A bank has donated £2,000 to help Ellan Vannin Gymnastics Club, which lost thousands of pounds worth of equipment in flooding earlier this month.
Some of the club’s coaches, and the children they were instructing, had to be rescued by fire crews using inflatable boats to get them out of the gymnasium near the NSC as flood water rose to several feet on the night of December 3. Repair work – including replacing competition flooring and major equipment in the main hall – is under way but the club needs to raise funds to replace some additional damaged equipment before classes can start again.
The donation, from Permanent Bank International, will go towards buying new equipment used by six children’s groups – three for children with disabilities, and three groups for pre-school.
In total there are around 70 children who attend these groups aged from two to 13 years old.
The PBI donation will go towards buying a range of special gym equipment including small gymnastic springboards specifically designed for children.
A spokeswoman for the club said: ‘The equipment ruined in the flood cost around £5,000, so we’re very pleased to receive such a generous donation from PBI – I nearly cried when I heard the news that they were going to give the club £2,000.
‘It will go to the disability and pre-school section of the club and towards the cost of buying new equipment to create a sensory corner for children with additional needs. For the pre-school group we want to buy craft items, and some costumes to tie-in with themed sessions. For example, we will have some classes with a space theme, so we will get some astronaut costumes which will be a lot of fun for the children.”
Mark Kennett, manager of banking at Permanent Bank International, said: ‘The club does excellent work providing classes for children and we were very concerned to hear news about the impact of the recent floods.
‘So we decided to make a donation to support the club’s efforts to repair the damage and allow them to resume the classes as soon as possible.’
The club has launched a disaster recovery plan and fundraising campaign to get the club up and running again.