‘How I advised Sam Cam on PM’s boxing hopes’
Published on: 04 Feb 2015
A DOWNEND man who set up a charity benefiting thousands of young people has had his work recognised with an invitation to Number 10.
Martin Bisp, co-founder of boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance, was a guest at a reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at Downing Street.
He received an invite to one of the country’s most famous addresses after being nominated as a Charity Champion by Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie, a trustee of Empire Fighting Chance.
Martin, 44, said: “I had to go through security screening at the gates to Downing Street before we walked up the street and into Number 10.
“It was a surreal experience looking back before walking through the door where all phones and cameras had to be left.
“The reception was on an upper floor so we walked up the stairs past the black and white photos and engravings of previous prime ministers. It was a memorable walk through British prime ministerial history.”
Martin was then staggered to discover Mrs Cameron knew exactly who he was.
“I had a chat with Samantha Cameron and the Number 10 events manager, both who greeted me with the comment ‘ You are the boxing man!’
“Mrs Cameron had obviously done her homework and was aware of our work and our progress.
“She said her and David both loved boxing, and she thinks that he should do some training, although I suggested he should stick to his running. She complained that it wasn’t good for his knees but I did point out getting punched in the face wasn’t viewed as good for him either!”
Martin, along with Frenchay resident Jamie Sanigar, started the charity seven years ago after witnessing a drugs deal outside the Empire Boxing Club in St Paul’s.
They invited the lads to try their hand at boxing which led to them turning their lives around.
The charity was set up to enable Martin and Jamie to reach out to many other young people.
Their use of non-contact boxing programmes has been credited with transforming the lives of thousands of young people by keeping them on the straight and narrow.