Through a dedicated full-time member of staff, Pat Benson Boxing Academy offered physical fitness sessions for women only, with the aim of empowering them to become more independent, healthier and more confident, helping them cope with the day-to-day demands of an ever-changing society.
Many of the women joined with the help of a trusted referral network, which works with women in need of support and mental health intervention; boxing and physical exercise provided a therapeutic activity that helped complement the work undertaken by their referral organisation.
The programme also included an open forum to talk through the issues affecting the participants in their daily lives, with those most in need receiving one-to-one mentoring and guidance. Some were referred on to more specialist counsellors and mental health practitioners.
Other forms of intervention therapy included poetry and art, and outdoor activities — from walking to the Spartan race and assault courses. The social element of the project provided a routine that permeated the lives of women from troubled and high-risk backgrounds, many of whom lacked routine and purpose in their daily lives.
For this project, we successfully partnered with WAITS (Women Acting In Today’s Society), who provided specialist workshops on a variety of topics, from financial literacy to overcoming anxiety and stress.