EAST Lothian’s very own world champion is at the heart of a new calendar attempting to reduce gang and knife-related crimes.

Josh Taylor features in a calendar raising money for the organisation Knives Down Gloves Up, which aims to divert young people away from gangs and into the boxing ring, which can then steer them on the right path.

Josh, 28, of Prestonpans, won his first professional world boxing title last May. Then, in October, the IBF World Super Lightweight champion defeated Regis Prograis to take home the WBA Super World Super Lightweight title.

The calendar was the idea of Duns photographer Jennifer Charlton.

She said: “As a single mum of three, I despair at the way the world is going for our kids in the future. So I wanted to combine my passion for boxing photography and my love for the people involved, to try and do some good for our kids and try help make the world a safer place.”

Jennifer approached Josh, who features in June, to appear in the calendar alongside a number of other top British boxers. The photographer, who has been at nearly half a dozen of Josh’s fights, was delighted ‘The Tartan Tornado’ was thrilled to help out.

She said: “I know what Josh is like and I know he loves kids and he always stops and poses for photographs and does signings.

“I knew he would want to get involved and he is really passionate about getting people into boxing.

“I have got a good relationship with him.”

Jennifer started the project with a number of boxers from the north-east of England, where she regularly photographs the fighters for MTK Global, who manage more than 100 boxers.

Then, she switched her attention to north of the Border, with Josh joined in the calendar by West Lothian-based boxer Tommy Philbin.

She added: “I have asked all boxers to give me a motivational quote to inspire people, kids in particular, as the mental strength these guys learn through boxing is amazing and I wanted to inspire anyone struggling.”

Josh’s contribution was: “Always believe in yourself and have the courage to chase your dreams and anything is possible”.

Jennifer has previously covered a number of Josh’s fights for the Courier. She decided to work with Knives Down Gloves Up after being impressed with its message.

She said: “Knives Down Gloves Up are very active in what they do and they go round schools and organise sessions in the boxing gyms.

“We need them in Scotland and I wanted to raise some money and told them they need to go Edinburgh and Glasgow.”

To order a copy of the £12 calendar – all profits go to Knives Down Gloves Up – email jc.photography@outlook.com