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Fighting Spirit Wellbeing was founded by Gwen Richards following the discovery that non-contact boxing fitness training had a powerful impact on her mental health, subsequently making a full recovery from long-term depression.
Realising the benefits, Gwen started working within the community running sessions for all age groups, to improve their physical and mental well-being.
Facing a mental health crisis, the NHS are exploring options to improve community-based services and following an invitation to present to Heads of Procurement in December, Fighting Spirit received interest from four trusts within Greater Manchester. Further discussions have started, and the plan is to conduct a pilot programme with 20 patient referrals and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Fighting Spirit programme, with a view to offering a social prescription via GPs.
From the success of the boxing training sessions, ‘Fighting Talk’ sessions were created and developed; using her personal experience of mental health combined with her background in training and development, Gwen now supports companies with mental health awareness.
The workshops cater for both management and employees; content can cover a wide range of support from developing personal resilience, building self-esteem, to managing stress and are designed to get people talking, share mental health experiences and support each other. The management programme equips employers with tools to tackle mental health challenges in the workplace, create a positive culture conducive to strong mental health, raise awareness and gain a better understanding.
Fighting Talk sessions add social value by building on the Boxing Fitness Training, Gwen leads these sessions with support from an accredited counsellor, using a bespoke approach tailored to meet client needs.
Fighting Spirit has hosted various fundraisers, with the next event on 8th October for World Mental Health day; the long-term plan is to hold a benefit concert in 2020 and generate considerable funds for mental health causes.
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