The Makesafe team at Bracknell Forest Council has joined forces with In Your Corner Personal Training to deliver a pilot boxing programme for school pupils in the borough. Makesafe is a specialist team, situated within Children’s Services, that works with children who are at risk of exploitation.
Funded by Thames Valley Police, the In Your Corner programme is based on a successful model developed by the Metropolitan Police in Lambeth, South London, aimed at children at risk of school exclusion. Research suggests that exclusion from mainstream education is closely linked with risk of exploitation.
The programme, attended by 10 students from two schools, ran over 12 weeks during the summer term and was led by England Boxing qualified coach, Dan Knight. The programme catered to both complete newcomers to the sport and those with previous experience, with the aim of developing self-esteem and respect for others alongside boxing skills.
Jo Manisier, Student Support Manager at The Brakenhale School said:
“All the students that took part in the programme enjoyed it and benefitted. There have been no school exclusions for any of them this term”.
Nick Young, Exploitation Prevention Manager at Bracknell Forest Council and assistant coach on the programme said:
“It was great getting to know the students and to see their boxing ability improve over the twelve sessions. I’m hoping that the enthusiasm they’ve shown on the programme will motivate them to continue with the sport”.
Superintendent Felicity Parker, Police Commander for Bracknell and Wokingham said:
“This has been a really worthwhile project to invest in. We want to make sure we take opportunities to steer people on to a better path, particularly away from crime. This is an example of another great local initiative, I would welcome other ideas from the community on how we can help those at risk of being on the periphery of crime”.