Frank Bruno Foundation’s Oxford centre to support up to two thousand people a month when it opens this summer


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The Frank Bruno Foundation plans to engage up to two thousand people each month when it opens its latest state-of-the-art health and wellbeing centre at Oxford Stadium this year.    

The charity has signed a multi-year agreement with the Cowley venue to support those living with mental health challenges through its non-contact boxing programmes and wrap around wellness services.

Anyone aged 10 or older experiencing mental ill-health will be eligible to enrol onto the charity’s fully funded 12-week ‘Round by Round’ programme which consists of two weekly sessions and increases participants’ self-confidence, social skills and wellbeing.

The Foundation has also partnered with several Oxford-based businesses to support graduates of its Stay in Work scheme into employment by setting up interviews for various part and full-time jobs.

Following the successful launch of its centres in Northampton and Towcester, Chief Operations Officer Brandon Eldred said the facility will be the only one of its kind in the eastern arch of the city.

“How we perceive the mental health and wellbeing of ourselves and those around us has shifted significantly since Oxford Stadium last opened its doors,” said Brandon. “People are now more inclined to speak about their personal challenges and make a positive impact to their lives.

“But it’s true to say there remains a stigma, with many people still struggling to talk about the difficulties they are facing through fear of being judged, isolated, ashamed or simply not knowing what help is available.

“The Frank Bruno Foundation’s centre at Oxford Stadium will work with people experiencing these challenges and inspire them to fulfil a happier and successful future by supporting them to build on existing physical and emotional strengths and achievements.

“Individuals can be referred onto our programmes by family members, friends, professionals or themselves – there are no barriers at the Frank Bruno Foundation.

“We’re excited about the potential our partnership with Oxford Stadium has to positively impact the lives of thousands of people living locally each year.”

In addition to the charity’s wellbeing programmes, a dedicated team of mentors will also be based at the stadium to deliver free housing and benefit advice, CV writing and job interview preparation plus mental health counselling. 

The centre’s other facilities will include a coffee shop, fully equipped gym and four activity studios which can be hired by local tutors and clubs. There are plans for the gym to be operated by a local boxing club currently under threat of losing its own facility.

Brandon added: “East Oxford and its surrounds has been crying out for a facility of this kind – it will be a fantastic asset to the community.

“Our centres in Northampton and Towcester are already encouraging people off the streets and out of their homes to try something new and make a real difference to their lives and future aspirations.”

Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, also committed to supporting the stadium’s wellbeing centre visitors into employment should they be in search of work.

He added: “Our reopening has created scores of jobs including roles in hospitality, in the kitchens, our commercial department, sports bar and the grounds and maintenance team.

“Since we secured the lease, it has been our vision to return Oxford Stadium back into the hands of the community. That means creating jobs, developing community programmes and delivering events which will appeal to local people.

“I would love for the Frank Bruno Foundation and its wellbeing centre to act as a pathway for people to make a positive change to their lives and be part of our regeneration by becoming a valued member of our team.”

The Frank Bruno Foundation’s Oxford Stadium centre will open this summer. To discuss future referrals in the first instance, you can contact the charity via info@thefrankbrunofoundation.co.uk.

Further information is available online via Frank Bruno Foundation – The Oxford Stadium (oxford-stadium.co.uk).

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