Group is jumping for joy over paint donation

Site support coordinator at AkzoNobel Ashington, Jill Johnston, with Gymtopia founder, Felicity Brown and some of the young gymnasts.
Site support coordinator at AkzoNobel Ashington, Jill Johnston, with Gymtopia founder, Felicity Brown and some of the young gymnasts.
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A global manufacturer has helped revitalise a North East gymnastics centre.

The AkzoNobel Ashington plant, whose products include household brands such as Dulux and Polycell, donated 200 litres of paint to help Gymtopia transform its new facility on the Brunswick Industrial Estate in Newcastle.

Gymtopia, founded in 2014, provides recreational and competitive-level gymnastics training for children aged four to 15 now has 200 children attending weekly classes, with a further 400 children on the waiting list.

Felicity Brown, Gymtopia founder, said: “It has taken us a long time to source premises of a scale and at a price that would secure our long-term economic sustainability.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely on donations as well as the subs paid by the children who attend our classes to help pay for tutoring, equipment and renovations.

“We asked the children to put the word out to their parents to help find sponsorship for our new facility and someone suggested writing to AkzoNobel about paint. We were thrilled by the company’s response.”

Jeff Hope, head of manufacturing unit at AkzoNobel Ashington, said: “As well as being known for our great products, we want to make the AkzoNobel brand synonymous with inspiring and enabling beautiful spaces. We believe passionately about giving back to the local community so we were excited by Gymtopia’s request. It’s a great example of our Human Cities initiative and the revamped space looks incredible.”

“We hope that it will go a long way towards promoting health and wellbeing and encouraging more young people into sport.”