The inspirational founder of the Nottingham School of Boxing says the cost-of-living crisis means some parents can no longer afford to send children to his classes.
And social justice campaigner Marcellus Baz has warned soaring energy bills and imminent council tax rises are draining his organisation’s resources.
On Thursday energy regulator Ofgem increased the average household bill by £693, while councils bills are also set to increase.
Now Marcellus has revealed the impact on his St Ann’s club.
He said: “The aim of our organisations are to not turn people away and be a fatherly figure to help people fight their demons.
“These council tax rises are really straining our resources and support.
“Now the kids are not opening up as much as they used to, and some of the parents can no longer afford to pay the fees for the school.
“A couple of days ago, a woman came up to me crying about how she would now have to spend over £80 a week for her gas.
“She said that she would now have to decide if she would be hungry or cold. This is not right.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak spoke in the House of Commons on Thursday (February 3) saying the government were going to support people on low incomes through a partial council tax rebate.
Baz is the CEO of the Nottingham School of Boxing and founded Switch Up, a sister organisation which acts as a helpline for those in need.
Both organisations, which were launched in 2013, aim to help people overcome severe mental health issues, increase employment and make people attempt to turn their internal anger into outwardly, positive energy.
They use sports, mentoring, counselling and education to deliver outreach services to young people in Nottingham.
They have received financial support and been visited by some huge names in the sports such as Anthony Joshua, Floyd Mayweather, Frank Bruno and Tyson Fury.
However, Marcellus admitted that the planned tax increases have affected also affected some of the families he regularly helps and has led to some of the kids at the school feeling very isolated.
Marcellus grew up in The Meadows in Nottingham, and incredibly turned his life around after a vicious street attack a decade ago.
He has gone on since to win numerous awards and honours, winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, BBC East Midlands Get Inspired award and a British Empire Medal in 2016.
He is now a revered and appreciated member of society by sports lovers around his home city and is upset about how the tax increase could affect “already decimated” community.
He added: “More and more people are experiencing hardship and it’s devastating to see.
“People are suffering from food and clothing deprivation and people are becoming homeless and suicidal. Everyone is really struggling.”
Marcellus stated he was very grateful and felt very lucky to receive support from local businesses.
For more information about the Nottingham School of Boxing and Switch Up, visit this website: Nottingham School of Boxing – The Marcellus Baz Group