Social enterprise boutique gym opening in Queen's Park on May 17
- Credit: Storm LDN
A new boutique boxing gym is opening in Queen's Park on May 17.
Storm LDN, in Salusbury Road, is opening as soon as the next set of covid guidelines are eased next month.
Co-founded by Joe Channer and Dembo Jobe, the boutique gym will operate as a social enterprise, reinvesting 35 pc of its profits to fund an academy supporting young people to say no to gangs and knife crime through the discipline of sport, apprenticeship schemes and mentorship.
The academy will help 12 young people between the ages of 14 and 18 from an NW postcode.
The gym is privately funded by Joe, a lifelong Brent resident who grew up in Kilburn and Stonebridge.
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After attending university as a mature student the entrepreneur had a successful career in investment banking and founded a financial services firm which he later sold.
Storm LDN is his chance to “give something back”.
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“Growing up in Stonebridge was really challenging,” Joe said. “There was a lot of really heavy drugs and gangs. A lot of my friends were getting in trouble and ending up in young offenders institutions.”
Joe attended a youth club in Kilburn which provided him with a positive distraction to being on the street.
“The adults at youth clubs can give you advice that maybe you wouldn’t take from your parents. It can change your life.”
The gym has received over 300 sign ups already. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the community,” Joe said.
The 12 young people will each be assigned a personal mentor, who will train them once a week one on one, as well as twice a week as a group.
There are also specially designed roles in the Storm LDN gym or coffee shop allowing the mentees to earn some money.
“Some of the mentors have been in trouble with the police themselves when they were younger, so they can speak from experience and there is real respect from the kids.”
Joe said he is impressed by people buying into the concept of a socially responsible business.
“As adults, we can all complain about street violence and knife crime, but if we don’t take responsibility and do anything about it, what can we expect?
"We need to show young people that we care and we’re invested.”