Bristol boxing charity gets grant to help 'at risk' children

Image of people practicing Bristol Empire Fighting Chance boxing gym.
Image caption The charity helps children who are at risk of a life of crime and violence

A boxing charity helping vulnerable young people to "feel like they belong" has been awarded government funding.

Empire Fighting Chance has been given £737,359 to continue helping vulnerable people have access to education and therapy over the next two years.

It hopes its projects will help vulnerable 10 to 14-year-olds to stay away from a life of crime.

The charity will roll out its projects across Bristol, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and south Wales

David, 14, was unable to access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and had been suspended from school a number of times for violent behaviour.

After accessing the services provided by Empire Fighting Chance, he said he felt "more relaxed" and saw his engagement at school improve.

Sarah, another young person who uses the charity's services, said it had given her a "place to focus" and helped her to feel like she belongs.

Sir Kevan Collins, chair of the Youth Endowment Fund, said: "This first round of grants is the start of a 10-year programme of work designed to build a better understanding of what works to prevent young people being drawn into crime and a violence."

Andy Ratcliffe, chief executive of Impetus who was involved in the decision making process, said he chose the charity because it fits in with its aim of finding children who are at risk of "going off track" and giving them the support they need.

He said: "In our lives we've had an adult who has put their hand on our shoulder and said actually that's not a good idea and a lot of children are not lucky enough to have had that."

Empire Fighting Chance have two years to use the grant.

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