Charity is changing the lives of young men

Band of Brothers Eastbourne community SUS-140904-115321001
Band of Brothers Eastbourne community SUS-140904-115321001
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It’s a well-known truth that in modern society, the majority of men are on a constant quest to be stronger, fitter, more successful and more attractive than their peers.

This competitive culture creates a fear that can be all-consuming and detrimental to the lives of men and their families.

That’s where abandofbrothers come in. The charity sees itself as a helping hand to troubled young men from every section of society, guiding them through a ‘rite of passage’ that will see positive social change and personal development.

Paul Apps, a community leader for Eastbourne, said, “There’s a real thing out there where men have a built-in fear of each other. When young men build on these underlying fears, we see serious and damaging behaviour that develops into harmful social problems affecting friends, family and the community. These can show as outward anger, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol misuse, addiction to video games and lack of interest in work and life.

“What we do is support young men through a ‘rites of passage’ process that evolves over a long weekend, where we encourage them to do some serious soul-searching. We show them how amazing they are.

“Then, they engage in a 12-week mentoring programme where they are paired with older men from the community, who they meet on a regular basis to talk through any issues they have. At the end, we hold a graduation ceremony to celebrate their work and achievements. We’re someone who these young men can rely on, someone who’s there for them.”

Abandofbrothers started six years ago in Brighton, where it concentrated primarily on young and repeat offenders, successfully stopping around 80 per cent of men re-offending. Since, it has branched out to Crawley and now Eastbourne.

Abandofbrothers doesn’t just benefit those young men who complete the programme and even though there is a cost to go through the course, Paul believes it is money well spent.

He added, “I think all men need to go through this programme - it’s a rite of passage,it’s a boot camp for the soul.

“These men come out the other end much wiser, balanced and able to deal with the challenging world we live in. It doesn’t only benefit them, it benefits their families, friends and local communities as there are less poor choices made by these young men, less depression, less aggression, more interaction with the community and more positive role models.

“During the programme, we do a number of community projects as well, whether that be cleaning up a community garden, sitting and chatting with people in care homes or painting a fence in a school.

“Young men come here with all this fear, self-doubt and frustration and this programme changes their lives. It’s extremely fulfilling and magical to see.”

Abandofbrothers relies on donations. For more information, visit the website or contact Paul on paul.apps@aband 07915 055108.