A group of amateur boxers are hoping to emulate the immortal words of sporting great Mohammed Ali and float to their fundraising target to support local charity Safe and Sound’s Butterfly Appeal.

Ten charity boxers have chosen to support the long-established charity’s plans to expand the support it provides for children and young people across Derbyshire who are victims of or at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

They are among a 25-strong group who have been training at Fearon’s Gym and Boxing Academy in Osmaston Road in preparation for a charity boxing  event on Saturday September 14 at Queen’s Hall in London Road.

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison added: “Boxing and fitness is all about building confidence and self-esteem and that is just what our specialist team focus on when supporting young people to build stronger wings to transform their lives.

“The fact that everyone is supporting Safe and Sound’s Butterfly Appeal is even more of a fit with this event considering Ali’s immortal phrase ‘float like a butterfly ..sting like a bee!”

Event organiser and gym owner Clive Fearon (pictured front centre), who is a renowned personal trainer and former professional boxer, continued: “Previous charity boxing events have been very popular and raised a lot of money for local charities.

“We have recommended this group to support Safe and Sound.  It is a local charity supporting local children and young people which, as a community interest company, is totally in line with what we believe in.”

The prize on the night will be a gleaming championship belt which will be presented to the person who has raised the most for their chosen charity.

In strong contention is Chris Lloyd (32) from Allenton (pictured front second from right) who has already raised well over £1,000 including donations from Eco Drive, Spray Kings, Rapid Home Improvements and city pubs Noah’s Ark, Norman Arms and The Neptune.

He said: “I know a few people who have been supported by Safe and Sound in the past so it was a no-brainer when we were asked which charity we wanted to support.

“I’ve really enjoyed the training for this event and am still working hard to raise as much as I can.”

Dan Howie (32) from Chaddesden (pictured back second from left) will be competing in his third charity boxing event as part of his bid to lose enough weight to have surgery to remove excess skin.

Dan has already shed 26 stone following gastric sleeve surgery and has another 1.5 stone to go before he can stabilise and qualify for the final surgery.

“This has been a long journey but I am nearing my goal and raising money for this great local charity certainly helps to keep you focused.”

One of the oldest participants is Marc Stevens (40) who is Operations Manager at Safe and Sound.  At the last event, he raised £510 for the charity and also won his match in the first round.

He said: “Having raised my fitness levels, I wanted to continue and test myself with a longer bout. We have a great friendly but competitive spirit both in the ring and in seeing which of us can raise the most money.”

Safe and Sound Head of Fundraising Tom Stanyard concluded: “We are very grateful that these charity boxers have chosen to support our Butterfly Appeal.

“With the help of businesses, individuals and groups, our aim is to raise vital funds to help us to support even more young people who are vulnerable to or currently facing sexual exploitation as well as their families.”

For more information about how to support Safe and Sound, please visit www.safeandsoundgroup.org.ukand follow on Facebook and Twitter @safeandsoundgroup or email [email protected]


Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

About Safe and Sound and the Butterfly Appeal

Safe and Sound was launched in 2002 and is the only local charity that is totally focused on transforming the lives of thousands of children and young people who are victims or are at risk of child sexual exploitation across Derbyshire.

Safe and Sound’s expertise came to the fore during the 2010 landmark case – Operation Retriever – which was Derby’s first prosecution for child sexual exploitation and abuse.  The charity’s specialist team supported every young person affected by the criminal actions of 13 defendants who were jailed in total for up to 22 years for 70 offences.

Safe and Sound’s specialist team provides individual support for children and young people from as young as eight up to the age of 18. They also raise awareness of the issue and the dangers facing children and young people through awareness programmes for schools, organisations, businesses and community groups.

Safe and Sound has launched the Butterfly Appeal #Buildingstrongwings to bring to fruition its vision for expanded services to support young people, families and wider community.

The charity’s future vision is extensive and includes:

–           A new outreach programme to provide hands-on support where young people are at their most vulnerable

–           Wider support for the families of victims and those at risk of CSE

–           Youth work programmes with new activities from music to sport to build young people’s confidence and resilience

–           Specialist psychological therapy programmes to tackle trauma, anxiety and depression

–           Longer term support for survivors moving into adulthood enabling them to mentor younger victims

–           An expanded community education programme to increase public awareness of CSE and the dangers facing young people

Supporters and ambassadors include the Chief Constable of Derbyshire who has chosen Safe and Sound as one of his chosen charities.

For more information about child sexual exploitation, Safe and Sound Derby and the Butterfly Appeal please visitwww.safeandsoundgroup.co.ukand follow on social media.A powerful video outlining young people’s experiences and why local people and businesses should support Safe and Sound is online at https://youtu.be/xjcb1y2cfGE

About CSE

In the UK today, one in 20 children suffer sexual abuse which includes child sexual exploitation.  That means that in every classroom in Derbyshire, there is at least one vulnerable young person in need of help.

Child Sexual Exploitation (commonly referred to as CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse and takes many different forms from rape and sexual assault to online grooming and encouraging children to share inappropriate images of themselves.

CSE is a particularly manipulative form of abuse and is also linked to such criminal exploitation issues such as County Lines, gangs, trafficking and modern slavery.

The key factor is that individuals or groups take advantage of young people by manipulating or deceiving them into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants.  This could range from money and alcohol to less tangible things such as the attention that they crave at a vulnerable time in their lives.