Boxing is a gateway for Brighton youth to find careers they love

FORMER BOXING CHAMP: Scott Welch is the driving force behind WBC Cares UK. Scott seen here back in 2016 (Image: Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Mail)

A Brighton group supporting disadvantaged young people is working with a charity to help them into jobs, training and apprenticeships – through boxing.

Brighton-based The Shore Group, has partnered with charity group, WBC Cares UK, to promote programs that support young, disadvantaged people into meaningful work through boxing, mentoring and employment opportunities. The programs create positive change using boxing as a gateway into training, apprenticeships, and employment. This can be a breakthrough moment for someone being drawn into crime, anti-social behavior, or joining a gang.

Job vacancies in the UK are at an all-time high with over 1.3 million opportunities available in May 2022 alone. With this rise comes much-needed employment opportunities for disadvantaged communities. However, without support, these vacancies remain unfilled continuing the cycle of unfilled job roles and high unemployment in poorer areas.

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For years The Shore Group has helped disadvantaged communities who are NEET (not in education, employment, or training), prison leavers, probationers, and those from disadvantaged communities or care homes to advance their careers in construction and retail.

The Shore Group co-founder, Lewis Yorke-Johnson, said: “Deprived communities need more support than ever as local government services are cut and the cost-of-living crisis bites. At the same time, there is a real labor and skills shortage in the UK. We’re committed to helping the communities that need support the most and believe these programs will make a real difference.”

IT STARTS HERE: WBC Cares UK nationwide boxing gym

Disadvantaged communities often need greater levels of support to help them enter the workplace from mentoring and advice, training, and skills development, through to interview skills and on-the-job support. Traditionally, finding meaningful employment opportunities has long been a barrier.

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However, the section 106 requirements of planning consents mean that developers are now forced to offer employment opportunities as part of new building projects. This creates the final piece in the jigsaw supporting the partnership and WBC Cares UK programs.

Scott Welch, former boxing champion and star of Hollywood blockbuster, Snatch, is the driving force behind WBC Cares UK. Scott had 26 professional fights, with 22 wins and 17 knockouts, and has experienced the benefits of boxing first-hand. He was awarded the WBC Green Belt 15 years ago as a result of the good work he has done and is now the chairman of WBC Cares UK.

Scott said: “I believe that everybody has the right to access the many physical and psychological benefits that boxing has to offer. Stepping into the role of chairman has provided me with the chance to make this belief a reality. Our partnership with The Shore Group is the next step on this journey and I’m excited to see how many people we can help across the UK.”

Scott has dedicated his time to challenging the norms of underprivileged youngsters in London and Sussex, giving them a new lease of life away from knife crime and anti-social behavior. The new partnership with The Shore Group plans to branch out across the UK in 2023 via the WBC Cares UK nationwide boxing gym affiliations.

The regular support, accountability, and discipline in the programs give disadvantaged young people the support they’ve never had previously. The programs start with little champs for kids aged five and upwards, through to young adults aged 16 to 24.

Programs in Sussex are run from the Brighton and Hove boxing gym with multiple additional locations across the county, supporting hundreds of youngsters already. A range of pre-booked and drop-in sessions are run with a focus on making the programs as accessible as possible.

Find out more about The Shore Group here, and WBC Cares UK here.

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