Boxing through Brothers

Author: Movember
Brothers Through Boxing (BTB) is a unique project that connects young socially-isolated men through regular boxing training and group discussion.
 
Funded by the Movember Foundation as part of its Social Innovators Challenge program, it targets men aged between 16 and 25 who are not currently in employment, education or training. Some who take part in the six-month programme currently based in Peterborough, Cambridge and Bedford, have suffered trauma, have special educational needs or experience mental health challenges.
 
The boxing-focused sessions build physical and mental fitness, and they are followed by group discussions which encourage men to open up - challenging traditional masculine stereotypes which can have a detrimental impact on mental health.
 
The aim is for the group to bond with each other, making new and lasting friendships, and to support each other through difficulties.
 
“The programme is about friendship, connecting people and supporting each other through tough times which is really what we’re here for,” says Anthony York of the charity Boxing Futures which delivers the project.
 
It is part of a £2.8 million investment in men’s mental health projects across Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The programme is building evidence around what works for men and under which circumstances, so that it can be applied across other groups of men in the UK and abroad.
 
“Social relationships are a key protective factor for men against anxiety, depression and potentially suicide,” says Craig Martin, global director of mental health & suicide prevention at the Movember Foundation. “We need to tackle this issue and fresh ideas are needed because the status quo isn’t working for men. These projects build the critical evidence we need in this area.”