Young people boxing their way to a better future

Young people from across West Yorkshire, with their sights on a better future, have been putting their boxing gloves on to learn important life skills.

Rebecca Shooter, left, with young people on the boxing programme

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) partnered with The Prince’s Trust to deliver the Get Started with Boxing programme aimed at 16 to 30-year-olds not in employment, education or training. 

The Get Started Programmes are part of an ongoing partnership between WYFRS and The Prince’s Trust. Each one sees young people spend a week developing the confidence and key skills they need to make the next positive steps in their lives.

The most recent week of activities took place at Dewsbury Fire Station when the young people took part in a boxing programme.  While developing their boxing skills the young people also gained personal skills such as self-discipline, teamwork and communication.

Rebecca Shooter, Youth Interventions Trainer at WYFRS who led the programme, said: “We had a wonderful group of young people on this programme who were willing to step outside their comfort zones and make the most of every opportunity presented to them.

“During their time at Dewsbury Fire Station they took part in activities that helped them gain resilience and work together as a team. In addition to this they also gained basic first aid skills and learnt about nutrition and healthy eating. The young people also heard about fire safety, how to stay safe at home and what to do if they ever see or are involved in a fire.”

All the skills they learnt during the course were put to the test in the final challenge of the week where they delivered the fitness session they had developed. They delivered this to WYFRS and partners.

They also gave a presentation about what they had achieved from their week on programme to an audience of family members, The Prince’s Trust and WYFRS partners.

The Get Started with Boxing programme has inspired several young people to get involved with boxing at their local gym and to carry on improving techniques and skills within the sport.

At the end of the programme several of them spoke about how the course had helped them make the next steps in their lives.

One young person said: “I have made a lot of bad decisions. I knew I had to change and doing this programme has helped me to have more self-discipline as well as learn new life skills that will help me in the future.”

Another said: “Everyone has been so positive and encouraging and I’ve made some great mates. I’ll definitely continue with the boxing after this week, as it not only has health benefits, but also discipline, which I needed as I was struggling to keep myself out of trouble. The week has been brilliant as it’s built a bit of confidence and I actually achieved goals instead of just setting them. It’s been great to see the progression we’ve all made.”

The Get Started programmes, delivered through the WYFRS and Prince’s Trust partnership include boxing, health and fitness, survival and emergency response. The programmes give young people from across West Yorkshire the chance to meet new people, try new things and develop transferable employment skills.

Daniel Siggins, Prince’s Trust Youth Development Lead for the Get Started with Boxing programme said: “To see the development of this group of young people over just the space of week was amazing, the dynamic of the group allowed them to motivate one another to push themselves a little bit more each day. A huge thank you to the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service staff who made this programme the success it was.”

The next Get Started programme in March 2023 will be Get Started with Emergency Response. For more information email