31/01/2018 12:31 SAST

Scientist Sprints 1600km To Help People In Her Community

What a woman.

A scientist who ran 1600km around London to help 500 community projects in the process has been presented with a Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making change happen in their community.

Beth Hoskins, 38, a clinical scientist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, was recognised by the Prime Minister for her commitment to carrying out good deeds for others.

The Londoner became a GoodGym runner (where you ‘get fit while doing good’) in January 2014. She has since ran a staggering 994 miles to complete tasks in her community and support people who need her help: from delivering donations to food banks, to spending time with the elderly.

Beth is a local hero.

Beth said she was “honoured” to receive the award at a ceremony on the evening of 30 January. She said in a statement: “Whatever the task, seeing how grateful people are that there is someone able and willing to help makes it all worthwhile. In addition to the people that I’ve helped, I’ve also been lucky enough to meet and make friends with an amazing group of like-minded fellow ‘GoodGym’ runners who I look forward to seeing at every session.”

GoodGym is a fast-growing community of runners all over the UK. Rather than visiting the gym to run up miles on a treadmill or lifting weights for personal gain, they channel their energy into a workout that benefits people in their community as well as their own health. 

Some of Beth’s good deeds have included:

  • Delivering food donations to Vauxhall foodbank
  • Turfing the roof of the Southbank
  • Shifting 8 tonnes of woodchip in the Queen Elizabeth park
  • Moving a pirate ship climbing frame for a community garden in Plaistow
  • Sorting clothes for Camberwell Salvation Army
  • Weekly runs to support an isolated 64-year-old called Paul
  • Clearing an overgrown garden for an older person in Tower Hamlets

Paul, a 64-year-old who Beth visits each week to keep him company, said: “My runner Beth has become a permanent and very loyal mate.”

In a letter addressed to Beth, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote: “You have helped hundreds of people in communities across London, supporting a real variety of causes. You have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to helping others, doing good deeds, and promoting healthy living.”

Everyone hates January. The post-Christmas comedown hits us hard, especially with 2017 being such a tough year. Kindness 31 is our antidote to that. Every day we’ll share a good news story about someone (or a group of people) and their act of kindness or how they helped others. If you want to get involved, email ukblogteam@huffpost.com. Alternatively if you’d like to nominate someone to be featured, fill in this form.