As the UK gradually comes out of lockdown, Empire Fighting Chance has continued to punch above its weight throughout the pandemic, supporting 636 young people with boxing therapy and delivering over 3,700 coaching hours in the process.
Empire Fighting Chance is a charity registered in England and Wales. It works with young people aged 8 to 25 from deprived communities who have a range of behavioural and emotional issues, including anger, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
The Bristol-based charity has continued providing vital services in support of young people who rely on its services across the South West and South Wales, where others have had no option but to pause.
Throughout lockdown, Empire Fighting Chance has: supported 636 young people with continued boxing therapy and provided 3,797 coaching contact hours. In addition they worked with 25 schools across Wales and the South West to provide ongoing support for pupils.
“We are so proud of the work we managed to fulfil during the lockdown" Martin Bisp, CEO at Empire Fighting Chance, said.
"Some of the young people we work with have severe mental health issues and we work with them to provide therapeutic boxing programmes with a counsellor.
“These people were our immediate priority – we knew we couldn’t let their therapy fall behind. Our coaches and staff were absolutely amazing at adapting to the circumstances and managed to provide over 3,700 contact hours for over 600 young people.”
Every year, Empire Fighting Chance provides non-contact boxing courses, mentoring and therapy for more than 4,000 young people. But following the Government closure of all gyms on Friday 20th March, it meant the charity had to find a new way to conduct its therapy sessions.
“Our family liaison officer, along with the team’s support rang every parent/carer/young person and asked them if they want to continue sessions remotely. This was a completely new way of working for most of us, but we felt there was no choice but to rise to the challenge and make sure that our young people had continuous support.” Jamie Sanigar, co-founder and COO at Empire Fighting Chance, added.
“Our careers team also worked with 124 10-14-year-olds during the lockdown, exploring their interests and skills, as well as encouraging them to feel more positive and optimistic about their futures – whilst also incorporating physical activity. We have also worked with over 20 15-25-year-olds during this difficult time, offering support for education and employment.’
More information about Empire and its work can be found at: http://www.empirefightingchance.org/