A youth worker and fitness instructor from Kettering who set up his own urban gym to support young people has won a volunteering award from the Prime Minister.
Anton Guidera, 26, set up the Compound, a gym in the town which helps young men improve their lives through fitness.
Anton has won a Point of Light award, which recognises individual volunteers, people who making a difference to their community and inspiring others. Every day someone across the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
The new award has been developed in partnership with the successful Points of Light programme in the US, which was established by President George H. W. Bush, and has since recognised more than 5,000 people.
The Compound gives young people a focus to develop their fitness. Attendees take part in street workouts, and Anton has been recognised for working hard to create a welcoming environment where people are offered support and advice.
Members of the gym raised money for Sport Relief in March by doing 10,000 pull-ups between them in Kettering’s Newlands Centre (pictured left).
The gym is based at the William Knibb Centre in Montagu Street where Anton has volunteered for the last four years. In that time he has secured urban street gym equipment at the building by lobbying Kettering Borough Council, which has helped result in gym equipment being installed into two local parks.
Anton has also worked with young people and fitness enthusiasts from nearby towns to help them set up similar projects. He believes that through keeping fit young people can live happy, healthy lives and stay out of trouble.
He said: “I am so grateful to be recognised for what is my passion. I hope to introduce many more Urban Gym facilities and public parks around the UK to offer more young people the opportunity to put their minds and bodies into something positive.”
Kettering’s MP Philip Hollobone MP said: “Anton is an inspiration to us all and I’m delighted that he’s won a Point of Light Award and attained national recognition for his endeavours.
“The young people who attend Anton’s gym already know what a great guy he is. Now news about the great work he is doing will spread beyond Kettering as well.”
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, added: “Using his free time, and often at his own expense, Anton has created a place for young people to gather, get fit and learn new skills. I am delighted to recognise Anton’s exceptional service to his community by making him the UK’s next Point of Light.”