East Middlesbrough to develop community hub following Box Gathering award

January 4, 2023 | by Chris Boyd


East Middlesbrough ABC’s Laura Sargeant says she and the club are ‘over the moon’ at receiving The Box Gathering’s £1,000 Christmas award, which was drawn on the 23rd December 2022.

The Box Gathering, created by Adam Haniver and Ivan Cobb, is an online community which aims to connect, share, and grow grassroots boxing.

The initiative held its second annual prize draw, which is open to members, prior to Christmas following the success of its first fund, which allowed Rathbone ABC to develop female boxing in their club and with its partners.

This time, East Middlesbrough intend to use the funds to develop a community hub space that has been granted following discussions over a 12-year period. The space is part of the old business centre that the club is located in and consists of a well-sized kitchen area and reception room.

The award will help freshen the reception area and provide tables and chairs to create a welcoming environment. Predominantly, though, the funding will go towards the kitchen which needs a full revamp. Laura Sargeant says being able to provide food will make a huge difference to community groups at the Tyne, Tees and Wear club.

“We will be able to offer food to children after sessions which will make a huge difference given the cost-of-living crisis, as well as us being located in a known deprived area.”

While it’ll be a boost for the boxers, it will also help the local community and community groups.

“This can now be a space for our mental health class, who will have a somewhere to sit, have a coffee and get things off their chest.

“The mental health group never want to go home, this hub will now allow them to stay for longer and be comfortable.”

Sargeant also hopes the development will allow them to put on more food-based initiatives.

“This will be a big support in providing food to club classes such as ‘Boys in Blue’ while allowing us to put on more Fit and Fed sessions along with hosting community food banks.

“We are absolutely over the moon to have won. Getting the reception area done will make a huge difference to what we can do in the club.”

To see more from East Middlesbrough ABC, click here.

Learn about The Box Gathering, here.