Active Essex

At Active Essex, we believe that there should be no obstacle between a person and their physical activity of choice, but we know how hard it can be for some to overcome barriers and pressures in order to achieve their goals. At the heart of our Find Your Active campaign, we want physical activity to be accessible to everyone, no matter their background or circumstances. That’s why we work with some fantastic individuals and organisations, like UTurn4Support in Tendring, to help achieve this in Essex.

UTurn4Support is a charity that helps to support young people in and around the Jaywick area. Jaywick is placed in the top 10% most deprived wards in Essex, with a high number of young people unable to access education and/or training. With deprivation and the lack of investment in the community, comes poverty; ​​barriers to accessing in-school and community-based activities, and the higher potential for residents to be victims of violent crime and reoffending.

UTurn4Support is tackling this, to make young people feel safe to achieve their full potential, by putting in place wellbeing, resilience and mentoring initiatives, like UTurn2Boxing. The boxing programme is working to improve young people’s mental and physical health; to promote positive and disciplined attitudes towards behaviour, whilst reducing the negative impacts of deprivation. Tania Swanson from UTurn4Support said: “Through this mentoring process, the objectives are to increase emotional, cognitive, social skills and qualities, to facilitate the process of coping positively with difficult life challenges and situations.”

UTurn2Boxing, funded by Active Essex, has been introduced to offer the opportunity for 14 young people to improve their wellbeing and conduct through focused physical activity and a disciplined sport programme. According to Tania, all of those taking part in the programme are benefiting and showing growth, especially 15 year old Jacob Levy, who has made incredible strides since joining last year. Tania said: “Jacob has made dramatic improvements in his behaviour inside and outside of school, and his overall attitude to learning has greatly improved. He himself maintains that reasons for these changes are as a result of the physical and mental focus that he has found in the boxing sessions.”

Jacob said: “I really enjoy the physical discipline of the sport, and the focus that the boxing mentors give me. I really am enjoying the sessions, and it has definitely made me more convinced that I would like to join the army when I leave school.”

UTurn2Boxing has received financial support from Active Essex’s Find Your Active fund. Tania said: “We as a charity can only think of positive outcomes as a result of the award. Without this specific fund, we would have been unable to deliver the UTurn2Boxing initiative for this cohort of young people.”

We at Active Essex are thrilled to see the results that UTurn2Boxing is having with young people like Jacob, who are able to thrive with their support. We love to see organisations and initiatives like this, embody the spirit of the Find Your Active campaign. If you would like to find more information about UTurn4Support, click here. And to find out more about our Find Your Active campaign and funding, check out our website.