Case Study: Glen
Glen was referred to the Pat Benson Boxing Academy through Crisis. Aged 51, Glen came to us with a few mental health problems, including depression and suicidal thoughts, for which he was receiving treatment. He had had a rough upbringing, growing up in the care system, and at one point served time in prison, but was ready and wanted to start living a more positive lifestyle.
At first, Glen started in the Mind Fit programme, taking part in the beginner fitness sessions and coming along to the group each week. As his fitness improved, so did his confidence and he started to express an interest in other activities, so he joined the 12 week Volunteering induction sessions.
During the 12 week Volunteering induction, Glen participated fully, learning new skills and improving those he already had, which quickly started to increase his employability. As he showed an interest in boxing, we suggested he work towards his Level 1 England Boxing certificate, which would bring him up to the level of Assistant Coach. Darren and the other coaches helped him to get up to speed and within a very short time he was able to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and professionalism needed to teach others.
Since his induction, Glen has helped out at numerous events and boxing shows we’ve put on here at the Academy. He doesn’t just help with event planning, however; he has also shown an aptitude for construction and decor so he often works behind the scenes, setting up. He chooses how to dedicate his volunteering time carefully and he’s a great person to have on hand as he’s very flexible and willing to help wherever he can.
We’ve seen a massive change in Glen’s attitude since he joined us less than a year ago and it’s clear his self-esteem has been boosted considerably. He is assured and professional in the way he works with people and even has the confidence to lead sessions.
One of the great things about the Volunteering programme is that it gives people the space and time to build their self-esteem and decide which direction they want to go in the longer term. Glen says he’d like to work in the fitness industry eventually, but thanks to the Volunteering programme, he is able to see that he has a wide range of skills which could lead to many more opportunities.