A young man from Weymouth will be competing in a charity boxing match to raise money for a mental health charity.

Danny Willis, 28, will be participating in the Sounding Out charity boxing match (Soboxing) in March to raise funds for Young Minds – a national charity which aims to champion the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

The chosen charity is a cause close to Danny’s heart due to his own struggles with mental health in the past after a personal loss.

“Last year, my best friend died. I saw him like family and it was a major shock. I’ve struggled with mental health but when he died it made it a lot worse.

"I got help through Dorset Council, who I work for, and they offered therapy sessions. I wanted to do something to give back. I came across a post about a charity boxing event through social media when I spotted Soboxing in Dorchester.”

Dorset Echo: Danny Willis with his dog

The event allows participants to select which charity they’d like to raise money for, and Danny chose Young Minds to break the stigma surrounding mental health support, particularly amongst young people.

“It means a lot because I remember when I was a kid mental health wasn’t really a thing we talked about. People used to tell me that I didn’t have mental health struggles because I was only a kid, but I think people forget kids can struggle too.

The match will take place at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester on Saturday, March 23 from 5pm. Leading up to the big day, participants are given an eight-week free training programme at MMAX Fitness before they’re partnered up to compete in ten three round fights.

Danny boasts the numerous benefits that the training has offered in terms of his physical and mental health, pushing himself out of his comfort zone.

Dorset Echo: Danny Willis training at MMAX Fitness

“I’m learning many new skills with boxing. I have to prepare mentally as well as physically to get in the ring and fight. When I first signed up, I was very nervous, I’m quite a quiet guy and not really a planner so I thought I’d change my lifestyle and it brought me here.

“The main reason for doing it is to prove if you put your mind to it, you can do it. As well it’s a charity close to me and the money raised will go to a good cause.

"We live in a world where a lot of people struggle with money so any donations would be appreciated. It’s a massive charity that will help people who aren’t in a good place, it’ll be nice to know if you’ve got a problem you can talk and feel supported.”

You can support Danny by donating to his JustGiving page which can be found by searching Danny Willis Young Minds Trust on https://www.justgiving.com/