A gym at the ‘heart of its community’ has been subjected to a theft which saw years of savings taken from their donation pot.

Over £800 was stolen from Nemesis gym, in Erith on January 7.

Nemesis gym is the only martial art and fitness suite in the South East to offer more than 6 martial arts disciplines in one building.

The gym consists of specialist instructors who teach all abilities and provide assistance with competing in competitions.

Savings from the pot are used to provide low-income families with minibus travel to competitions.

Sarah Gifford, a receptionist at the gym, said she witnessed the theft.

In a description of the event, Sarah said: "Three boys entered the gym and asked questions about joining fees.

"I handed them leaflets before they left the gym.

"Two of the boys returned 20 minutes later and tried to cover their face with the leaflets before stealing the pot.

“It is heartbreaking. The money has helped provide travel to competitions abroad.”

Staff at the gym gave chase and caught up with the two boys.

Co-owner of the gym, Michael Tekyi, pleaded with the boys to return the money - even going so far as to offer for them to come and train at the gym.

Since the theft, the incident has attracted an outpouring of support from the community, with many getting in touch through phone calls and emails.

The gym's other co-owner, Nicola Tekyi, said: “I am devastated about the theft.

"However, I have been overwhelmed by the level of community support.

“People have been walking into the gym to express their support.

“We truly are thankful."

Three suspects have reportedly been arrested. Met Police were contacted for comment.

A fundraising page set up by a member of the public has since raised £1,175 out of the targeted £2000 at the time of publishing.

If you would like to donate, visit at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/charmaine-dellar?utm_id=107&utm_term=qWmQPJ6Bw&fbclid=IwAR28Eb-twuHlwtE3RiOHIOr75sTSA9NTA0xQs5Z9bg3CYRqM-CShW2-1FpA