Wolverhampton Jiu-Jitsu club offers free training and meals so no child misses out

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club in Wolverhampton is offering free weekly training and meals to children and young people, in the hope of engaging them with the sport and removing financial pressure on parents amid a cost of living crisis.

Up to 40 children and teenagers from the local area attend the classes on a Monday evening at Wolverhampton BJJ.

Coaches say they don't want the rising cost of living to result in children missing out on opportunities or exercise, which the club can provide.

Volunteer coaches at the club give up their time so that the classes can be free.

Karen Earnshaw, who is one of the coaches at the club, says it's great to see the children grow in confidence.

"We've had children come through the door and couldn't interact, they were too shy and didn't want to stay, and a couple of weeks down the line they're joining in with everyone else", she says.

George Williams, another volunteer coach, says the sport sets "better building blocks for the future".

"It's to get them into martial arts and stop them messing about on the street really", he explains before adding: "And it's not so much just about the martial arts as it is the friendship and camaraderie you get from martial arts."

The meals, which usually consist of sandwiches, jellies and cereal bars, are partly funded by local businesses.

The classes have become so popular that the club is now urging other companies and organisations in the area to get involved so that they can continue to provide the meals and training for free.

"They get a meal that they might not get at home", adds Karen.