A group of the fighters involved in the event from Bierkeller

Charity boxing matches are being put on in aid of two mental health charities by the Nottingham Hospitality Grafters Union.

A group of 26 men and women have stepped up, all with varying levels of fitness and experience to be a part of the event that will be hosted in Pryzm nightclub on March 20th.

The boxers are made up of hospitality workers from across Nottingham, however, they are mostly made up of bar and club employees.

The first charity the event supports is Mind, who specialise in providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem and they advocate to improve services, raise awareness, and promote understanding of mental illness.

The event will also raise funds for CALM, which stands for the Campaign Against Living Miserably, they run a suicide crisis line and have 125 centres up and down the country that offer care and support directly into communities where they are needed most.

The event is headed up and organised by Jack Lucas, who works at Groubook, said: “I have always wanted to do an event that brings the hospitality industry together, I have worked in it for over 10 years and the community is amazing.

“Through the years of working in hospitality there are late nights, long hours and exposure to drink and drugs… a lot of the time it is young people in these positions.

“I have had numerous friends and colleagues who have had mental health issues, and this has only gotten worse.”

Jack explained that he chose the charities as they have supported his friends in the past and hope they can continue to into the future.

Gi Sherwood is one of the boxers taking part in the event.  (Credit: Amy Pickles)

Gi Sherwood, who works at Bierkeller alongside doing a degree in criminology at Nottingham Trent University, is taking part in the event.

She said: “I have never done anything like this before, but I wanted to because I struggle with my mental health and so the charities are both really important to me.

“I love the training, it’s really hard but such big fun and seeing the progress is really rewarding and its helping encourage me to give up smoking which is a really hard thing to do.”

The training is being put on by local gym, Valentines Boxing Bootcamp Training, the owner Curtis started the gym during the pandemic when he put an open invite to his friends to train with him daily at the Forest Recreation grounds.

Curtis Valentine said: “On the first day, one of my mates came and then two days later two turned up.

“It built up and built up until one day we had 50 or 60 there and I thought ‘we need a gym now, its getting cold’.”

Curtis Valentine (@__tyson_81 on instagram) runs the boot camp that is training the charity boxers (Credit: Curtis Valentine)

Curtis moved his sessions to a small gym down Leslie Road but since then the gym has grown in popularity and they are currently looking for a larger venue to accommodate the group.

He draws on his experience as a Black belt in karate and former champion kickboxer to train kids in local schools alongside providing the sessions at his own gym.

“I first got involved with the event when jack was looking for people to train his fighters and had been watching my Insta stories for a few months before.

“The charity is great you know, lots of people I know and I have been through hard times.

“Gambling and being out on the streets and prison and I am just trying to turn my life around and also give back to the community, I have lived here all my life and know everyone around here.”

Jack said: “I have enjoyed meeting the team and helping to build a small community, but the hardest part has been putting all the pieces together.

“I have never put on an event like it and of this size so covering all bases and making sure it’s all going to plan to be a great night has been a lot of work.”

It is hoped that the fight night can become a yearly event, Jack added: “We even have a couple of other concepts that we came up with initially that we could try out in the future, fingers crossed.”

Tickets to the event start at £25 and can be bought here.

The link to donate to mind is here to donate to CALM, click here