The Frank Bruno Foundation to open a new hub at Oxford Stadium

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The Frank Bruno Foundation will manage a new wellness hub at Oxford Stadium, as part of the venue’s plans to positively engage with the community and help all ages with mental health issues.

The charity will operate the entire mental health and wellbeing centre at Oxford Stadium, providing a wide range of wellness services. The centre will boast four activity studios, a coffee shop and fully equipped gym. The studios will be available for local tutors and clubs to hire for sessions including yoga, nutrition, dance and fitness.  

Additionally, the Frank Bruno Foundation will host its own regular mental Health wellbeing sessions, non-contact boxing programmes and provide complementary support services designed to help people suffering from mental health challenges.

It is a major boost for Oxford Stadium and its regeneration plans to return the site to its former glory.

Brandon Eldred, Chief Operations Officer at the Frank Bruno Foundation, said it will create 10 full-time jobs with the foundation initially and help it expand after its first venue opened in Northampton last year.

He said: “We’re hoping the centre will help get people in the area off the streets and give them something to do. The people of east Oxford and its surrounds have been crying out for something like this and I think it will be a great asset to the community. We’re privileged to be involved with such a community spirited venue and look forward to getting opening.”

Programmes delivered at Oxford Stadium will include the charity’s ‘Stay in Work’ and ‘Round by Round’ mental Health initiatives. The fully funded programmes will provide mentors to deliver housing and benefit advice, CV writing and job interview preparation, plus mental health counselling.

Frank Bruno MBE said: “Boxing can be used as a powerful platform to inspire positive change to peoples’ lives. Although more people now talk about mental health challenges, there is still a stigma. Our centre at Oxford Stadium will support and develop people via education, engagement and non-contact boxing sessions.

“The team at Oxford Stadium have been very welcoming and we’re looking forward to making a difference together.”

Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, added: “Having an inspirational charity based full-time at our wellness hub was a key part of our strategy to ensure we consistently make a difference to our community.

“The Frank Bruno Foundation was the perfect choice for us and we are excited about the positive impact it will have in Oxford. As we emerge from the pandemic, providing access to structured wellness programmes is vital for communities.”

Oxford Stadium is a multi-purpose sports and events venue situated in Cowley. It first opened in 1939 and hosted speedway and greyhound racing for 73 years before closing in 2012. It will re-open this spring.

The Frank Bruno Foundation aims to improve the mental wellbeing of participants who are facing or in the process or recovering from mental health challenges. Further information about the charity and its work is available via its website.

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