A Band of Brothers restarted its ‘rites of passage’ weekend this month.
The charity, which works with 18–25-year-olds who have been caught up in crime, addiction or gangs, usually runs the event twice a year but this has been put on hold since September 2019 due to the pandemic.
The weekend is an ‘initiation’ for men who are wanting to turnaround their lives and offers ‘transformative change’ to those who take part, according to a spokesperson.
In 2014, the Eastbourne-branch of the charity started with the aim of ‘empowering every man to fulfil their potential with a sense of meaning, connection, and purpose’.
A spokesperson from the charity said, “The weekend offers possibilities for change, healthy psychological processes, one-on-one mentoring and group discussions that gives all those young men attending an opportunity to talk about what daily difficulties they face and what are the blocks to them making changes in their lives.
“Those participating included trained leaders, staff, mentors in training as well as the young men.
“The setting is in the countryside, away from the usual daily pressures and allows the group to fully focus on the work.”
Nick Carling, the charity’s Eastbourne conductor, said, “The ‘rites of passage’ weekend is the start of the journey for these young men, offering them an opportunity to explore the narrative of their lives and to perhaps start doing things a little differently.
“This weekend is then followed by a 12-week mentoring programme, working with trained mentors as the young men look to deal with their issues and start to build for a brighter future.”
One of the participants, 25-year-old Daniel Turner, said, “I was extremely nervous about the weekend, but these soon settled as I was made to feel welcome, and the experience has really helped me finally face up to my addictions and move forward.
“I have no regrets about attending and I am looking forward to the next 12-weeks and beyond.”
The next ‘rites of passage’ weekend is planned for March 2022.