Bleed kits for Bristol
In 2021 we tragically lost one of our own. Dontae Davis was a much-loved member of Empire Fighting Chance whose smile lit up the gym.
Since his passing, Leanne Reynolds - a local campaigner who used to support Dontae - has raised thousands of pounds to install bleed kits around Bristol, containing items such as bandages and tourniquets, which could potentially save a life.
Empire Fighting Chance Coach Courtney and Co-Founders Martin and Jamie visited the Salvation Army in Lawrence Hill yesterday (6th February 2023) as the first kit was installed, just metres from where Dontae was stabbed.
Martin said, “Dontae started working with us aged 14 until his death October 2021 four years later. His passing affected us all and we have been inspired by Leanne’s campaign to try and prevent another tragedy. These kits could save a life and we should be grateful for that. As a community we have to work together to stop this stuff happening before others needlessly lose their life.”
Courtney said, “I had a strong bond with Dontae as he was the first young person I mentored when I joined Empire. He had worked very hard to get himself on the right path until circumstances combined to leave us here. I was personally devasted when he died, and even now get emotional thinking about him. We’ve got to try and work together to make Bristol a safer place.”
Passionate community campaigners like Leanne are critical to building stronger support networks and tackling youth violence, but a citywide issue like this requires us all to work together, at all levels.
Since we began, Empire Fighting Chance has used psychologically informed non-contact boxing and mentoring programmes to help young people facing adversity move away from a path of crime and violence. But, as we face a worrying rise in youth violence alongside record waiting times for mental health support for young people, we know that Empire Fighting Chance alone does not hold all the answers to confront these crises.
That’s why we are making plans to up our game to prevent more tragedies taking place on our streets. We will be sharing more about our action plan for Bristol in the coming months, which will see us building stronger partnerships across the city and beyond.
We hope you can be part of the solution as we continue to fight for young lives.