Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey called in to Unity Gym in Rawmarsh to look at the work the boxing club is doing to support young people’s mental health.
Today (10th October) is World Mental Health Day and the Boxing Centre on Aldwarke Lane runs several different sessions aimed at getting young people to talk about their mental health issues.
Unity has also become an official partner with Rotherham and Barnsley MIND and has been developing its women and girls’ provision with several young women recently becoming carded fighters.
John Healey said: “Unity Gym has been working hard in the community to create a safe and inclusive environment for young people to talk about their mental health as well as taking part in fitness sessions.
“It was great to see the work that Abdul and the team do with young people at a recent boxing session.
“Their help has made a difference to the lives of a number of people locally and it’s good to see they are continuing to expand the different sessions they offer.”
The gym is operated by Abdul Majid, the brother of Rotherham professional boxing champion Kash Ali.
Abdul has been open about his own struggles with depression following the death of his father five years ago and encourages others to speak out if they need help.
Abdul said: “There are a lot of people who hold their feelings inside and what we say to young people at the gym is that it’s best to talk about it.
“We’ve created a safe space, whether that’s through boxing sessions or just sitting and talking.
“There’s more to the gym than just turning up and punching a bag and we hope we can help as many people as possible open up about their problems and support them with what they’re going through.”
John Healey MP is backing ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign which encourages conversations between children and their parents and carers by reinforcing the power of a proper chat to help make young people’s worries more manageable.
It follows a survey of schools by John across the constituency in which all secondary schools and a majority of primary schools said there had been a rise in anxiety reported mental health problems for both students and staff since his original survey in 2018.
- You can view John Healey’s Schools Mental Health Survey 2023 here: https://www.johnhealeymp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/John-Healey-MP-Schools-Mental-Health-Report-2023.pdf