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18 Jan 2023
Storm LDN to raise £2m for ten clubs – 25% of profits fund charity for at-risk youths
By Frances Marcellin
Storm LDN to raise £2m for ten clubs – 25% of profits fund charity for at-risk youths
Co-founder and director of fitness Dembo Jobe with some of Storm LDN's members
Photo: Storm LDN
Storm LDN, a community-supporting boutique boxing gym concept based in London, is gearing up to open a £2m seed-funding round from 9 February.

Currently with one site, in Queens Park, the raise will support the company’s growth to six studios by Q2 2024. Further scaling to ten locations – which will be self-funded through profit reinvestment – will bring the number of clubs to ten by the end of 2025. Two 4,000sq ft sites in Farringdon and Canary Wharf have already been selected and the intention is to launch these clubs by the end of 2023.

Storm LDN was founded in 2021 by Joe Channer – who is also CEO of global consulting and technology solutions company Delta Capita – and Dembo Jobe, a former amateur-level kickboxer turned personal trainer. They first met in 2019 when Joe trained at the Peacock boxing gym where Dembo was a trainer. While the club has boxing at its core, it provides classes for all – from skills sessions for 7-16 year olds to female-only classes and postnatal strength workouts.

With a customer base, which is now at 500 members, 25 per cent of Storm LDN’s profits are channelled into the newly-created Storm LDN Academy, which will have charity status by March 2023. Storm LND has partnered with charity United Borders – which helps at-risk youths through provision of mentoring, access to fitness, knife crime support and employment coaching – to create the academy.

Channer and Jobe have been committed to building a sustainable, scalable model that is supported by the local community that it helps. “We wanted to create a self-sustaining, transformative model fuelled by enterprise, without the traditional reliance on funding,” said Channer. “Similar concepts, such as youth clubs, exist, but often rely on charity, volunteering, or public funding.

“Storm LDN provides an alternative place to meet and connect, challenging the traditional commercial gym business model. The community part is so important – I think with the decline of the local high street alongside heightened consideration towards physical and mental health, there’s an exciting opportunity. Positive social outcomes should – and I hope will be – a motivating factor for businesses entering the high street of the future.”

Through the Storm LDN Academy, staff and clients of Storm LND help disadvantaged young people living in the community where Storm LDN’s Queens Park gym is located. Mentoring, structured fitness, boxing training, life skills, English and maths tuition, access to work experience and apprenticeships through Storm LDN and its partners, as well as counselling, are among the services provided.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to oversee the development of our academy programme, and last year we saw the first group of 13-16-year-olds transition through the full programme,” said Jobe. “Encouragingly, clear positive re-engagement within the community has been seen, and I think for our members this a real differentiator – it’s rewarding for them to know they are directly helping others while improving their health and wellbeing.”

Further studio sites being considered – for a 2024 opening – are in Ladbroke Grove, White City, Dalston and Hoxton.

“We hope our success will encourage other companies to follow suit in transforming high street, communities, and, most importantly, the lives of as many children and young adults as possible,” added Channer. “We’ve certainly seen the impact that can be made in what is actually quite a short space of time with the success of our Queen’s Park gym.”


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