‘I think they should have done this a long time ago': Interim evaluation of the Clink to Club initiative at HMP Bronzefield.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Having established the value of the Clink to Club initiative in a male prison (see Meek, 2020), I am delighted to have been able to support England Boxing in establishing their first initiative in a women’s prison and to contribute to the ongoing development of this initiative through my independent evaluation.
There is a strong rationale for developing a boxing-based programme in the women’s estate. Despite there being robust evidence for the value of sport and physical activity in promoting health in prisoner populations (Meek & Lewis, 2012), women are the population least likely to participate in physical activity in our prisons (Meek & Lewis, 2014). It is noteworthy therefore that the level of interest amongst the women in HMP Bronzefield for this programme was very high. The allocated places were quickly filled prior to the programme commencing in the Summer of 2022, with a long waiting list of women who remained keen to take part.
The gendered development of the Clink to Club programme was key to the evident success of expanding the programme into the female estate. We are all too aware that women in prison are more likely to have experienced trauma and violence, which can manifest in high rates of undiagnosed brain injury (see Glorney et al., 2018), that there are gendered barriers to engaging in physical activity in prisons (Meek & Lewis, 2014) and we that there is a need to take a trauma-informed approach in designing and delivering any initiative in the women’s estate (Covington & Bloom, 2007). England Boxing undertook a careful consideration of the content and delivery partners of the programme in preparing to deliver the programme at HMP Bronzefield. This interim evaluation set out to explore – from the perspectives of the women themselves – the value of the first Clink to Club programme in a women’s prison. The full evaluation will track the through-the-gate element of the programme and explore the impact of the community club involvement on those who have taken part in the initiative while in custody.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEngland Boxing
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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