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Halifax community gym reaches out

Halifax community gym reaches out

Halifax Boxing Sports and Fitness Club are helping young people with disabilities go from strength to strength with help from Together Housing. The community gym received funding from Newground Together Charity, part of the Together Housing Group, helping them to employ former teacher Joanne McNamara as the Community Development Officer.

Joanne has helped the fitness club reach out to disadvantaged groups, creating links with Calderdale Council’s Specialist Inclusion Team and Ravenscliffe Sports Academy, where they offer unique programmes that are accessible to different groups of young people.

Parents and carers have welcomed the new programmes, saying they have encouraged high levels of engagement from individuals who would usually struggle to find local opportunities. One carer said how rare it was to see the young person they support engaged in such activities: “I am surprised and delighted by her participation and interest!”

Joanne gave up her 22-year teaching career to help expand the club inspired by the impact it is having on young people: “I have seen young people who are being bullied at school become strong and independent. I have seen youngsters on the brink of taking the wrong path with crime and drugs turn their lives around.”

Boxing Gym

As well as forging links with the local Police, the club has developed a partnership with Newground’s own Youth and Community Project Reachout Pellon, providing regular sessions for young people facing difficulties. Senior Project Officer Sam Harrison recognises the special opportunity for the local community: “Many young people in the Pellon area have raised concerns about the lack of activities for them to participate in, they become easily bored and local residents have complained of anti-social behaviour.

“This partnership with the community gym has given young people a unique opportunity to participate in physical activity in a new and exciting environment.”

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