EARLY-rising gym-goers powered on right through the day to raise thousands of pounds during a mammoth 12-hour charity event last weekend.

Dawn Breakers gym, in Portway Industrial Estate, hosted its From Dawn ‘til Dusk fundraiser last Saturday with upwards of 70 people taking part.

“It was brilliant,” said Bonnie Lavery, co-owner of the Andover gym.

“It was the sixth one we have done in a row and although the final amount of money we have raised is unknown, we have got about £7,000 at the moment but we’re hoping for £10,000.”

The event featured a dozen back-to-back fitness classes organised by Bonnie’s husband, Andy, and herself. The group was split in two and took it in turns to do 30 minutes of exercise followed by 30 minutes of rest, with participants starting at 6am and battling on until 6pm.

“It was tough but fun,” added Bonnie.

“You get sort of halfway and think, ‘that wasn’t so bad,’ and then you do another few hours and realise there’s still four left. Then it feels like a really long time!”

The proceeds from the event will go towards the cost of new defibrillators to be installed throughout the industrial estate – and hopefully even further afield.

The gym currently has its own defibrillator, as do other buildings on the estate, but Bonnie says they are not always accessible around the clock.

“We’ve got one at the gym but we want one for the whole estate,” she said. “There are some inside [other buildings on the estate] but obviously they are no good if the buildings aren’t open.”

The new defibrillators will therefore be external so that anyone and everyone can make use of them.

In previous years the gym has used its charity days to raise funds for various other local causes.

They include Icknield School, Andover Mind, Andover Young Carers and Will Bennett, a friend of the gym who lost his leg in a climbing accident.

Bonnie added: “Big charities are obviously very worthwhile but we look to make more of a difference to local groups rather than a big anonymous thing.

“We like to know that it’s making a difference.”