Originally established in 1961, Kirkby Amateur Boxing Club has a proud history including nurturing two world champions, John Conteh and Paul Hodkinson. Head coach and club secretary, John Lloyd and his team have over 150 years training experience between them and you only need to look at the walls, adorned with vests and shorts of some the sports top stars, to realise that this is one of the top boxing gyms in the country.The £9,500 donated through the Medicash Foundation will go towards funding their latest ‘Hearts and Minds’ campaign which aims to build both safer and stronger communities through the rehabilitation of offenders.

Not only will the project have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of the participants, but it will also support them in obtaining coaching qualifications across a range of sporting disciplines with a view to reducing their likelihood to re-offend, increasing their employment prospects and building stronger communities. The project will be delivered in partnership with Merseyside Police, the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and local schools.

In addition, the club also provides a range of after-school boxing clubs for children aged 5 to 16.

John Lloyd, club secretary and head coach, said: “It’s important to everybody in the local area that we have a club like this to help get kids off the street and to turn the tide on anti-social behaviour in our community. All our volunteers are residents within the borough and have a genuine connection to the area which drives their ambition to tackle discrimination and make the area safer for everyone who lives and works there. We are very grateful to the Medicash Foundation for this grant which will ensure the future of this project until at least March 2020.”

Andy Abernethy, marketing manager for Medicash, said: “It was great to meet John and his team and get a true feeling of both their passion for boxing and their dedication to the local community. The work they do with both the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour and the local young children can only lead to better outcomes for both the individuals and the local area. The children I’ve spoken with today have been an inspiration and their boxing skills are amazing for ones so young – I wonder if I’ve just met a future world champion!”

Over the last two years Medicash has pledged over £1.5m to the Medicash Foundation to help support health and wellbeing projects and charities across the North West and further afield.