Gloves Not Gunz formally launched in February 2017. This organisation was set up by two local dad’s (Adam Ballard & Ben Eckett) wanting to affect change in their area after a spate of murders. Adam was running Croydon ABC at the time and had been running gang prevention sessions for local young people. Adam had ran the boxing club for 7 years and had created a safe space for young people to get off the streets and learn to box. Adam came up with Gloves Not Gunz as he thought it would be a great project to run alongside the boxing club as its location was in a hotspot area for gun crime and gang violence. Adam has extensive experience in combat sports and has trained and competed under renowned Muay Thai coaches. Ben has over 12 years of experience working within youth work, social care and education all over London – he currently is currently a manager within social care & youth services in a South London borough. Ben has competed at high levels in football and surfing, he is passionate about sport and training. They created a programme that would focus on diverting and preventing young people from engaging in crime by using Boxing as a tool to engage and within the sessions they delivered education and mentoring.
Since starting the organisation Gloves Not Gunz has delivered programmes for the Home Office Funds ‘Exiting Gangs & Exploitation’ and ‘Knife Crime’ – these included schools workshops, community boxing, mentoring and therapeutic 1:1 support. They have deliver work through the Big Lottery, Sport England and Evening Standard – these programmes have included yoga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu interventions.
Gloves Not Gunz delivers community interventions with Palace For Life Foundation, Chelsea Football Club, Youth Offending and Social Care teams. These interventions have included setting up sport/education sessions in crime hotspots to target at risk young people, mentoring and educational workshops. We have also delivered talks to NHS and councils in relation to crime & exploitation. In 2018 Gloves Not Gunz managed a residential in which we supported a group of young people during the Notting Hill Carnival weekend – this was to prevent the young people from serious harm.
In 2018 Gloves Not Gunz were awarded a community partnership award from Croydon council, this was for the partnership working they had delivered alongside the councils youth engagement initiates. They have been celebrated in the news and on tv for the positive impact of interventions. In July 2019 Adam and Ben were awarded Commendations from the Met police for the work that the project has done if successfully reducing crime.