07 Dec Barnardos ambassador and Boxing Champ Amir Khan inspires young people in east London visit
Former World and Olympic champion boxer Amir Khan dropped into a former east London boxing gym to help inspire local teenagers in his new role as a Barnardo’s ambassador.
He spoke to a range of teenagers including young carers and those with special education needs, who were hard at work at building wooden Christmas gifts to sell on a market stall, challenged others to a bout of table tennis and added his hand prints and signature to a giant tree mural on which former Barnardo’s students have left their own marks.Amir called in to The Hub Skills Centre, run by the children’s charity in Stepney Green, to meet young people who are supported by the service and answer their questions on Friday, December 2.
Amir Khan said:
I’m going to take away a lot from my visit to The Hub. It’s a great inspiration to see the young people working hard no matter what learning difficulties or challenges they have, and it’s an honour to be able to come here and speak to them. The most positive thing I can say to them is to work hard in life and never give up. There comes a time when everyone’s life is hard, but you have to keep going no matter what.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan, who joined Amir, said:
It was a great pleasure to be with Amir Khan visiting one of our frontline services. He’s a tremendous role model for young people, and they’ve really been inspired by his words. His key message is to work hard, and it will pay off in life.
The young people grilled Amir on his boxing career and asked him about everything from the experience of representing the UK at the Olympics, to his training regime and his typical diet.
Jereece, 21, who has been supported through Barnardo’s Talent Match programme for jobseekers, said:
I’ve never met anyone like Amir before. I think he will understand from his visit how a lot of young people have responsibilities like caring for family members and loved ones, and that we’re all trying to help one another. The Hub has supported me with my CV, helped me get into security work and really changed my life.
Rosie Winstanley, Assistant Director of Children’s Services for Barnardo’s in London, said:
The fact that Amir gave up his time to come and visit this group of young people, and to tell them they’re doing a great job and he believes in them, has been very inspiring and motivating. He’s been really approachable, answered all their questions and built up a great rapport.