Offenders boxing clever

Newport Sporting ClubAn amateur boxing and fitness club which relocated to a church is refurbishing its premises thanks to groups of offenders paying back for the crimes they committed.

Newport Sporting Club, originally formed in 1926 and which has produced more than 150 Welsh and British amateur boxing champions, have recently relocated to the ground floor of St Mary’s Baptist Church in Baneswell.

Groups of service users carrying out Community Payback activity with Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) have been working at the new venue to install new changing facilities, showers and toilets as well as decorate and fix minor repairs.

Richard Waters, chairman, treasurer and coach at the club, said: “The Community Payback team has been paramount in helping us with the refurbishment, showing how well our community run club and the Service have interacted. With the help and drive in particular of the Supervisor, Brian Feeney, the club is ready to re-open in the community. The club would like to thank Brian, his team and the service for their charitable hard work and dedication in helping with this project.”

One service user, who asked not to be named, said: “A boxing gym like this helps to keep offenders like myself out of trouble and helps prevent us getting on the wrong side of the law.  It also gives people like me skills such as painting, time keeping, team work and we gain confidence in ourselves.

“I agree that community service is a good punishment as it takes away our time which is a very valuable thing. However, it gives us the chance to think about what we have done and reflect on the circumstances that led us to this point and the changes we have to make for the future.”

Wales CRC is owned and managed by Working Links. To find out more about how Working Links supports communities, visit www.workinglinks.co.uk.