Empire Fighting Chance was born on Bristol’s streets in 2006 to fight the impact of deprivation and inequality on the lives of young people.
We use a powerful combination of non-contact boxing and intensive personal support to challenge and inspire young people aged 8-to 25 to realise their unique potential.
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.
We take referrals from schools, parents, NHS mental health services, local authorities, the police, youth charities, and young people themselves. We reach over 5,000 young people every year.
Many of the young people we work with have been excluded from school or are involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour, including gang crime and drug abuse.
We have developed an approach that reflects the strengths and interests of young people. We use the credibility of boxing to attract young people and weave in personal development activities while they participate in the sport.
With us, young people don’t join a ‘charity programme’ – they participate in sport and accept 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 four psychologically informed programmes:
A trained coach combines non-contact boxing, mentoring and psychological education to give young people aged 8 to 25 the skills and inspiration to make positive changes in their lives
A pioneering approach in which a trained therapist weaves Acceptance and Commitment therapy into a non-contact boxing session to support young people aged 8 to 25 to explore their feelings, behaviours and situations
Integrates non-contact boxing training with careers and education activities to support young people aged 16 to 25 on their journey into learning, training and work – and brighter future
Regular non-contact boxing sessions at our gym, open to all young people, allowing alumni of our programmes to continue their growth.
Empire Fighting Chance also delivers the largest non-contact boxing programme for schools in the UK. We also provide specialist alternative provision for students at risk of permanent exclusion.
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 BoxChampions 20-week programme through local amateur boxing clubs around the UK.