Mick Crossan’s leading London recycling and waste management company Powerday and partner London Boxing have launched a new mental health helpline with psychotherapy and counselling charity, iCap (Immigrant Counselling & Psychotherapy).
The initiative is called Sam’s Listening in memory of former London boxer, amateur and professional coach, Sam Bezzina who tragically died last year at the age of 26.
The service is free for anyone to access.
Sam’s Listening will support those requiring specialist assistance and provide a sympathetic ear to help them through challenging phases of their life.
The helpline will be operated by iCap, a registered charity that provides culturally sensitive counselling for the Irish community in Britain, helping to heal lives and deal with emotional trauma, depression and risk of suicide.
iCap will link those requiring help and support to other agencies and specialists to help the individuals find ways to cope and get beyond these low points in life and celebrate those moments of connection between people that can save lives.
England and Wales alone saw over 1,600 suicides between April and July last year with three-quarters of these deaths amongst males. Although this was a 18% decrease on the same period in 2019, there is concern about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health. The ONS announced in May 2021 that rates of depression across the UK had doubled at the start of the pandemic.
Powerday Chief Executive Officer, Edward Crossan, says: “Like every life lost to suicide, Sam’s death was a tragedy. We are launching this helpline in his memory, which was a great loss not only to his friends and family but to the world of boxing. We are pleased to support this unique initiative in sport through London Boxing and icap and provide assistance and care to those within the boxing family that might be going through what Sam went through.”
George Groves, former World Middleweight Champion, remarked: “Everybody needs somebody to talk to during difficult times and this initiative, through London Boxing, is a positive and contemporary offer to those who need support when things get tough. It is a unique offer through a sport and will ensure people are given positive direction and options towards help when needed.”
Lenny Hagland, London Boxing Chairman, stated: “Everybody at some stage of their lives needs a sympathetic and specialist ear to be available and offer support plus help to steer through challenging times and circumstances. This free helpline is a key and significant offer of assistance, available at any time. We encourage anyone who needs it to please use it.”
The free helpline is sponsored through Powerday’s charitable arm, the Powerday Foundation, as part of Powerday’s work to improve health and wellbeing amongst disadvantaged young Londoners. Earlier this year, the Powerday Foundation set out its plan to 2025 aiming to tackle the alarming decline in young people’s health and mental well-being and safety through local employment, sport and education.
Sam’s Listening launched on Tuesday 21st September 2021 at West Ham Boxing Club. Anyone who’s struggling to cope and needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure should call 0207 272 7906.