A boxing club in Catford has had a positive response to asking youngsters to join its gym rather than loitering on the streets.

Chairman of St Andrew’s Boxing Club, Barry Sandford, decided to reach out to teenagers after the murder of a 15-year-old boy in nearby Bellingham.

Jay Hughes suffered a fatal stab wound to the heart outside a chicken shop in Randlesdown Road on November 1.

READ MORE - Bellingham community react to murder of teenager Jai Hughes

Barry, 51, described being "devastated" by the news before offering to help.

He said: “I believe every kid has a talent. They don’t need this in their life, they really don’t.

"If they don’t have money, don’t worry, they are more than welcome. Just please come along.

"I can’t promise to stop crime but believe me, we have got kids off the streets and they have turned it all around.

"My message is to ditch the knife and to come and train."

It appears some have listened to the message because the gym has experienced a "surge in enquires".

Barry said the club has had an "immediate impact" since offering to help youngsters in any way he could.

He told News Shopper: "It’s connected. We just want to make an impact in our community and make a difference to these youngsters."