Good Gym matches runners with isolated members of their local community. Each week a runner will visit an elderly person at home, delivering a friendly smile, a bit of a chat and perhaps a newspaper. The elderly people in turn act as coaches, offering runners the incentive of refreshment and some pearls of wisdom.

People can also sign up to group training sessions that tackle larger community jobs in no more than 30 minutes. Past examples of these “ fix Up ” challenges include helping the janitor with some heavy lifting at the local school, and putting up the Christmas decorations in an old people’s home. Currently piloting in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, Good Gym aims to ramp up this social fitness model to a national and international scale.

This and more inspiring projects can be found in the print copy of A smart guide to Utopia or the ebook version.