The Liverpool boxer using his own experience of addiction to help others

ITV Granada Reports' sports correspondent David Chisnall went along to one of the sessions. 

Former British Super Bantamweight champion Jazza Dickens has revealed that his father was addicted to drugs when he was growing up.

Now the pair are working together to run a weekly boxing workshop to help other families affected by substance abuse.

It's now 12 years since Jazza's father Colin Dobie took drugs and the weekly sessions are aimed at helping other families who have been through similar experiences.

Jazza Dickens

Jazza said: ''All they know is that they want a relationship but some people don't know how to get a relationship. Just like me and my father when he first got clean."

''We'd spend one day a week on a Sunday like this. These families come here on a Sunday and engage in activities and just family time and it's a great way to get the relationship rolling again.''

Colin's decision to get clean came after he was injured in a house fire: ''The final straw was the house fire. By this time Jazza had moved out of my home, my mum had died and I'm in my mum's house and there's a fire. I can remember being in hospital for three days crying thinking what else is going to happen to me.''

Colin Dobie

But for Jazza, getting to know his dad off the drugs, took some adjusting to:

''If all I've ever known is my parent as an addict, I know him as an addict. When he gets clean that when I didn't know him. That was tough, that was challenging. I went to meet him one day in town and I walked passed him, this close I walked passed him because I didn't recognise him physically, because he'd put weight on and I didn't know him.''

Colin said: ''Jazza witnessed loads in my own addiction, when I cleaned up he didn't know me - I was a different person. We used to meet up every Sunday and we'd go and have a game of snooker and we'd bond over the snooker and our relationship was getting stronger and stronger. That's what the project has developed from our own experience.''

Jazza and Colin are now using their experience to help other families who have also been affected by addiction. 

With the help of the chairty Maverick Stars, they are now running Jazza in the Community which is an eight week project using boxing to reconnect parents and their children.

One parent who didn't want to be named told Granada Reports that the project is making a big difference:

''I've obviously suffered through addiction - based on that my children were taken off me and put with family. I've now got unsupervised contact with my son through getting clean and as this project opened, this was my first week unsupervised contact with him so it's really helped us bond as a family.''

Jazza Dickens celebrates defeating Josh Wale in their Vacant British Super Bantamweight Championship fight in Liverpool in 2015. Credit: PA

As a top boxer Jazza has roped in former boxing world champion Tony Bellew and UFC's Molly McCann to make special guest appearances.

However he says the real star is his dad:

''Words can't describe how proud I am of him and I'm just very blessed to have him.''