A SPORTS centre which has nurtured the talents of generations of gymnasts is hoping for a dry January while efforts continue to raise funds for urgent repairs to its leaky roof.

Forest of Dean Gymnastics Club at Five Acre potentially faces thousands of pounds worth of damage to equipment due to a leak in the roof of its centre, five miles from Monmouth and 10 miles from Ross.

A £1,500 contribution from South West house builder Barratt Homes this month means the not-for-profit organisation is a step closer to being able to carry out the works.

The club has been raising funds since the roof started leaking last year through activities including a Christmas raffle. 

But with winter well underway and the leak getting worse, Centre Director Lynn Hammersley MBE hopes others will be inspired by Barratt’s generosity and donate to help with the repair costs.

Forest gymnastics roof leak
(Barratt Homes)

Lynn said: “Having built the centre from the ground up, I have witnessed its transformation into a place that produces champions and inspires the next generation — all while providing a community hub that brings families from the Forest of Dean together.

“We are incredibly grateful to Barratt for their generous contribution towards the repair of the roof — and hope that others will be inspired to further support this essential work so that we can continue coaching our gymnasts in the Forest of Dean for years to come.” 

Lynn has been coaching gymnasts in the Forest for nearly 50 years and led the charge for a purpose-built gymnastics and fitness centre in the 90s.

The club says the facility allows students to develop confidence, strength, flexibility, and new skills in a safe and supportive environment.

The donation from Barratt, which has housing developments in Coleford, Lydney and Newent, was made through its Community Fund, which was setup to give back to the communities it builds. 

Charity champion for Barratt Developments, Lewis Allwood, said: “The passion of Lynn and her incredible team of coaches is truly inspiring — so we are thrilled to have been able to support their efforts to fix the roof and keep the Club open.”

To make a donation to the centre’s cause, email [email protected].