The problem we're tackling

Most of the young people whom we see live in poverty, poor housing and workless households. Exposed to toxic living conditions, they experience anger, anxiety, depression and other behavioural and emotional distress. More often than not, their mood is expressed in ways that can lead them into trouble - many have been excluded from school or involved in criminal behaviour. Most arrive at our doors after a series of failed interventions and are heading towards a life of poor health, unemployment and even prison.

What We Do

We have created an intensive and holistic programme to reflect the challenges faced by the people we work with. Young people benefit from a personalised programme built from our 5 services:

  • Non-contact boxing
  • Mentoring
  • Education
  • Therapy
  • Careers

We exploit boxing’s grittiness to attract young people and use gaps between physical activities to inspire changes in their lives – uniquely; we use the sport to mentor and educate and to provide therapy and careers support.

We now work with over 3500 young people each year across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and South Wales. Our work inspires young people to achieve significant changes in their lives, from returning to school and exiting gangs, to getting work and feeling healthier and happier.

We are harnessing our growing reputation to influence the policies and practices that shape young people’s lives. We are, for example, contributing to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Boxing to build a case to the Government for how sport can improve mental health.

We offer regular non-contact boxing sessions. Our coaches facilitate fun yet demanding physical activities for young people to learn how to box, including speedball workouts, pad work and shadow boxing.

We welcome young people from all backgrounds and abilities to our open-sessions in the evenings and weekends. We also run smaller groups throughout the week and sessions for girls and families.

The sport attracts young people to our programme, teaches life skills such as work ethic and instils discipline, alongside improving physical and mental health. All while building trust with the coach or mentor.

Using psychological methods developed through years of on and off-field professional sports, we have found that young people are most open to personal development points while doing the things they enjoy. At Empire Fighting Chance, we apply that method to non-contact boxing, in the environment of champions of the sport.

April's Story

April started with Empire Fighting Chance back in February 2019, after a referral from Bristol Children in Care team. The referral goals were set out as 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.

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