Scrappers Gym in Swindon closes and needs to find new home | Swindon Advertiser

Scrappers Boxing Gym and Community Fitness Centre has been providing fitness sessions for people with disabilities and poor mental health since 2011, supporting more than 25,000 five-to-24-year-olds and more than 30,000 adults in the Swindon area.

Originally set up in the old West Swindon Farepak Hampers building, the group of volunteer coaches has been working out of the back of the 24Hr Gym on Langley Road since 2013.

But since last Tuesday, the gym has been forced to close after the landlord gave six weeks’ notice to move out of the premises.

Gareth Dimino has used the gym for nine years and moved closer to it so that he could walk to each session.

The 35-year-old, who has autism and attention deficit disorder, added: “You go in and meet new people, there’s no stress, it has a friendly atmosphere and feels like a family.

“Scrappers is all I’ve known. I used to have no friends but then found a gym where I felt like I belonged. People come in, smile, hug, spar, and go home looking forward to coming back.

“I trained there and now I take my nephew to train there. I help with the coaching too because I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces.

“I’m hopeful that they will find somewhere new because it feels like I’ve lost everything and lots of people have lost their second home.”

The project is managed by the Swindon Children’s Scrapstore.

CEO Olivia McCann said: “It’s devastating. The gym makes a massive difference to people’s lives and brings a lot of benefits to the community.

“The landlord has been very good to us over the last 10 years, but they want to expand their business to fill the entire building, it’s just one of those things.

“We were paying a peppercorn rent for a 4,500sq ft space but commercial rents are so high now that we will probably have to downsize unless we can find something similar for £1,000 a month.

We are currently not permitted to deliver any sessions and apologise for the inconvenience caused to all our service users.”

Anyone with alternative and affordable premises for the Scrappers Gym project – ideally on the ground floor with at least 2,000 square feet of space – can contact the Scrapstore on 01793 513982 or email

We need your help!
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On Instagram