About Gloves Not Gunz

Gloves Not Gunz officially started in January 2017. This organisation was set up by two local dad’s (Adam Ballard & Ben Eckett) wanting to affect change in their area after a spate of murders. Adam was running Croydon ABC at the time they met and had been running informal gang prevention sessions for local young people. Adam had ran the boxing club for 7 years and had created a safe space for young people to get off the streets and learn to box. Adam has extensive experience in combat sports and has trained under famous MMA coaches. Ben has over 12 years of experience working within youth work, social care and education all over London - he currently is currently a manager within social care & youth services in a South London borough. Ben has competed at high levels in football and surfing, he is passionate about sport and training. They created a programme that would focus on diverting and preventing young people from engaging in crime by using Boxing as a tool to engage and within the sessions they delivered education and mentoring.

Since starting the organisation Gloves Not Gunz has delivered programmes for the Home Office Funds ‘Exiting Gangs & Exploitation’ and ‘Knife Crime’ - these included schools workshops, community boxing, mentoring and therapeutic 1:1 support. They have deliver work through the Big Lottery, Sport England and Evening Standard - these programmes have included yoga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu interventions.

Gloves Not Gunz delivers community interventions with Palace For Life Foundation, Chelsea Football Club, Youth Offending and Social Care teams. These interventions have included setting up sport/education sessions in crime hotspots to target at risk young people, mentoring and educational workshops. We have also delivered talks to NHS and councils in relation to crime & exploitation. In 2018 Gloves Not Gunz managed a residential in which we supported a group of young people during the Notting Hill Carnival weekend - this was to prevent the young people from serious harm.

In 2018 Gloves Not Gunz were awarded a community partnership award from Croydon council, this was for the partnership working they had delivered alongside the councils youth engagement initiates. They have been celebrated in the news and on tv for the positive impact of interventions. In July 2019 Adam and Ben were awarded Commendations from the Met police for the work that the project has done if successfully reducing crime.

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Our Team

We pride ourselves on training and employing young people that have attended the project. Our staffing team is made up by 50% of ex service users. We support young people to become volunteers and then after 3-6 months they have the opportunity to learn coaching qualifications.

Our team are all DBS checked, complete level 1 & 2 safeguarding training, and engage in regular Gloves Not Gunz education. We have experienced and qualified youth workers, sports coaches, therapists and other specialised workers. As part of the Gloves Not Gunz education we deliver training on trauma, restorative approaches and systemic theory.

Our team is from diverse backgrounds and have lived experiences of the issues we deal with day to day. We all have the passion and motivation to support the community to tackle the issue of violence and crime, ‘Its everyones responsibility’.

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Why Sport?

We believe sport and movement have the power to help young people live positive futures and learn self-belief, self-control, discipline and life skills so that they can be the best they can be.

Sport and physical activity can act as a diversion from crime.  Over the years we have heard many stories of how professional athletes turned their lives around from ‘going down the wrong path’ to sport becoming their saviour. 

ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • In 2010, sport and sport-related activity contributed £20.3 billion to the English economy – 1.9% of the England total.

  • The contribution to employment is even greater – sport and sport-related activity is estimated to support over 400,000 full-time equivalent jobs, 2.3% of all jobs in England.

HEALTH IMPACT

  • Physical activity, including sport, is linked to reduced risk of over 20 illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and some cancers

  • Taking part in regular sport can save between £1,750 and £6,900 in healthcare costs per person.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL IMPACT

  • Published studies show the positive effects of sport on education include improved attainment, lower absenteeism and drop-out, and increased progression to higher education. For instance, young people’s participation in sport improves their numeracy scores by 8 per cent on average above non-participants.

  • Other studies have found that sport programmes aimed at youths at risk of criminal behaviour can enhance self-esteem and reduce reoffending.

Content referenced from Sport England (https://www.sportengland.org/research/benefits-of-sport/)

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