We target young people aged 8 to 25 from deprived communities. Poverty, poor housing and parental unemployment combine to create toxic social conditions for our target group.
Young people arrive at our doors with a range of behavioural and emotional issues, including anger, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Their distress is often expressed in ways that can lead them into trouble rather than care and support. So many of the young people we see have been excluded from school or are involved in anti-social & criminal behaviour, including gang crime, drug abuse, aggressive behaviour and offending.
We have developed an approach that reflects the strengths and interests of young people. We use the street credibility of boxing to attract young people and weave in personal development activities while they participate in the sport. We listen, mentor, educate, challenge and inspire while young people box.
With us, young people don’t join a ‘charity programme’ – they participate in sport and gain support naturally. As a result, they are much more willing to open up, trust us and listen to what we have to say.
We offer young people three main services:
Training With The Champions, our flagship programme, combines non-contact boxing with mentoring and psychological education
Boxing Therapy, with our qualified therapist, weaves in therapy in between coaching non-contact boxing
Boxing & Careers, our careers programme to support young people’s progression into work
We also offer non-contact boxing sessions for young people during evenings and weekends through Bristol Boxing Gym.
Empire Fighting Chance delivers the largest non-contact boxing programme for schools in the UK. We work with primary schools, secondary schools and alternative providers across the South West of England and South Wales. We also provide specialist alternative provision for students at risk of permanent exclusion.
We exist to tackle a widespread issue. Deprivation impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across the UK. We will only ever be able to reach a small proportion through our services.
This is why we are extending our impact by influencing the policies and practices that impact on young people’s lives. We have built outstanding partnerships with Bristol City Council, local authorities in South Wales, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), and multiple youth providers.
Nationally, we are contributing to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Boxing to build a case to the Government for how sport can improve mental health.
And we are scaling our Training with the Champions 20-week programme through local amateur boxing clubs around the UK.