Boxing club opens Barking hub in bid to end youth violence
- Credit: Archant
A boxing club has opened a hub in a bid to stop youngsters falling victim to violence or ending up behind bars.
Box Up Crime’s venture in Ripple Road, Barking, provides alternatives for young people offering mentoring and free training.
Owner Stephen Addison said: “From a state of the art music studio to motivational, educational rooms and inspirational mentors, we are investing the right resources [in] our young people and giving them the opportunity to chase their dreams and choose success over crime and gangs.
“This will be a free resource to young people and we want to see the next big thing come out of our borough. We don’t want to see any more [young people] dying or going to prison for life.”
He added everything in the centre provides what a young person growing up in the borough needs to fulfil their dreams.
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Stephen said: “Opening up the development centre was a huge weight off my shoulders as we have worked so hard on the building.”
Earlier this year, Barking and Dagenham Council launched its Lost Hours campaign which aims to reduce youth violence. It backs the centre.
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Stephen worked on the project which asks parents to take more responsibility for their children, knowing where they are and what they’re up to when not at home.
The boxing club owner featured in a short film alongside two parents who have lost children to knife attacks and a young person who has been through the council’s youth offending system.
The centre will be running an initiative named Project ROADS – which stands for real opportunities, advice, direction and support.
Activities and resources include music production, business enterprise, graphic and merchandise design, mentoring and counselling.
Cllr Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration, said: “It’s so important the council works closely with partner organisations such as Box Up Crime to try and address the continuous problem of youth violence.
“Box Up Crime do some fantastic work for young people in the community from getting them off the streets and working with them to achieve their dreams.
“I hope the young people of Barking and Dagenham will use this great facility.”
For more information on the Lost Hours campaign visit losthours.org and for details on Box Up Crime see boxupcrime.org