BOXER Kelvin Young has given the Open Door Centre, in Gorse Hill a £400 boost.
The charity, which provides specialist day resources for adults with learning disabilities, was given the money generated through ticket sales from the Penhill pugilist’s last fight at the Oasis Leisure Centre, when he beat Czech Tomas Kugler on March 14.
The 26-year-old takes home 10 per cent from every ticket sold for his fights, but he has begun reserving half that for the Ferndale Road-based charity.
“I have been coming down for a couple of years now, meeting the guys they have down here,” he said. “I just feel at home with the great people down here.
“Jenny Stacey, the centre manager and Pat Winning, the deputy manager, have come along to my fights before.
“It was through Jenny and Pat that I got involved with the place. “They came down and watched me box in Torquay, where they brought a few guys down with them.
“They asked me to pop in and see them, which I did, and I have done ever since.
“It’s everybody – they’re just so welcoming. I have just been sat on the hotspot down here, answering their questions.”
Deputy manager Pat said Kelvin has become a huge part of life at the centre, and his help has become invaluable in keeping them afloat.
“We are absolutely thrilled to bits. It will go into keeping us running at Open Door. It’s absolutely wonderful how often he comes here,” she said.
“He even invites a lot of the people we help come down and train with him. “He has one of the members carrying his belt to the ring too, whenever he fights. He’s so natural with everybody here. We feel honoured and lucky.”
Part of the money was also put up by Kelvin’s promoter, Keith Mayo, who regularly attends the Open Door Centre with his boxer when he visits.
The IBO intercontinental super-middleweight champion is now eyeing up his next fundraising challenge for the charity, a skydive.
He was joined by Danielle Brown and John Watts at the centre yesterday who will both join him for the skydive on April 20.
“We would like to raise £2,000 or £3,000 if we can get the whole of Swindon behind it,” Kelvin said.
“It’s £800 just to have the chance to take part, but we can go well beyond that.” “I am also going to keep contributing half of my percentage from the ticket sales at each fight. I want to keep helping this charity.”