Ozbox – Putting the gloves on for a positive future

Boxing has long represented individuals at the peak of their physical fitness, competing to defeat opponents through a combination of strength, skill and agility.

Though the image of boxing tends naturally to be linked to aggression, this is not the reality of the sport says Steve Osbaldeston MBE. He has seen many young people use the power of boxing to improve their sense of self worth whether by transforming their physical shape, boosting their self image and confidence, or by changing their addictions or anti-social behaviour, to enable them to tackle future challenges.


The idea of former police officer Steve, Ozbox is a free club based in Derby, which provides boxing training to build general health and fitness while also encouraging self-discipline. Inclusive in its admission Ozbox is also proud of the strides it has made to promote community cohesion and respect among the multi-ethnic communities of Derby. In addition to the general fitness, confidence, and behavioural benefits previously mentioned, Ozbox has succeeded both in reducing tensions involving disenchanted groups and gangs and in breaking down barriers between communities.

Each of its nine full-time gyms around Derbyshire located at Peartree, Alvaston, Normanton Park, Allenton and Caxton, provides a warm and welcoming environment for males and females of all ages and cultures. The latest addition to the network of Ozbox clubs is the Mandela Centre in Normanton.


Ozbox classes offer the choice of geneStill_ Chantelle being interviewed in the ring5_100_1056ral fitness training or boxing training delivered by a team of coaches headed up by former Olympic boxing coach, Brian Hinckley. A veteran of the sport who was forced to retire through injury, Brian was initially asked to help a friend with the coaching of some young people at Ozbox and found the enthusiasm and commitment so compelling that he decided to continue his coaching on a regular basis.

Ozbox now has six full-time coaches, a PC and a seconded PCSO (himself an ex-boxer) both provided by Derbyshire Constabulary, as well as Steve.

Such has been the success of the Ozbox scheme that it has attracted interest from neighbouring Police authorities keen to replicate its positive outcomes in their regions.

Citizens’ Eye went along to the Monday evening Ozbox training at Allenton and spoke to Steve, Brian and members of the coaching team, as well as some of those who regularly attend, to find out more.

If you are interested in going along to try out one of the Ozbox sessions, you can find details of training times and gym locations at http://www.ozbox.org.




Derbyshire Mind – Enjoying Derby

For people suffering from mental health problems, going outdoors can be a difficult challenge to overcome – facing the wider world often proves to be a daunting prospect which increases feelings of anxiety. Without a support network to provide an opportunity to get out and about and meet new people, those with mental health issues may find themselves lacking in motivation and consequently feel isolated and alone.

Enjoying Derby is an initiative by Derbyshire Mind which offers guided walks to people with mental health problems, giving them the opportunity to enjoy both the physical and mental health benefits of a good walk. A Local Mind Association affiliated with National Mind, Enjoying Derby is one of several independent groups from around the UK. Meeting outside the Assembly Rooms on the Market Place every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm, the group enjoys walks of various lengths ranging from less than a mile to up to 3 miles, both in and around the city centre and with occasional day trips taking them further afield.

The Citizens’ Eye Derby team met with the project co-ordinator Caron Kirkham to discuss the wider benefits of the initiative, as well as joining the group on a short walk through Derby city centre. A beautiful sunny day, we discovered first hand just how enjoyable the walks are to the members of the group, who not only experience all the health benefits of a good walk but also the opportunity to socialise and make new friends. The walk took us inside Pickford’s House Museum to enjoy a slice of Derby’s Georgian heritage, where we interviewed some of the walkers in the peaceful adjacent gardens.

For more information on the scheme, visit the Derbyshire Mind website at www.derbyshiremind.org.uk to find out where and when the next walk is taking place, or contact Caron directly on 01332 345966 Ext: 4.


Community Action Derby – training and direct support for not for profits in Derby

The Citizens’ Eye Derby team made this short film to highlight the range of support offered by Community Action to local voluntary and community groups in Derby. The film includes thoughts and comments from local voluntary and community groups and national funders in addition to presenting real examples of the direct support and training offered. It also presents some key statistics for the period 2011/2012.

Community Action’s key aim is to build the capacity of Voluntary and Community groups to enable them to be more effective. The development team work directly with groups providing advice and support on:

Starting a Group
Developing a Constitution
Funding applications
Managing volunteers
Business Planning
Policies and Procedures
Financial Systems

For more information about support for your group, contact Saima Ayaz on 01332 227706 or email saima.ayaz@communityactionderby.org.uk
Visit the Community Action website http://www.communityactionderby.org.uk