Evolve Community Gym

Lewis Clarke profile

Project by Lewis Clarke

Evolve Community Gym

Lewis Clarke profile

Project by Lewis Clarke

We did it
On 5th May 2021 we successfully raised £5,041 with 46 supporters in 71 days

Our free to use gym needs to become bigger and better for all of our young people & more in Thurrock to benefit them physically & mentally.

New stretch target

What will we do with the extra money? Everything!

As we are already running and independently funding, a lot of the infrastructures to successfully run our project are in place. However, our independent funds have been sorely depleted during Covid and we are in a position where the closure of the gym is likely without additional financial support.

We have additional space that needs to be built on to expand the gym, some of the funding will go into increase surface space for equipment and allow for more young people to train for free. This will include:

* Building the space - much cheaper than it sounds as it will be a separation of a particular area and we already have contractors that will carry this out at a minimal cost;
* Purchase of additional equipment - we want to create a cardio zone separate from the weights and martial arts sections, so as to allow people who may find these practices intimidating the confidence to access the gym;
& Repair of pre-existing equipment - some of our equipment needs so TLC to restore it to past glory;

We also have people from the community with a variety of personal issues we would like to employ (for gym sessions) so that they can start to feel a part of the community again.


Our aims

Evolve Youth Academy CIC wants to make a change in Thurrock!

It is our aim to make Thurrock a better place and we believe we can do so by supporting our community with education and use of our facilities for projects which range from music, mechanics, academic pursuits, sport and other positive activities we can introduce in the future.

Our aim is to upskill our community and our founders, who are from Thurrock (specifically Grays) and understand the issues and need within the area are passionate to do so.

Our community project


Our gym has been set up to help young people shape their body & strengthen their mind from a multitude of ethnicities, genders & social backgrounds:

* With parental losses;
* Poverty
* Looked after Young People
* Children in need;
* With parents serving custodial sentences
* Who have set up their own businesses
* Young offenders
* With special needs, physical & or emotional.

1615115716_freddie.jpegThe gym has a:

  • 10-foot ring, 
  • machine weights, 
  • punch bags, 
  • speed bags, 
  • floor to ceiling bags, 
  • slip bags, 
  • skipping ropes, 
  • free weights, gloves, 
  • cardio machines, 
  • a training timer, 
  • Bluetooth speaker system, 
  • toilets, 
  • kitchen area for access to water 
  • a fridge to store food & drink.
    Young people are able to take personal responsibility to run their own sessions or can become involved in several sessions designed for young people to keep fit (led by a member of staff)

    • Wing Chun kung fu self-defence-based classes;
    • MMA training;
    • Boxing training;
    • HIIT sessions;
    • Weight lifting sessions;
    • Callisthenics;
    • Isometric training.

    Young people have reported that they have felt better physically & emotionally due to being able to access the gym at a variety of times that are not beholden to attendance & or outcomes.


Utilising the gym has a number of factors to which contribute to the improvement of physical health, however, emotional health is often over-looked within a “physical setting”. Currently, young people are stating the gym gives them a place for “headspace” & a feeling of being “home”. Young people will complete a variety of healthy eating sessions, learn about a variety of exercises & encourage each other to be healthy holistically! Young people also engage in meditation & mindfulness after physical sessions & state this helps them to leave the gym with an even greater mindset. We are working with 24 young people at the moment, but we want to exp& this exponentially to positively affect up to 350 young people.

Our young people are all aware of the responsibilities they have to the gym; respect to others & to their surroundings. Our ethos is to produce independently minded, educated young people who are socially conscious and want to have a positive impact on their community and have respect for all. The young people who access the gym don't always know each other & come from a variety of backgrounds & different geographical locations in Thurrock such as:

  • East Tilbury,
  • Tilbury,
  • Grays,
  • Chafford Hundred,
  • Ockendon,
  • Aveley.


The gym creates a positive hub in a positive location for our young people to feel safe, supported & part of their greater community.

During Covid, our young people have experienced more frustration, anxiety, anger & stress & to top it off, many can no longer afford to go to ANY OTHER gym other than ours.


We will use the funds to create an extension to the gym as we will be able to knock a separating wall down & use an additional area. It will also allow us to open the gym more frequent (we will pay a community member to "caretake" the gym more regularly,) & also buy additional equipment to allow greater uptake of members.


Our young people have worked with us for a long term, from Secondary school to community involvement projects. Our staff have worked within Thurrock for decades and have developed strong relationships with the young people in the area and other organisations, including other community projects and schools.

It is our goal to give all of the young people we work with the opportunity to involve themselves in positive activities for free and once we have the gym running as we want it to, our music and other positive activity sessions will be next.

We are in the process of setting up regular sessions with a local Special Education Needs school and will proactively identity groups and young people in need of support.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

£50 Reward - training sessions and 6 week routine

Free session with a trainer and a personalised 6 week exercise routine (PDF). RRP £80

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Your picture will be part of a collage that will be permanently on show in the gym; we don't ever want anyone to forget what you have done for us!

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A one-hour guitar, bass or drum lesson. Ok, a little off centre, but it's a resource we have, so let's exploit it. RRP £25

£20 or more

£20 Reward

When we are allowed, you will get your haircut by a trained barber for free ( if you aren’t male, any male you know will be entitled)We are trying to find a trained hairdresser, so bear with us. RRP £30

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Free English, maths or ICT tutoring session (2 hours). RRP £40

£30 or more

20% off vehicle repair

Anyone who pledges £30 or more is entitled to 20% off of their vehicle repair and anything under £40 will be free! We will email vouchers once the campaign has completed.

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