It’s time..

COMMUNITY gym Scrappers has unveiled brand new disabled-friendly facilities after it won a £5,000 grant in a nationwide contest.

The base off Langley Road in west Swindon, which now boasts a toilet, shower and changing rooms suitable for disabled users, also won £18,000 so it can employ a gym manager.

More than 274 groups around the country were bidding for cash from the Aviva Community Fund – 25 of them were local charities.

But Scrappers was the only Swindon project to win funding. More than 8,000 people voted to get it into the final eight of the inclusivity section of the award scheme, where it impressed the judges.

Olivia McCann, chief executive of Swindon Scrapstore, which provides the gym, said: “The funding has made a big difference not only to the project but for all our service users. It is an enormous boost because the gym is run mainly by volunteers to benefit others.

“I’m delighted to be able to show another development here at Scrappers. We are always trying to expand and do more in our community so that everyone can benefit from this. We never thought the gym would be able to have the impact it has.”

Among the supporters there to see the launch of the new facilities were branch manager Robert Morgan and staff from Howdens Joinery Swindon, which donated a new kitchen.

The transformed gym was unveiled at the agility and fitness for all class, which is aimed at helping people with disabilities and learning difficulties. They are set to benefit most from the improved facilities.

The revamp also means young boxers taking part in England boxing training camps will finally be able to shower and get changed on the site after sessions.

Olivia said: “Our members absolutely loved seeing this and began interacting straight away, for some of them it will make life a lot easier. It’s support we didn’t have before but now we can provide this.”

The charity also received a grant of £2,500 from the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation towards installation costs. All the work took around two months to get it fully finished.

Scrapstore has continued to secure funding to provide the free weekly boxing skills and fitness sessions for people with disabilities. It won additional funding at the end of 2017 from Zurich Community Trust enabling it to continue running the sessions till the end of this year.

On average between 30 and 35 people take part in the sessions each week, which provide social and personal benefits and improve health and well-being.

Head boxing coach and former ABA boxing champion Paul Rogers said: “Our amazing team of boxing and fitness coaches are fully qualified and experienced in working directly with young people and adults with a wide range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, severe mobility issues and wheelchairs users. Many of the participants find that the exercise helps improve their mobility.”

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Aviva Community Fund, Robert Morgan and Howdens Joinery and everyone who helped with the installation of our new facilities.

2019 is destined to be a great one.

It’s finally here.. Our NEW disabled-friendly toilets and showers
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