We recently funded Moss Side Fire Station Amateur Boxing Club (MSFSABC), based in South Manchester.

The group is an amateur boxing club based in Moss Side and is affiliated with Moss Side Fire Station. Marginalised individuals and those socially excluded are welcomed to the club to train and build confidence.

The club provides 16 boxing and fitness sessions a week with no discrimination of age, gender, ethnicity or ability. There are sports clubs and leisure facilities around Moss Side, however, due to territorial constraints some community members cannot attend certain gyms and the boxing club is perceived as a safe and neutral ground with no gang affiliation. The boxing gym has a draw to members as it provides them with a level of kudos and “street cred” that other sporting activities fail to do. This draw brings the young people into the club and trainers can then work on making this into a positive and potentially life-changing experience for them.

The club put on a boxing show at the fire station a couple of times a year to showcase the work that they have been doing. It also means members can display their work to friends, family and members of the public. This show also raises money for the gym itself.

Forever Manchester recently funded Moss Side Fire Station to ensure they have the money to put on their next showcase. The award given to them funded the hire of the equipment, the fees for the caterers, the medical provision that has to be present and the expenses for the travelling opposition.

The event will be put on in the grounds of the fire station, and if the Manchester weather allows it, it’ll be outdoors too.

The boxing show will be using competitive boxers who are aged 11-34 years old.

The club has been going for over 5 years and has many great stories about members improving their life skills because of the participation in their activities. The local community has benefited from our project in the following ways:

  • The provision of activities relevant to the local area and people: Many local young people do not engage with other services or activities such as football, youth clubs etc. and MSFSABC fill these gaps. They have also opened the club from 10pm-12pm during Ramadan in order to allow those members who were fasting to break their fast and train afterwards. The club has also been able to provide ladies only and a disability classes, catering for a diverse range of people.
  • The spreading of positive values and the production of better citizens: This is difficult to measure but has been corroborated by partner agencies such as GMP and the local authority. Their task is to improve the local community and they support the club wholeheartedly as they help them to achieve their desired outcomes.
  • The establishment of volunteers in 3 High Schools (Burnage High School, Barlow RC and Loretto) who work as staff members in the pupil welfare departments who act as mentors and who help to challenge anti-social/bad behaviour.

Attendees of the group said:

“I have been training at Moss Side Fire Station Amateur Boxing Club for over two years and I have enjoyed every moment of it. The facilities are fantastic and the coaches, in my view are doing an impeccable job. I look forward to training and progressing as a boxer at this gym.”

“I’ve been at the gym for two years now and I enjoy all the sessions and the new equipment has benefited me, being one of the only girls in the gym I feel no discomfort of being part of the community.”