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East Marsh in Partnership: Be Great Fitness

Repost: Humberside police- Written by Ian holt.


NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE

The Neighbourhood Policing Team based at Hamilton Street is deeply embedded in Grimsby’s East Marsh. Its dedicated East Marsh team has built up strong connections within the community to help improve the area for its residents.

Through engaging with youngsters, helping reintegrate people into society, and acting upon crucial information provided by residents, the East Marsh team has been helping members of the community.

However, policing is just one part of the puzzle, and there are many other groups who are playing important roles in improving the lives of East Marshians – often alongside the police.

These groups work with us to help the community. They provide young people with the opportunities to learn new skills and build up local pride and a sense of community. Funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets programme has already seen security equipment provided to residents, and there is more to come.

We spoke with a number of these groups who are providing East Marsh residents with fantastic opportunities about the work they do and how Humberside Police is helping.

First up is Bailey from Be Great Fitness, who explains how his BoxFit sessions are providing more than just improved fitness.

“Be Great Fitness is a health and wellbeing company working in schools, community centres and care homes to make sure fitness is accessible to all,” Bailey says.

“In the community, we run publicly funded projects that also have safe spaces for women. We also provide early intervention in schools and with families.”


PCSO Marc Ireland is a key part of our East Marsh neighbourhood team. He realised we could work with Be Great Fitness as part of that early intervention.

“I already knew Bailey,” says Marc. “I wanted to get him involved with a school in my ward. BoxFit and fitness in general is good for your health and wellbeing, it promotes a healthy lifestyle and discipline.

“As a PCSO on the East Marsh, I want to be able to divert young kids away from crime. We want to be approachable. Working with Bailey helps us achieve that.”

Bailey adds: “We want to show that there’s unity within the community. With unity comes strength. I’m working with Marc on a new project on Grant Thorold Park to create safety and a presence in the park. We want to get teens and families involved.”

With the ward councillors involved in this new project, there’s a real sense that the community wants to play its part – but how does Humberside Police fit in?

“The work of Humberside Police and Marc helps massively,” says Bailey. “By reaching out as Marc has done, it shows the police care and that they are on the side of the people. I know this can seem different to young people.”

Bailey had an early interaction with the police that set him on the road to where he is now, and he wants others to learn from his story.

“I had a single mum and we moved from council house to council house. That’s a regular story in this town. I’m nothing special.

“When I was young, my mum told me the police were here to help. I got into trouble and the police did help me out. They took the time to help.

“I know that Marc and the team want to make a positive impact rather than just cleaning up the mess once it has happened.

“Prevention is better than the cure.”


With boxing providing Bailey with a second chance, he is keen to pass on the benefits to the next generation.

“It teaches you respect, discipline and the value of community,” he says of the sport’s principles, the same principles the NPT is keen to promote.

“If taught properly, it can really help people. When people get it right, it’s magical.”

Be Great Fitness teaches BoxFit rather than boxing, with a focus on the techniques, discipline and healthy lifestyle.

“In areas of deprivation, fitness isn’t seen as a priority,” continues Bailey. “Feeding the family and keeping the lights on are the important things. However, we can improve physical and mental health, which has its own benefits.”

After their early successes working together, Marc and Bailey are positive about the future and have already started drawing up plans for the summer holidays.

“With the right intervention, we can change lives and mindsets. This is an exciting opportunity to help a community that might not otherwise receive that help,” adds Bailey.

“We want people to be open to receiving help, and the new opportunities that come with it. It’s in their favour. It’s not forced exercise, but something that can genuinely help.

“There’s no commitment, come and try it. If you like it, stay!”

Marc adds: “It’s great to know that our people have access to these opportunities.

“Joining up with Be Great Fitness is another way for the community to have access to us. It builds that link and allows us to talk to those kids we need to talk to.

“We are approachable and want to show we care. These sessions really break down those barriers and are an opportunity for the kids to get to know their community team.”

  • To learn more about Be Great Fitness, visit: https://www.begreatfitness.org/

  • To find out more about the East Marsh Neighbourhood Policing Team, visit: https://www.police.uk/pu/your-area/humberside-police/east-marsh/

Images provided by Beki Doig.

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