April’s story

April started with Empire Fighting Chance in February 2019, after a referral from the Bristol Children in Care team. The referral goals were to help April manage her anxiety, to develop and maintain fitness, and to develop confidence and self-esteem.

April has applied herself well since she has been with Empire Fighting Chance, leading to her being given our ‘Champion of the Month’ award in September 2019. Working with Courtney has given her greater confidence and also impacted on how she responds to situations in school, with her also achieving A* results in her mock GCSE’s.

I take a lot of your advice and just like step back from like 90% of situations now, whereas before I wouldn’t have done that I’d have got involved.

April talking to Courtney about the impact his mentoring has had on her

We also received brilliant feedback from April’s foster mum:

“I am very pleased to let you know that April is really enjoying working with Courtney who is a brilliant boxing coach and mentor.  It is making a huge difference to April and I see her taking full advantage of what he and EFC have to offer both in terms of the boxing training and talking through stuff that’s on her mind. 

“April clearly respects Courtney.  His openness about his life experiences helps her to be open about her issues and to see that it’s possible to change your life course as Courtney has done.  It means so much more to hear from someone who’s been there and done that and made choices to move to a new path.

“There are a lot of adults around April who work hard to support and help her but she is generally very resistant to their “interference”.  Her early life experiences have led to her becoming very self-reliant with a distrust for adults as a result of being let down by many along the way.  She’s often the one looking after and out for her friends, so to have Courtney as an accepted ally is really something special. And he’s so cool!  His sense of humour and banter just makes it fun. She really looks forward to her sessions. 

“As for the physical exercise, it’s positively influencing her mood and she has said she feels less anxious after her sessions. I’m not sure how many sessions she has left now – I don’t want to think about them ending yet as she’s really going through some big events in her life and her sessions with Courtney really help.”

April’s foster mum, Sarah