Camden Gateway Interview: Action Youth Boxing Intervention Camden

By: Simone Eder

On occasion of Giving Tuesday, we interviewed Nicholas Claridge, Educational development manager at AYBI a local charity, supported by Camden Gateway Charity Partner Camden Giving.

Thank you, Nick, for taking the time for this interview. Can you introduce us to Action Youth Boxing Intervention?
We work with young people from the ages of 6 to 24 and help them to identify challenges they might be facing in life through boxing, talking and education. Most of our young people are based in Camden.

How many people do you work with at AYBI?
Last year we reached out to 400 young people. We work with most of them on a regular basis.
We run a boxing club on Saturday and work with five primary and secondary schools in Camden and visit the young people in the schools.

What is your role in AYBI?
As an educational development manager, I work with schools in Camden we create educational resources to complement our boxing session. Our goal is to help young people make the right choices in life and support them in identifying challenges.

What are the circle sessions?
Since the beginning of our work, every boxing club session is followed by a circle session, where people can talk about things that are happening in their life. It was always part of our ethos to listen to young people and we encourage peer mentoring.

Do boys and girls take part in your boxing sessions?
Yes, we have both girls and boys participating.

What would you like Camden Gateway community to know about the challenges young people face in Camden?
Some are the biggest challenges young people face is being influenced and cohersed into gang activities. Many find it hard to find their own identity and a lot of local youth clubs have closed, often due to funding issues. There is a lack of opportunities for young people.

How can we support young people in Camden today?
We can support young people by engaging them in healthy pursuits like sports, which is what we do at AYBI with boxing. We need to support them in identifying and overcoming the challenges they face either at school or in their daily lives. We encourage peer to peer support because we find it very important that they help and support each other.
Some of the AYBI participants have been in the program for a long time now and share their experience with others. We also work with the council who sometimes referrers participants to us and we might refer our participants to different services as well when needed.

Has the Camden business community supported you?
Yes, local businesses in Camden have engaged with us on many levels. We have received for example free legal advice, free accounting advice and the use of stationary material. We encourage all local businesses to engage with us as we are developing a work placement program.

Any final thoughts?
Our young people in Camden are really good young people. They need the support of the community.
We shouldn’t forget that they are young. We have all made mistakes.

Thank you for your time.

For more information about Action Youth Boxing Intervention and how you can support them visit  AYBI

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