Young Thamesmead gymnasts - heartbroken by the idea of their gym closing - have been forced to raise much-needed cash in a final bid to appeal an eviction notice.

Crossway Gymnastics Centre has been operating out of Arch 11 in Byron Close for 25 years but founder Tony Nell has been served an eviction notice by Trust Thamesmead.

The gym regularly caters for up to 100 gymnasts along with residents, also specialising in training competitors with learning difficulties.

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Gymnasts at Crossway Training Centre

Landlords Trust Thamesmead were granted the right to serve the notice at a hearing at Woolwich County Court on November 7 based on concerns about the safety and upkeep of the centre.

Gymnasts could find themselves with nowhere to train could if they do not successfully appeal the eviction by Friday (November 21).

And Mr Nell, who has called the eviction "unfair" and "nasty" admitted there is a less than 50 per cent chance the gym will remain open.

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Crossway founder, Tony Nell

Mr Nell, aged 68, said: "We have put up a good battle but there is a less than 50 per cent chance that we will win this.

"If we had to close I would be absolutely heartbroken.

"The coaches are devastated - this is their passion. Some of them have trained here since they were youngsters and now they face having to leave - it is devastating.

Youngsters held a sponsored tumble and stay-awake at the gym on November 14 in a bid to raise funds to keep it open.

He said: "The case has already cost us £5,500 and that is money that should be spent on the club."

Philomena Nalty, 45, of Charlton Church Lane whose 12-year-old son attends the gym, said: "It would be horrible to see it close.

"Crossways is a family gym, you know the people and you get to know the coaches.

"It’s friendly and also it’s affordable. That’s another reason people go there."

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Youngsters fund raise to help protect their gym

A spokesman for Trust Thamesmead said: "As part of our commitment to supporting the wider Thamesmead community, we have worked with Crossway Gym for over 10 years.

"Despite a lot of intense support and a number of opportunities for Crossway to address our concerns, they have been unable to give us the necessary reassurance about the safety and upkeep of the building and the governance of the organisation.

"This is now a matter for the court, and we await its finding in the near future."