Frank Bruno and Northampton jewellers join forces for boxing club launch

Frank Bruno has visited Northampton to launch his boxing gym in collaboration with Steffans Jewellers, who have made him a unique pendant.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 2:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 2:31 pm
Wes Suter pictured with Frank Bruno at the jewellery shop last night. Pictures taken by Leila Coker.

Former British heavyweight boxer, Frank Bruno, was in Abington Square last night (Tuesday) ahead of the Frank Bruno Foundation launch after Christmas.

Steffans Jewellers hosted an invite-only event with Mr Bruno where they launched their gold and silver boxing glove pendants - with all proceeds being donated to the foundation. So far, £4,000 has been raised.

The collaboration comes as Frank's partner, and Steffans customer, approached the jewellery shop - after seeing a bespoke pendant design made for MS sufferers - and she asked if a unique design could be made for the boxing club launch.

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The Frank Bruno Foundation will provide a base for structured non-contact boxing sessions and well-being programmes for people 10 years old and above. Pictures taken by Leila Coker.

Wes Suter, Steffans owner, said: "Frank's partner was a customer of ours and I actually didn't know.

"She saw what we had done with the MS pendant, which was done because my cousin was diagnosed with MS and we said 'let's just get it done'.

"I think it's great for Northampton to have somebody like Frank behind a gym to help those less fortunate with their mental health. For me, it's a no-brainer. He is genuinley the nicest man you could meet."

The Frank Bruno Foundation will be taking over Standens Barn Community Centre in the Eastern District to run a 12-week programme for anyone over the age of 10 after Christmas.

The gold pendant, designed by Steffans, is being sold with all proceeds going to Frank's charity. Pictures by Leila Coker.

The programme's aim is 'to bring healthy-body and healthy-mind approaches together to provide a holistic and enjoyable approach to supporting all clients with mental ill health', according to the charity's website.

Frank is very open with his struggles with mental ill health, having been sectioned under the Mental Health Act three times since 2003, spending five weeks at St Andrew's Hospital in Northampton in 2012.

The Frank Bruno Foundation, which the former boxer set up having suffered from his own mental health problems, will aim to tackle mental health problems among the youth in the Eastern District.

In the evenings and at weekends, the community will be able to use the boxing ring and gym at their own leisure.

The 'Round-by-Round' programme will be of 12 weekly sessions of wellbeing and non-contact boxing. Pictures taken by Leila Coker.

An agreement has been made for Community Spaces Northampton, which had been running the space, to give up the lease for the Frank Bruno Foundation to take it over.

Mr Bruno said he sees himself being a part of the community when the non-contact boxing foundation opens.

Many people have given their support to the centre, including England Boxing, and lots of people on social media.

When asked if he will play an active part in the gym, he said: "[I will be there] as much as I can.

"I'm going to try and be full on. I don't want to put my name to it and not participate there."

He added: "We do non-contact boxing for people going through mental health or have been through mental health and want somewhere where they can go and get the pressure taken off and say 'I don't feel to good'.

"Everybody goes through a stage in their life where they can't take it anymore, they are fed up, arguing with their partners and all different things. So [at the gym people] can come chill out, have a cup of tea and talk about their problems.

"If they want to do some training, not punching each other it's all non-contact, then we can give them a bag."

More than 100 pendants have been made so far and are exclusive to Steffans. Gold pendants are being sold for £79.95 and silver pendants are being sold for £59.95.