The inspiring stories of some of our service users.
Growing up Rosie felt continuously moody with nothing to look forward to or aspire to, moreover she had no interest in wanting to participate in new experiences.
Throughout her time at school she regularly messed around during the majority of her lessons and lost interest in school very quickly. This led to Rosie isolating herself and resulted in her having a very limited friendship circle, of who she could speak to or rely upon. She would frequently be sat outside the school office or be excluded as she would not respond well to challenge during lessons, saying “I had no interest in anything or anyone, I was always late and felt I had nothing going for me”. She further experimented with a range of recreational drugs and would frequently drink and take these drugs to escape from her reality.
Rosie was first introduced to Boxing futures by her support worker Susie and reluctantly agreed to try one of our Boxercise programmes.
When Rosie first started, she would find the sessions very difficult, due to the years of self-imposed exclusion and interaction with others. Due to this she found everyone in the session extremely intimidating and felt that nobody liked her in the group, saying “I believed nobody in the group wanted to talk to me and I found the idea or trying something new with people I didn’t know very scary”. As a result, she would not engage fully in the sessions and would constantly refuse to participate.
As her sessions continued Rosie started to relax and make friends with other members in the group, she began to agree to certain tasks asked of her and even mentioned she was enjoying boxing, which was clear to see as her fitness and punching technique started to dramatically improve. She adds “as I started to make friends I felt I belonged in the group and realised I was quite good at boxing and enjoyed it, I had a purpose and started to feel as if I belonged to something.”
Through Boxing Futures and boxing, Rosie now has something to look forward to every week, where she wakes up excited and motivated to come to her sessions, additionally she now enjoys meeting the new group members when they come in, something she would have never normally felt like / wanted to do. She goes on to say, “Now I have a lot more confidence and enjoy trying new things like I did with boxing, I love meeting new people and take pride in my achievements with this programme”.
Rosie is now the most senior member of our group and has developed hugely since first starting her programme, she has evolved from a young girl who was angry and felt people had abandoned her, to someone who cares about the rest of the group and is now moving on to helping coach the less experienced group members.
Moreover, Rosie is now taking steps to help with other groups as a Boxing Futures volunteer. She has already volunteered in several events put on by Boxing futures to include an event for the council. Boxing has been a great tool for her in her development.
Over the course of time it has become clear to the Boxing Futures team that Roise has also developed additional skills such as time keeping and discipline. It is clear to see that she is making every effort to make a success of her life moving forwards.
From the early age of 13 Maria began to struggle at school, where she was frequently getting into fights and regularly absconded from the school premises. Maria felt she had to fight others to ensure that those who could not stand up for themselves were able to be protected, however this was sometimes viewed as her picking needless fights.
At the age of 14 Maria was first expelled from school and as a result, was sent to a behavioural unit. Sadly, this did not seem to change her behaviour, where she continued to fight and remained angry at others. Moreover, she worried a lot that she would not receive any GCSE’s, this further fuelled her anger making it incredibly difficult to alter her behaviours.
Ultimately Maria left school completely with no plan or foreseeable future, she felt very alone and worried about what life had in store for her. Maria further worried about being a poor role model to her younger nephews “I did not want my Nephews to grow up and copy my behaviour and it scared me that they may also follow the same path”, this recognition became a driver for Maria.
She was first introduced to Boxing Futures through her case worker, whereby the case worker thought that as she was a very sporty person, she may be willing to give boxing a chance. Maria was very quiet when she attended her first couple of session, however had a natural talent for boxing and the required fitness levels (as she plays football regularly).
After a few weeks she started to make friends with numerous group members and started to attend regularly. This was a great demonstration of her new-found motivation, discipline and drive that her sessions / programme where providing her.
Since attending her programme, she continuously mentions that people have noticed that her confidence has grown steadily. Maria is now open to meeting new groups of people, whilst also talking openly to groups about her experiences. She said, “I feel a lot more confident and don’t feel nervous when I meet new people in the group or in day to day life.”
All Boxing Futures coaches have noticed the positive change with her attitude, especially around others. Maria is now able to communicate her points effectively within a group setting. She has also started to identify ideas for future career paths, expressing her want to work with children. She has created / designed a plan on how she is going to achieve this by applying for appropriate college courses, she is starting this next year, demonstrating her new-found organisation skills.
Maria now holds much more hope for the future, where she feels strongly that Boxing Futures has really assisted her in understanding and controlling her anger amongst many other things. This was very important to her as she feels less likely to snap at people and get into physical altercations, of which could take her back to square one. This has put her mind at ease, where she now enjoys displacing her anger into her boxing sessions, whilst also venting any current frustrations.
She has just completed her Bronze Boxercise award and is very proud of her achievements, if she continues on this path the whole Boxing Futures team believes that she could try for her silver Boxercise award, whilst further helping her work toward her dream job in child care.