Hoped to combine getting fit with doing valuable community work, a new running scheme has been launched in Kingston.

GoodGym puts on weekly sessions in which a group takes part in a trainer-led run to somewhere in the borough to perform physical work such as planting trees, gardening and clearing away litter.

In the first event, held on Tuesday, May 15, a group of more than 20 runners helped The Community Brain in its work to transform a disused allotment in Tolworth.

Sue Gregory-Johnson, sports and leisure commissioner at Kingston Council, said: “We are very pleased to be involved with this initiative that can help bring people together, as well as having a benefit to their health. This is a great way for GoodGym runners to use their energy to benefit worthy projects in their community.”

Those who have signed up can also choose to be paired with an older person in order to run to see them for a weekly social visit and help them with basic household tasks.

GoodGym founder Ivo Gormley said: “GoodGym is a really easy way to integrate doing something for your community into your exercise. If you are already running then it can take only 15 minutes to change your route and drop in to visit an isolated older person.

"If you have never really considered running before, or lack the motivation, then the community that GoodGym provides can be a really easy route in.”