips church. A member of the church cooked the lunches and parcelled them up. We then ran to deliver them to people. One lunch I delivered was to a lady who was self-isolating. She was so very pleased to have a home cooked meal. I’d not seen any members of GoodGym for a while so it was great to catch-up, albeit from a 2 metre distance. I then headed home having completed my good deed for the day and had ran/walked 6.5Km. I’d really recommend GoodGym to anyone wanting to meet new people, get fit and help out local charities.”

Steve Grimmett, Head of the Zurich Community Trust commented: “We’re so pleased the Z Zurich Foundation has invested in this partnership with GoodGym through ZCT. Not only will we be able to help those most in need at such a critical time, but there’s huge potential for so many Zurich colleagues to get involved and help our own wellbeing at the same time.”

The GoodGym partnership and funding is part of a £2m funding package from Zurich Community Trust (ZCT) to support charities working to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.