In Funding Stories, Strengthening community cohesion
Project: Southcourt Community Boxing Club
Community Safety Fund: £9,274

With funding from the Community Safety Fund, Southcourt Baptist Church were able to set up the Southcourt Community Boxing club in one of the most deprived areas in Buckinghamshire. The group have been able to purchase all the equipment themselves and run the club in their own building. This saves on long term hire and rental costs. They can also purchase and issue personal equipment such as gum shields, hand wraps and water bottles to people who couldn’t otherwise afford their own, as well as culturally inclusive items such as sports hijabs and arm sleeves.

The club is run by professional and fully qualified coaches and mentors. A group of volunteers also help to recruit vulnerable people to join the monthly sessions. The boxing is non-contact and provides a good level of fitness and physical activity. Education on nutrition and mentoring on behaviour and discipline are also given at the sessions.

Since its launch in early 2023, the Boxing Club now has 65 students attending the monthly sessions. They have 40 children (aged 12 to 17) and 25 adults (aged 18+), plus a team of 20 volunteers and coaches training and mentoring them. 40% of the students have mental or physical disabilities. Some have previously been involved in criminal damage and domestic violence.

By bringing together the community, particular young and vulnerable people, the club helps to deter negative/anti-social behaviour and prevent serious crime, exploitation and gang culture. Working collaboratively with outside agencies and other services means the Boxing Club can reach those most at risk, giving them an outlet to refocus their energies, and an opportunity to grow their confidence and resilience. The group also works with schools and parents to prevent first time offending amongst young people.

Case Study

Student ‘A’ lives in care due to violence and suicide attempts. Initially they were transported to the club by two carers. Thanks to the mentoring and training they have received, their behaviour has greatly improved. Now they are trusted to make their own way to the club via bus.

Quote from volunteer

Growing up, I was involved in anti-social behaviour and surrounded myself with people involved in a life of crime. My best friend was stabbed to death and that changed my life. I now work to help bring people involved in a life of crime from a young age to the Boxing Club to help them change too.

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