15 October 2013
Thinking outside the box
AWP service users and staff at the Bristol Boxing Gym were
delighted to meet Lee Haskins (British bantamweight champion), who
was there last week to launch a new 'box fit' course.
Bristol Boxing Gym is running the course to help people with
mental health problems in partnership with AWP's Bristol Active
Martin Bisp who, with Jamie Sanigar runs the gym's community
engagement projects-said: "There were a number of high-profile
boxers suffering mental-health difficulties and we wondered whether
there was a role we could play in that.
"We had a man who was bi-polar come to us. He was three stones
overweight to start off with but now he is three stones lighter,
has a full-time job and has come off his medication, so working
with us completely changed his life. Speaking with him, combined
with our experiences of the boxing world, made us think 'What more
can we do?'."
Mr Bisp and Mr Sanigar contacted AWP's Marvin Rees explaining
how they wanted to combine an exercise programme with mentoring.
They were then put in touch with our Bristol Active Life Project
Team, who work to get people involved in a host of activities to
boost their mental and physical health.
The non-contact sessions will include basic boxing techniques;
shadow boxing, bag work, circuit training, running and skipping as
well as psychological support.
Mr Bisp said: "We want to offer a support group for the people
attending the sessions along with peer mentors - people who have
come through mental health difficulties, those coming through the
project, and celebrity mentors who we want to talk about their
experiences of mental health."
This is a fantastic example of successful joint working between
AWP and the community and it is hoped that people who attend the
ten sessions will want to carry on and do more.
The Bristol Post attended the event on 10 October and many
thanks to them for their photo of Lee showing us his moves in the