On Monday May 13th, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is launching a new boxing hub at Sunderland Central Community Fire Station with support from Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland Community Hub (SCH) has been created to help young people develop physical and social skills through boxing, with the aim of making them champions in the ring and in life.

TWFRS, Grant Brotherton, Head of Prevention and Education commented:

“Young people today face many challenges – especially with the ever present threats of involvement in anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug misuse, arson and much more. Often peer pressure and the lack of guidance can lead young people into trouble that can blight their futures.

As a service we have to tackle anti-social behaviour on a daily basis. And sadly we are also the victims of it, with attacks and verbal abuse on our firefighters.  We believe that boxing can be a great way to help young people – both boys and girls – to improve their life skills and divert them away from crime. Having experienced coaches can provide positive role models who will help young people to increase their self-esteem and their chance to go on to become useful members of our community.”

To attend the Hub, a young person would need to be referred by one of  a number of organisations including Northumbria Police, Early Help and educations teams. However TWFRS is also looking at working with a number of other agencies. Eight TWFRS and County Durham and Darlington Fire Service (CDDFRS) employees have volunteered to work with the young people at the HUB, providing them with skills and mentoring to improve their physical and mental health, educational attainment and employability.”

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan said: “the Council is happy to be supporting this worthwhile initiative by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. Working together with our community partners we want to provide young people with all the opportunities that we can to help their individual, personal development. Access to new sporting facilities like this is a vital part of that continual process, as getting involved in regular physical activities and training can help improve all aspects of life and social skills.”

Initially, the facility will be open two nights per week on a Wednesday and Friday, 6.30pm – 8.30pm and will cater for ages 10 – 18 years.

TWFRS will be hosting a launch event on Monday May 13 2019 at the Sunderland Community Hub, Sunderland Central Fire Station, Railway Row, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR1 3HE