A not-for-profit organisation is celebrating after making big strides in helping the region’s veterans with mental and physical wellbeing this Armed Forces Day, on Saturday 25 June.

Boxing Well in Blyth was set up during the Covid-19 pandemic and aims to improve mental health for people across the North East through non-contact boxing fitness.

David Bullock, head coach at Boxing Well said: “Boxing fitness has a strong reputation for improving physical health but it also combats a range of mental health issues. Not only does it release mood lifting endorphins but it also boosts self-esteem and confidence. We have helped veterans and others with stress, anxiety, depression and we are getting fantastic results.”

Ex Fusilier Pete Thompson was referred by the NHS after he suffered serious ill health. He said: “I can’t thank David enough. I thought I was finished but he’s got me much fitter and healthier and I love working with the group. I really think he has helped to save my life.”

Former Paratrooper Graham Donaldson was introduced to Boxing Well via the charity Sporting Force. He commented: “The training helps me manage my PTSD and has made me fall in love with boxing and exercise again. I get to sessions whenever I can and I have even done my coaching badges.”

David continued: “Thanks to funding from Blyth Town Council we were able to start putting on free sessions for veterans earlier this year and now thanks to Northumberland Recovery College we have been able to continue that work. We’ve shown that age and mobility are no barrier as we work with everyone.”

The new veteran’s sessions take place from 3.30-5.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Blyth. For sponsorship opportunities or to attend go to www.boxingwell.co.uk for details.