Marden Boxing Club in Newcastle has been renovated thanks to a volunteering programme between home improvement retailer, Wickes, and social enterprise, VIY (Volunteer It Yourself).

16 student volunteers from nearby Gateshead College, all of whom are studying construction, helped with the refresh at the amateur boxing club in Cullercoats. The project has contributed towards their City and Guilds Entry Level 3 Health & Safety accreditation.

The volunteers refurbished the space and 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 an old store room and installed new cubicles in the bathrooms.

This project was supported by the local Wickes store in Newcastle, who donated all the tools and materials required and covered the cost of professional tradespeople to act as mentors on the ground.

VIY Lead Mentor, Dan Munn said: “The volunteers have all worked really hard on this project,  gaining valuable skills in both construction and health & 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.”

Dean Preston, manager of Marden Boxing Club, has 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.”