Case studies

Some of our success stories

Errol Murphy

I knew Royston from the Peckham Black Father’s and Manday groups. He told me about this rites of passage weekend for mentors and I was immediately interested. In Africa, young men experience rites of passage but not in Europe. I feel passionately about the need for rites of passage with young men here in London.

Gavin Burke

I’ve been promoting the idea of men working with boys in Kids Co for the past two years. I facilitate a Fathers and Sons group, with the aim to create a space where men, fathers and boys can support each other and first of all spend some time together. I have seen many boys craving for some quality time with their father or a male role figure.

Morgan Stacey

I like that being a mentor for abob is completely different to other sorts of mentoring. I like that it’s not about telling the young men to get a job, in fact that it’s not about telling them to do anything but instead creating a safe environment where they can deal with their emotional issues. A lot of issues for young men are caused by not knowing how to communicate their feelings and not having a community of men to support them.
Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly

I joined when I was 16, I come from a strongly military background, I’ve had uncles and grandfathers who were all in the army. I didn’t get much education so this was an opportunity for me. I was in Cyprus, the Falklands, Northern Ireland, the latter was intense, I was part of an eight man team just outside Belfast and we were continually under threat.

Sebastian Adamczyk

I’ve been promoting the idea of men working with boys in Kids Co for the past two years. I facilitate a Fathers and Sons group, with the aim to create a space where men, fathers and boys can support each other and first of all spend some time together. I have seen many boys craving for some quality time with their father or a male role figure.
Dominic Rudd

Dominic Rudd

I spent 12 years as an officer in the Marines. I was in the Falklands war and Northern Ireland. I still miss the camaraderie, the ease of trust between us because we’d all been through the same tough training, and the humour. But to operate effectively, I found myself shutting down my emotions, something I'd learnt to do well during 10 years at boarding school.

Dave Surridge

David Surridge, 42, Company director, and his eight year old son, Tommy. I’m not from Crawley originally but my wife Gemma and I decided to stay after we’d had children. I had a son and Crawley has had quite bad press around its youth and especially for its young male youth. I decided that I would like to be part of changing that in the community, most of all, so that my son Tommy would benefit. It was also a way of meeting other men. I didn’t really know any.

Finbarr Dooher

Finbarr Dooher, 29, works in a one-to-one capacity with young men (13-19) who are involved with patterns of violence at Act For Change.
Ken Hinds

Ken Hinds

Royston (who has been in abob for a few years) told me about the BTH weekend but I had no idea about the group. I was very apprehensive especially about camping; I'm a 5 star sort of man. It was like a blind date, I had to have blind faith.

Marc Senior

Case History, Marc Senior, 39, film-maker.

Gavin Webster

Gavin Webster, 43, former professional rugby player, now landlord and father.

Royston John

61, father of 5, business coach/mentor at Centre for Mentoring and Coaching; CEO of National Coalition-Building Institute.

Chris Smith

My name is Chris Smith, I’m 24 and I was brought up mainly by my mum in Crawley. I had three older sisters, and an older brother. I’m the baby of the family. I’ve got Type 1 Diabetes and ADHD which both severely affected me as I was growing up. I didn’t like the answer ‘No’. Especially to chocolate. And I’d trash my bedroom if my mum wouldn’t let me have any. I’d eat some and then I’d be hyper. My poor mum suffered, I do feel sorry for what I did now.

Mckennedy Ariwa

In prison, you can never really trust anyone, they might fight for you one day, and against you the next. And in prison, everyone has a front up.

Dean O’Brien

I had to trust. That was hard. I expressed a level of anger that I’ve never expressed before, and I found out techniques for expressing in a way that wouldn’t hurt me, and wouldn’t hurt anyone else. That was really important.

Lucas Pyke

My name is Lucas Pyke. I am 21 years old and live on an estate in Brighton. Two years ago I had just left prison, having served 9 months. My Connexions worker put me forward for the Quest programme with A Band of Brothers and I got involved with them in July 2009.

Tony Frape

My name is Tony Frape. I’m now 20 years old and live on an estate in East Brighton. I left school with no qualifications and found it really hard to find any work. By the time I got involved with A Band of Brothers I’d become really angry and frustrated with life. I’d got in bits of trouble with the Police and things were generally heading in the wrong direction.

Jake Gynn

I was in care for much of my life. At 14, I was taken out of my family home and put in a foster home, then a children’s home. Then at 18, I ended up at the YMCA. Abob came at the right time for me, I was feeling lost and depressed and really didn’t have any support.

Josh Nutt

I grew up with two half sisters and a stepfather but I didn’t know he wasn’t my birth father. I was angry when I was younger and used to get into a lot of fights. My mum kicked me out when I was 16 and I lived in hostels from then on. I only found out who my birth father was when I was 20. That had a big effect on me.

Jake Baker

I’ve got a couple of mates from the White Hawk Estate where I live, who’ve done it. One of them told me ‘It’ll do you some good’ so I signed up to The Quest without knowing what I was doing.

Ben Dalby

I was adopted at three, and then went back into care again at ten, and that had a dramatic effect on me. I couldn’t cope. I started fighting everyone. I couldn’t settle. From the age of ten, I couldn’t really care less about anything. Then when I was a teenager, I started drinking and I was a bad drunk. I didn’t make it past Year 7 at secondary school. I was never a thief, I just enjoyed a drink and a fight. I was in Feltham, the institution for young offenders by the time I was fourteen.

Elliott Moore

I’ve always had a supportive, good family but I started getting into trouble at a young age. When I started primary school I couldn’t settle down and was always getting sent home. By secondary school, I'd started fighting and setting fires and I’d only been in my first school for three months before getting kicked out for lighting a fire in the toilets. I got a feeling of excitement from it. I think it all started because I couldn't settle down to study like the other kids, and so I started being disruptive as a distraction. I went to four different schools. The police started to get involved when I was 13. I'd also started using drugs when school wasn’t working for me.The first time I went to prison I was 14, it was a detention centre in Bristol. .

Simon Graczy

I did the Quest and it had such a powerful effect on my life. I was transformed. I went in one person and came out another. My mum was amazed by the changes in me. I got more and more involved in abob community activities, and I wanted to become a mentor.

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