A BOXING club that was on the brink of closure is fighting back with not one, but two new homes.
East End AVC had to leave its base in Prospect Row, when the church that owned the building needed to sell-up.
At first the club was unsure if it would be able to find a new home, but then Cheers landlord David Dulling stepped in and offered a building above his pub as a temporary gym.
Now Thompson Builders have also come to the rescue and offered the club a permanent base at an unused unit in The Parade.
Head coach and club secretary Kenny Linton, 45, who has lived in the East End all of his life thanked the Cheers landlord.
He said: “He offered it to us as a favour really. He didn’t want big rent. It was just a charity donation from him and we’re really grateful.”
After members helped clear out 18 years of rubbish, the gym is up and running, with youngsters training hard for the Clubs for Young People regional championships in two months’ time.
Kenny said: “The community and the boxers have all been great to us.
“It’s been hard work, but we moved mountains of rubbish to get it ready. It was up past our heads.
“Hopefully in a couple of weeks we’ll be in the new building.
“We’d like to thanks Thompson because they have really helped us out.”
The club, which has about 40 regular members, has been a big inspiration to East End kids.
Kenny said: “It’s all about getting kids off the streets and into the club and teaching them that hard work pays.
“It’s a good gym. It’s got a good atmosphere, good people running it and great kids.
“The main thing that we want to get out of it is showing these young people that if you work hard, good things come and not to give up straightaway.”
But now the club is running low on funds and is looking for support from the community, as it needs about £2,000 to kit out the unit.
Kenny said: “It would be nice to get some funding from a local business or the council, but we will struggle on regardless.
“Nothing will stop us.”