Mentee Case studies

Some of our success stories

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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