A mixture of qualified health and boxing professionals, responsible for delivering In Your Corner programmes to the highest standard. We work day to day in hope to make a difference and help those suffering with their mental health. We share our passion and love for the sport of boxing, including its disciplines and principles, and have great fun in doing so!
With over thirty years experience across amateur, professional and white-collar boxing I have seen and felt first hand the life-changing benefits boxing and boxing training offers, including a sense of achievement, inclusiveness, well being, learning, team ethic, mentoring and an outlet for everyday life stress.
Warren asked me to help launch a community project working in the mental health area in 2016 alongside Patrick and although we didn’t yet have a name, In Your Corner was born. In Your Corner brings all the positive boxing attributes that are listed above but on a non-contact basis. The positive impact it has had is immense across the varied settings In Your Corner operates in whether that be within the NHS, community groups or private institutions.
It is about making champions in life.
I also believe there is scope for this project to reach out to wider areas within the community, other communities and businesses.
In my ‘other job’ I was, until recently, Sales Director for ITV Breakfast for six years and was responsible for maximising revenue across all commercial streams.
I completed a BSc in psychology before a PGDip in broadcast journalism which led to work as a BBC producer. I soon realised this was not the track for me and after hanging up my microphone, I spent a year as a carer for Autistic adults. Graduate medicine followed, and I have been a psychiatrist since 2013, training at the South London and Maudsley Trust.
It was during my first year as a psychiatrist that I met Warren when we worked together on an adult inpatient unit. We shared a passion for the sport and mental health and presented a wellbeing model to support boxers to the BBC later that year.
Ash joined forces with us, and they facilitated a session at Swanley for adults and young people with mental health difficulties. It was from these beginnings that In Your Corner was born.
I have been a marketer for over 30 years, starting off in retail and now specialising in IT. I am now a Partner/Director in a global marketing agency that specialises in partner marketing and value proposition development.
I’ve been married to Warren for 14 years and we both share a passion for sport, which was a huge connection for us amongst other things. After having Lenny our son I suffered from post-natal depression so I appreciate the positive benefits that sport can have on your mental health. This also inspired me to do a counselling course and although I have never practiced, I have found the listening strategies invaluable.
I found the trip to Empire Fight Chance in Bristol massively inspirational (and emotional) and having observed the efforts that Warren and the team have put into getting IYC where it is now I’m committed to helping in whatever way I can.
I’m an Occupational Therapist and have been working within mental health for the past 5 years. I am also a qualified AM/PRO boxing trainer coaching out of Swanley Boxing Club and ex-professional boxer.
Patrick and I first initiated the idea of building a safeguarding framework around boxing when we worked together in the mental health team at Green Park House.
We developed a framework and initially felt that it could benefit professional boxers. We took the idea to the British Boxing Board who invited us to speak at one of their conferences. This was also aired on Sky Sports.
The concept evolved after finding and visiting Empire Fighting Chance in Bristol. They have a programme that they operate out of their boxing gym, but they also take it into schools to engage and support vulnerable young adults through boxing. This inspired me to start up a group for some of my patients which I have been running for two years out of Swanley Boxings premises (initially at White Oak Leisure Centre), with the help of Ash and Patrick.
Following the success of the group, I was keen to expand, but the premises restricted me. I approached Swanley Council to see if they had space for Swanley Boxing and they gave us the opportunity to use their garage at the Olympic.
This is a perfect springboard for the birth of ‘In Your Corner’, and I am excited to be building the vision with a fantastic team which will help vulnerable people in the future.
Our Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of In Your Corner. They meet regularly to discuss, decide and review our strategies and policies and receive reports from our team in action. Our trustees work for In Your Corner voluntarily to make sure we’re doing all we can to reach and improve the lives of people suffering with their mental health.
I’m a Consultant Psychiatrist and the Clinical Director of Bexley; in this latter role, I am responsible for 1,200 staff covering secondary mental health, physical health, and social care for the borough. I am a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that advises the Home Office and Home Secretary on drug policy. Academically, I am a senior lecturer at King’s College London and University College London and am a board member of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
I have become connected with ‘In Your Corner’ having worked with Warren Dunkley for several years; we have always had a great working relationship, and I have always admired and respected how person-focused he is. Having seen the quality and care of what he does over a long period of time, I was immediately confident the charity would be doing the right thing in the right way.
I’m excited to be part of this. I have growing links and interest in community-based programmes that enable people to move their lives forward with support, and this looks like a fantastic opportunity to help.
I have been working in media for 24 years now.
Astus Group was set up by myself and my business partner in 2003. We provide media services to a wide range of clients who pay us partly in their products or services.
The media connection is how I was introduced to this project by Ashley. It was immediately something I found interesting and wanted to be a part of. This was intensified having visited Fighting Chance in Bristol last year and seeing the difference they have made.
I am a qualified accountant, currently working in the education finance sector (10 years), before that 15 years in the TV industry.
I have known Jo since pre-school (school, brownies, badly behaved teenage years!) She has been part of every milestone of my sisters & my life.
Warren had approached me about helping on the finance side – I also have a small amount of charity/fundraising experience, having previously run my sons’ school’s PTA for 9 years.
Both my sons play sport (one football, one boxed until recently) – I admire the hard work and dedication of anyone who gives up their time to be involved in a sport for the community and wanted to help on a practical level.