Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 15.53.53A County Durham community boxing club is off the ropes after support from a local employer helped them complete vital repairs to the floor at its training centre.
Brandon Boxing Club is based at the Brandon and Carrside Youth & Community Centre, but in recent months, its 100 members have been forced to train in a smaller part of the building than usual due to fears about the strength of the floor.
But after receiving a £1,000 grant from the Meadowfield-headquartered Banks Group, via its Banks Community Fund, the Club commissioned specialist North East firm Johnsons Flooring to carry out the required repairs, and it has also purchased ten new pairs of gloves and ten skipping ropes for members to use.
Set up in 2013 and run by a team of volunteers, Brandon Boxing Club is open to anyone aged five years or over, regardless of age, gender, ability or disabilities, with training and fitness activities devised to suit each member’s individual interests and abilities.
As well as enhancing members boxing skills and fitness levels, it also aims to help members develop improved self-esteem, confidence and all-round well-being, and head coach Alex Oliver hopes having their training facilities fully available again will help encourage more people to come along to the club.
He says: “The floor in the community centre was clearly in a very bad state, and I always had my heart in my mouth when any of our bigger members were training in that area!
“Cordoning it off obviously meant that we had a smaller area available in which to do our work, which was far from ideal, and having the floor back in usable condition has already made a massive difference to what we can do.
“Our philosophy is to find a way for anyone to get involved, with dedicated training activities available for female members, five to eleven year-olds and members with disabilities, and we want to encourage as many people as we can to come along and then to keep coming along.
“The kit we provide naturally gets worn out over time, so having new gloves and ropes available is really helpful, and the generous support that the Banks Group has provided will help us continue to thrive.”
Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group, says: “Brandon Boxing Club has a terrific approach towards being open to every part of the local community, and their admirable work is very much worthy of our support.”
The Banks Community Fund is administered by the County Durham Community Foundation andprovides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of both operational and proposed Banks Group projects.  Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.
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