May 24 2019 @ 14:26 by Steven Hugill
A boxing club is packing a bigger punch after extending its base in a renovation.
Marden Boxing Club has been refurbished through a volunteering programme between social enterprise VIY (Volunteer It Yourself) and home improvement retailer Wickes.
The project also saw 16 construction students from Gateshead College donate their time to help with the refresh at the amateur club, in Cullercoats, with the project contributing towards their City and Guilds Entry Level 3 Health & Safety accreditation.
The volunteers increased the size of the main gym over a four-day period, removing a partition wall and extending into an old kitchen.
They also created a new changing room in a store room and installed new cubicles in the bathrooms.
The project was supported by the Wickes store, in Newcastle, which donated all the tools and materials required and covered the cost of professional tradespeople to act as mentors on the ground.
Dean Preston, manager of Marden Boxing Club, said: “It’s been a great success and a massive boost for the club. As a not-for-profit community club, we depend on external support.
“VIY and Wickes have been amazing.
“Along with the volunteers from Gateshead College, we have managed to increase our space and give existing and new members a safer facility to train in.
“Without their help it wouldn’t have been possible.”
Dan Munn, VIY lead mentor, added: “The volunteers have all worked really hard on this project, gaining valuable skills in both construction and health and safety.
“We’re really pleased to have worked with the boxing club, which does so much for the local community.
“With the newly improved facilities, the club is hoping to increase the number of members, so even more people can get involved.”