A boxing group supporting people with their mental health has celebrated its ten year anniversary.

Fight Back Mental Health is based at the Weymouth Amateur Boxing Club on Hardwick Street and was set up to highlight the power of sport as an outlet for those struggling with mental health issues.

It was set up by three NHS mental health support workers – Mathew Rees, Vaughan Fellows, and Lewis Chambers – after seeing first-hand the effects of regular exercise as therapeutic treatment.

Matthew said: “Having a routine and something to get up for is so important for mental health. Eating right, getting ready and prepared to burn some calories, learning a new skill, meeting new friends, it’s an all-around positive experience.”

Since its inception in 2014, the charity has transformed the lives of visitors, winning the prestigious NHS local Hero Award in 2017.

READ MORE: Fight Back Mental Health group in Weymouth has been awarded a local NHS Hero Award

Dorset Echo:

Kelly Newbold is amongst those who have thrived from the classes after they were recommended by her community psychiatric nurse.

“I really needed something else apart from medication and therapy to help manage my mental health.

"It was the best decision I could have ever made for my mental health, as I was able to use boxing as a way to manage my emotions.

“The lads were very supportive and encouraged me when I was asked to box for Weymouth competitively as an amateur.

"This was massive for me considering how bad my mental health was.

"I am now an England boxing coach and I own my very own boxing gym. Attending fight back really was life changing for me.

"I’d advise everyone that is struggling with mental health to go along and give it a go!"

Classes are held every Monday morning from 10.30am to 12pm and this week’s session was a day of celebration as it marked officially ten years since the group began.

Nutritious snacks were on offer and visitors were also given training wear such as hand wraps, gloves, and vests.

The group has welcomed more than 1,000 people over the years and has plans to increase its numbers even further by inviting people to their new classes in Dorchester on Fridays 1pm to 2pm at Anytime Fitness, Brewery Square.

Matthew said: “We’d like to get more people into boxing and exercise but as well raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health is so important.

“I think people wouldn’t regret coming. It’s very informal and a good opportunity to meet people and develop new skills in a very relaxed and fun environment. The effects can only be positive.”

More information about the group can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fightbackMH