Boxing gym is 'safe space' for young people
The boxing centre, on Aldwarke Lane in Rawmarsh, has also become an official partner with Rotherham and Barnsley MIND and is developing its women and girls’ provision with several young women recently becoming carded fighters.
Mr 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.
“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, who has been open about his struggles with depression after his father's death five years ago.
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 is also 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.
Earlier this year the MP published the results of his survey of schools across his 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.