Appeal to help Sheffield mental health group relaunch boxing classes after lockdown

A not-for-profit organisation in Sheffield which aims to fight mental health through boxing is appealing for help to provide equipment so it can relaunch its classes safely after lockdown.

Saturday, 1st August 2020, 8:00 am

Mental Mate runs a weekly boxing class at Knox Gym, in West Bar, during and after which participants are encouraged to discuss their mental health, and any worries, anxieties and problems they may have.

It launched in January by Daniel Barton who, after volunteering with Samaritans, realised he could use his positive experiences with boxing to combat his own mental health struggles to help others living in the city.

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The Mental Mate classes proved hugely popular before lockdown

Before lockdown, the Sunday classes were thriving with a group of around 10 people regularly in attendance – but amid the outbreak of coronavirus and the forced closure of the gym, the classes have been unable to run.

Now, as restrictions ease, Daniel is hoping to relaunch the classes but due to health and safety guidelines, he is on the lookout for boxing equipment to ensure that every member of the group can have their own in a bid to avoid cross-contamination.

He said: “We’ve got the gym we use down at Knox Gym but the issue we’ve got now is that all the equipment was previously communal, now due to lockdown we can’t use that anymore on a communal basis.

"I’m now trying to find a way of funding or getting hold of some equipment, probably for our core 10 members initially. I’m after gloves or funding to buy the gloves just to get them started. I want them to be able to take the gloves home and come back the week after with them, to be able to make sure they’re clean and safe as well.

Daniel Barton, founder of not-for-profit organisation Mental Mate, is appealing for help to safely relaunch the boxing sessions

"Unless people go out and buy their own equipment we just can’t run the classes until then – that isn’t always possible though and as anxiety is an issue for some of them, wearing mucky gloves may make them panic a bit.”

Mental Mate is looking for donations, either equipment or monetary, to provide 10 pairs of gloves, 10 hand wraps and five boxing pads initially which will allow classes to restart.

For more information or to help contact @MateMental on Twitter.

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