Young carers boxing clever to combat stress

Last changed: Monday 3 August, 2015

Our Young Carers’ and Families’ Team in Harrogate is boxing clever as it launches its latest initiative to support the growing number of young people in North Yorkshire who look after a loved one.

We are holding boxing lessons as a way of helping these “hidden heroes” overcome the day-to-day stress and pressure they face.

Pounding the punchbags is seen as an ideal opportunity for channeling, in a positive way, some of the frustrations which can arise from their role as a carer – aiding their health and well-being, both mentally and physically.

Overcoming stress ...young carers Kira (left) and Aimee try out the new boxing sessions

Overcoming stress …young carers Kira (left) and Aimee try out the new boxing sessions

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem. Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister.

The Young Carers’ and Families’ team has linked up with H Hour, a Harrogate boxing gym, to provide the sparring sessions during the summer holidays – traditionally a time when stress levels can peak.

“The boxing lessons add an exciting new dimension to the range of support we provide to young carers who relentlessly juggle the daily demands of their own life with those of the family member they look after,” said Hettie Flynn, a Carers’ Resource Young Adult Carer Worker.

“As well as a caring organisation, we are also a listening one – and are always keen to put many of the suggestions from the young carers into practice.

“Over and above giving them a much-needed break, boxing is a sport that promotes self-discipline. It provides the ultimate escape for some of the pent-up aggression and frustration that can build up when you are a carer.”

The owner of H Hour, Rob Smith, generously offered the facilities at a discounted price and is drawing upon his skills as a Level 2 England boxing coach to teach the teenagers “the noble art”.

He and his team has more than 50 years’ combined fitness training experience in the Army and civilian life, and has taken novice boxers all the way to regional and national champions.

He said: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative and hope to recruit some of these boxing champions from the professional ranks to come to Harrogate and deliver some training sessions and inspirational talks to young carers.”
For more information call the Harrogate office on 01423 500555 and ask for the Young Carer team, or visit the Young Carers website