Frank Bruno pays tribute to Jewish Care for mental health work
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Frank Bruno pays tribute to Jewish Care for mental health work

British boxing legend tells guests at Jewish Care sports dinner how he wants to give people inspiration to face mental health issues.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Andrew Klein, Daren Burney, Frank Bruno, Matt Lorenzo at Jewish Care's Redbridge Sports Dinner. Photo: Paul Lang Photography
Andrew Klein, Daren Burney, Frank Bruno, Matt Lorenzo at Jewish Care's Redbridge Sports Dinner. Photo: Paul Lang Photography

British boxing legend Frank Bruno praised the ‘incredible work’ of Jewish Care as he spoke about the importance of tackling mental health issues at the charity’s Redbridge Sports Dinner.

Following his 14-year boxing career, the 54-year-old, who held both the WBC and European Heavyweight titles, has faced his own issues concerning mental health and is now a mental health campaigner, raising awareness to educate others and break the stigma around mental health.

He told the guests: “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 anyone 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.”

Answering questions from guests at the dinner which was held at the Prince Regent Hotel, he also signed boxing gloves for auction and was interviewed by sports broadcaster Matt Lorenzo about his rise to the World Boxing Council and becoming European heavyweight champion, as well as fighting the likes of Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, to which he replied: “I just tried to be professional and give it my all, like you would if you’re doing any job”.

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Director of Fundraising & Marketing, appealed to guests to give generously, while 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.”

The evening raised £35,000, which 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.

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