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Boxing4Heroes at the Proact

27 April 2017

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The latest Boxing4Heroes event will take place at the Proact on Sunday, May 7.

The event supports the Community Trust’s veterans programme and Keith Jackson from the Trust will be taking part to help fund the employment of ex-forces personnel Oli Barnes and Hayleigh Vasey. 

Keith explained the reason behind his decision to get involved. "Working for the Trust, we see the real-life benefit of what this show does. The money raised will create opportunities for veterans to get roles in the HUB. What they've done for us is so incredible that for me to do eight weeks of boxing training and have a fight is nothing in comparison. 

"The money will go towards Oli's contracted role with the Trust and also hopefully go towards supporting a contracted role for Hayleigh."

There will be 40 first-time boxers, each of whom will have had eight weeks of training before taking part. Oli and Hayleigh, who both served their country for a number of years, got involved with the Trust as volunteers and are now hoping to secure regular employment.

Oli explained: “When I first started volunteering here, I was at a bit of a low ebb, but it has really pulled me out of the mire. 

“Everyone goes on about what us veterans have done, but for me it is actually about what the Trust has done for me. It has got me back into a working environment, boosted my confidence and helped me to make new friends.

“For these guys to go in the ring for three rounds to help me and other veterans, it chokes you up a bit. Someone once told me that the loneliest place in the world is in the boxing ring, so they are braver men than me.”

Fellow veteran Hayleigh commended the efforts of the Trust and explained her belief that not enough has previously been done for those who have left the services. “It is a good thing because sometimes I don't think it is publicised enough," she said. "Once you leave the services, that is it and the army has been your whole life. 

“It can be hard for us to cut away from the routines and the mindset of the military. It gets the community together and allows that support to be established and people need that, especially those who suffer with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and things like that. 

“I think it is a good place for those support networks and friendships to be established, because people do suffer from it, whether it is a transitional issue or an actual mental health issue. 

“People don’t talk about it because you feel like you can’t talk to civilians or family members about it because you don’t think that they will understand and then it just gets worse. I think that Boxing4Heroes is a good way of promoting the fact that once you leave the military, you can still be part of that environment.”

To support Keith's fundraising efforts, please visit:

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