National award winning charity, Empire Fighting Chance (EFC), are working with schools and local authorities across South Wales to create one of the country’s most exciting new partnerships.
Empire, for whom current Welsh boxing world champion Lee Selby is an ambassador, run programmes specifically designed to increase education or employment opportunities, especially for those currently struggling to engage with either.
They also run programmes for people suffering from Mental Health problems and were showcased at the MIND conference at Wembley as one the country’s most innovative mental health intervention programmes.
Jamie Parry, the EFC programme manager from Monmouth, said ” The progress made by the young people across South Wales has been fantastic, using boxing to help them re-engage with their schooling is a model that we have been using for some time. It is testament to the desire of the local authorities and schools in Wales to make a difference that they have implemented programmes so quickly. It looks as though South Wales will soon be starting to lead to way.”
Lee Selby said “ I have known about EFC for some time and are amazed by what they do and the results they achieve. I like to drop into sessions to see the difference in the young people, I truly think they are an inspirational organisation.”
The Youth Engagement and Progression Officer for Vale of Glamorgan Council Nisha Shukla commented on the programme that trialled for 20 weeks in Barry; “The programme has shown incredible outcomes such as increased attendance, improved motivation. It has raised aspirations for young people, it has also improved relationships and reduced anti-social behaviour.”
The results of the programme showed a number of positive outcomes for the schools involved; increased attendance, reduced behavioural incidents and a boost in confidence and self-esteem were all reported. Summary of results below:
100% Say they now feel more positive about the future
90% say they now feel more able to co-operate with others
82% say they are happier
82% say they are more likely to respect rules
73% say they are more motivated