Northern Monk Brewery has donated £5,000 to Northern Powerhouse Boxing Academy (NPBA) - the first boxing club in the UK led by women, with a goal of providing access to boxing and exercise to anyone.

The funds, donated from Northern Monk’s Faith in Futures Foundation, will go towards two programmes aimed at increasing participation and enjoyment of exercise.

Josie McNamara, General Manager of NPBA, said: “Since October 2021, we have been running a free to attend trans/non-binary class. This class not only offers a safe space to bring the trans and non-binary community together but also allows them access to exercise to improve their physical and mental health. Half of our grant from Northern Monk will ensure this programme can continue when current funding ends in March and run for the rest of 2024.

“The other half will go towards our Menopause Programme. In 2022 and 2023 we have offered a service especially tailored for women going through the menopause in a bid to help them remain healthy, active and less reliant on NHS services. We also found that some women, especially those going through or post-menopausing, can feel uncomfortable in a traditional gym setting.

“We put on workshops where women can pose questions and get advice from local GPs and healthcare providers and then those who wish can access our services for free for eight weeks in a bid to start the habit of regular exercise. We regularly welcome 40 or 50 people to these workshops, so being able to continue these will benefit a lot of people.”

NPBA prioritise services to women and girls offering some women-only sessions but have no gender requirements for general participation. Their aim is to provide a safe space free from stereotypes and expectations, focussing especially on strong mental and physical health.

NPBA is located in an area with limited access to organised indoor sports and provide a

community base for women, men, boys, girls and non-binary where anyone can confidently train and progress to their full potential. Members are aged between 7 and 77, coming from all social backgrounds, ethnicities and genders, serving communities from their closest towns of Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd but have those who travel from much further afield to access services. They deliver sessions for children and teenagers and their work extends into local schools, social services, youth and community groups.

The Faith in Futures Foundation donates grants up to £5,000 to a range of community focused charities, causes and support groups. The Foundation raises funds for these grants through various channels including fundraising events, merchandise sales and sales of their Faith in Futures range of beers, which are available in supermarkets and the Northern Monk website, and Northern Monk’s venues in Leeds and Manchester.

Russ Bisset, Co-founder of Northern Monk, says: “We started the Faith in Futures Foundation initially to help support charities in the North to do the vital work that they do. Everyone has felt the financial pinch over the last couple of years, including us, so it’s really important to support each other where we can.”

Northern Monk started life in a cellar in Bradford with a £5,000 gift from a grandparent. Inspired by these origins and an ambition to give back wherever we can, we launched the For The North Foundation in September 2019. The For The North Foundation allowed us to support the people who share our values, and our passion for the North, via £5,000 grants offered to businesses, charities and projects that aimed to provide a genuine benefit to the communities they serve, or the wider environment.

March 2021 saw the ‘For The North Foundation’ evolve into Faith in Futures Foundation. Faith in Futures has no geographical border applied to our giving. In 2022, we were very proud to celebrate the milestone to have donated £50,000 to charities across the UK since the creation of the Foundation, and to have supported so many businesses, especially during the extremely tough period that was the pandemic.

If you work for a community charity or cause and want to be considered for a Faith in Futures grant of up to £5,000 please email your request to We will respond with an application form to fill in and return to us.

You can find out more about NPBA's trans/non-binary class on the below video, which was recorded following previous funding from the West Yorkshire Mayor's Safer Communities Fund.