Boxing legend helps raise £35,000 for Jewish Care

14 Nov 2016

200 guests gave Frank Bruno MBE a standing ovation after he spoke at the Redbridge Sports Dinner on Thursday 10 November raising over £35,000 for local Jewish Care services in Redbridge.

The money raised will help to fund local services including the Jewish Care buses transporting people living with dementia to The Dennis Centre and the Memory Way Café as well as to Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre (RJCC). They will contribute to Mitkadem for people with mental health needs, one-to-one support for children with special needs to attend holiday schemes at Jewish Care’s RJCC and the MIKE leadership training programme for teenagers.

The British boxing legend signed boxing gloves for auction and answered questions from guests at the dinner which was held at the Prince Regent Hotel. He was interviewed in a lively chat by sports broadcaster Matt Lorenzo. Asked how he rose to World Boxing Council and European heavyweight champion, in fights which saw him facing heavyweights Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, Bruno modestly replied, “I just tried to be professional and give it my all, like you would if you’re doing any job”.

Lorenzo commended him for his bravery in facing the challenges with his mental health which followed his 14-year boxing career. He has spoken up publicly about his experiences and become a mental health campaigner, raising awareness to educate others and break the stigma around mental health.

He told the guests at the Sports Dinner, “I want to give people inspiration to talk about how they are feeling. There’s a lot of people out there in pain, feeling down, having no energy to do anything at all. But when you come out and explain how you’re feeling, you find there’s a lot of other people out there trying not to talk about it too, like Michael who we saw in the film Jewish Care showed us tonight. You need to talk and get it off your shoulders.

“Now everyone knows this can happen to any one of their family and friends, it could be your mum, your aunt, your brother and it could be you.

“Be brave, people are sympathetic and more understanding about mental health today and there are people and organisations doing brilliant work like Jewish Care, who are there to support you.”

“I’m very pleased to help raise funds for the incredible work that Jewish Care does they are making a real difference by helping people every day.”

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Director of Fundraising & Marketing, who also comes from the Redbridge area gave an emotional appeal to guests to give generously, sharing personal experiences of the ways in which Jewish Care services support people from the local Redbridge Community.

Following the evening, Andrew Klein, Chair of the Sports & Entertainment Committee, said, “I’d like to thank Frank Bruno who has been so entertaining tonight and also so brave in and out the ring, he has really inspired everyone by talking about mental health so openly. We would also like to thank all of our guests for their generous support tonight and our Committee for their hard work which has helped us to raise £35,000 to go towards vital Jewish Care services to support vital local Redbridge community.

“Special thanks goes to Daren Burney of the Burney Group, for sponsoring the event. Every penny makes a huge difference to the lives of those who rely on Jewish Care’s support in our local community.”