Boxing against depression
Volunteers have started to plant a “Forest of Gratitude” in Barking and Dagenham. He In Barking and Dagenham he is still popular today, the former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (WBC) Frank Bruno, who comes from our twin town. As a professional he was in the ring for 48 fights, including twice against Mike Tyson, and won 40 times. In 1995, he managed to win the world title on his fourth attempt against Oliver McCall.
However, the biggest challenge of his life was not a boxing match but his depression at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, he said during a visit to his former hometown Barking. While there, he announced that the “Round by Round” foundation he initiated would open a centre for the care of people with mental problems in Barking and Dagenham, the third of its kind.
For all of them, the depressed unemployed as well as pupils with behavioural problems or unbalanced senior citizens, he recommends above all training and less tablets. The help offered has to do with movement, with “everything a boxer learns without hitting others”. Non-contact boxing is one of them. Bruno expects his centre to be there for 15,000 people in his old hometown.
14 year old youth mayor
The Barking and Dagenham Youth Parliament has elected 14-year-old pupil Zubin Burley as the new representative of the young citizens. He has 15 major official events scheduled during his term of office until February 2023. He has yet to decide which charity to raise money for at his outreach events, as is the custom in England. He would like to surpass the 4300 raised for refugee aid by his predecessor Labella Anum.
Puss turned up after ten years
A touching cat story is doing the rounds in our twin city. A retired police detective, a cat protection organisation, a local relief service and neighbours had to help so that “Basil” found his way back to his family. When he disappeared almost ten years ago, the Wilby family put up search notices in the area, rang all the neighbours. Nothing came of it. But then in January, a 90-year-old woman contacted the animal shelter in Dagenham. A black and white cat that had been coming to her house to eat for some time was now looking for shelter. The animal welfare workers sent over a trainee with a reader, Basil’s chip was found, but the address given under his number was no longer correct. The shelter wanted to find a new home for the cat via the internet.
This brought the “case” to the attention of detective Mary Redbourn. She was used to such investigations and only needed half an hour to locate the Wilbys. The family was “overwhelmed with emotion” when they got the now 15-year-old housemate back.
The Barking & Dagenham and Witten twinning arrangement is one of the oldest existing contacts between a German town and an English town.
The Colin Pond Foundation was set up in 2001 as a Trust Fund to provide grants for young people engaged on a professional training course. The main stipulation is that the apprenticeship, training course or study programme lead to a recognised qualification.