As a young man I struggled within the school system, leaving at 16, but was very determined, had a supportive family, and was lucky enough to then spend the next 30 years forging a successful career in the commercial world.
I have two sons who are now adult men. They have a wonderful mother, and I know how important she has been in helping them develop into the great men they are today, and I have also been very struck how important is has been for them and their growth to have healthy male role models around them, particularly throughout their teenage years. It is an eternal blessing for me that whilst I have been there as their father, they have had a number of emotionally intelligent older men in their community, who have mentored many healthy elements of what it is to be a man.
It is so clear to me that in our society this has become increasingly rare, and I have no doubt if young men had older healthy male role models thought their formative lives, prisons would be less occupied, suicides would reduce, family violence would decline, and all of society would benefit.
I have witnessed in abandofbrothers extraordinary men who give their time to fill this need, and in turn receive the great rewards themselves of the mentoring process.