A youth mentoring programme in Eastbourne has helped a young man get his life back on track following an extremely difficult period in his life.
A Band of Brothers (ABOB), a charity which helps young male ex-offenders, supported George Ross, 20, following a court case and the death of his father.
George, who was convicted of robbery but not given a prison sentence due to mitigating circumstances, attended a 13-week mentoring programme with ABOB.
He said, “It’s changed my life because it’s helped me look at situations in a different way and now I understand that I can make my own choices in life. I don’t have to go along with people who have been a bad influence.
“I feel really sorry about what I did and won’t let myself get into that kind of situation again,”
His mentor, Nick Pharaoh, a 59-year-old builder and father of four, worked closely with George throughout his experience with the charity, supporting him through court appearances and meetings with his probation officer.
Nick said, “I’ve got as much out of this relationship as George has. I’m really impressed by how he’s getting his life together and moving on from a difficult start in life.”
The pair met weekly during the programme, going for walks on the Downs or discussing George’s challenges including living arrangements, work and personal relationships.
George said that Nick and others at A Band of Brothers also helped him improve his relationship with his dad, who died last December.
A Band of Brothers, which has branches in Brighton, Eastbourne, Croydon, Oxford and Haringey, aims to tackle issues in young men such as recurrent physical violence, a limited capacity for intimacy and empathy, narcissism or low-self worth.
The organisation offers brief residential workshops for teens and adults, aiming to build positive relationships between men and their peers, allowing them to express their emotions and concerns without advice or judgement.
George now has a part-time job as a cleaner and has found Nick and the charity’s support invaluable.
He said, “I feel much more confident now. I’m really grateful to Nick and ABOB for their help.”