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Knockout start for boxing charity

Bristol youth boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance approached Spirit recently to raise its profile and provide a strong platform for its new fundraising drive.

The charity enjoyed a hugely successful summer after picking up the keys to its new home, winning a national award and receiving nearly half a million pounds in grants. Working with 200 young people at risk of exclusion each week to improve their academic achievement, behaviour and social development, it needed to raise additional funds to support the increased range of services on offer in the new premises.

To maximise press coverage and ensure all elements of the story were covered, we decided to show the value of the charity’s work through a strong case study and combine this with high profile endorsement to demonstrate Empire Fighting Chance’s credibility. We also wanted to offer plenty of action to provide moving pictures for TV.

We approached two of the charity’s key supporters, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and British Bantamweight Boxing champion Lee Haskins, to launch the new premises and set up a press call of them sparring together and punching through an Empire Fighting Chance banner to provide great images for the press. We offered interviews with a young person who has turned his life around through the support of the charity and a guided tour of the new premises to demonstrate the value of the charity’s work.

This strategy led to excellent local coverage with BBC Points West covering the event live at lunchtime and then in their evening and late-evening bulletins. BBC Radio Bristol interviewed Jamie Sanigar on their Drivetime show and the Bristol Post ran an extensive feature on the charity. The story was also featured on Heart and Jack & the Breeze.

To find out more about the charity visit www.empirefightingchance.org

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