www.hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk     Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Photo Sam Butterfield

Photo Sam Butterfield

A Band of Brothers in Hastings

A Band of Brothers. Changing the world, one man at a time. A Band of Brothers is a charity established by men committed to positive social change through personal development and community building. The organisation was born out of concern at the continuing escalation of self-destructive and anti-social behaviour among young men from every section of society, together with the realisation that any meaningful and sustainable solution entails the reclamation of shared local responsibility. Justin Bridger writes.

A Band of Brothers (ABOB) is coming to Hastings! A Band of Brothers is a volunteer mentoring/rites of passage programme for men. When I started out I was unsure what to expect. “What’s it all about?,” I asked. My mentor replied: “It’s whatever you want it to be. Whatever your passion, bring it to A Band of Brothers and ask for their support”. For me, this is the beauty of ABOB. Its flexible; all men young and older can find a place. Come along and be involved right at the start of developing this programme in Hastings and St Leonards on Sea.

Fishing, cycling, poetry, art, education, gardening, cooking, mindfulness, boxing,  fitness, walking and yoga are just some of our men’s interests. The young men get a great deal from the older men’s interests – and we all get support from each other and learn from each other and many have become good friends. Although ABOB are a group of men, our intent is to better ourselves, working with families and our communities. Positive role models are in short supply.

The cycle

Then there’s the cycle. We work with our shadows, the archetypes. Self development. A safe place to share and be authentic. And there’s fun too. We have a good laugh.

The Hastings men will have the full support of the Eastbourne men and each man will have a mentor to call on. We need at least 5 or 6 passionate and committed men to start things off. Men who are looking for a chance to belong to something bigger and make a lasting change.

The commitment (roughly) will be over the next 6-9 months.

3 x residential weekends training. This includes (1 x) Beyond the Hero: Mentor weekend training. (1 x) The Quest: Mentee weekend staffing. (Mentors and Mentees undertake the same training.) And (1 x) Mentoring Training Weekend.

Then, 12 weeks commitment to attend the Eastbourne circle for in-house training and relationship building (with flexibility for holidays/families etc). We run 12week cycles. At the end of each cycle, there is a celebration homecoming event to celebrate each man’s journey. Family members and community leaders are welcome.

The circle meets 7.30pm-9.30pm each Thursday at The Blind Centre, 124-142 Longstone Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 8DA.

A Hastings Band of Brothers

In only one week of advertising – mostly word of mouth, there has been some really positive feedback and much interest. As I am sure you would agree, Hastings could really benefit from having an ABOB community in our town. There are very few places where young men can express themselves; this can be frightening and they can feel further isolated and misunderstood.

A Band of Brothers is a pan-Sussex organisation that offers young men a rites of passage experience and mentoring to help them make the difficult transition. I am proud to be involved. They do some amazing work with these young guys… and it works; I’ve seen it.

The first training weekend starts around the end of February. We are looking to arrange another introduction evening in Hastings a couple of weeks before this. We’d love to hear from you.

Write to Justin via justinbridger@hotmail.co.uk or call on 07737 369 775 or connect via the Facebook Page.

More information here: A Band of Brothers and A Band of Brothers in Eastbourne.

Posted 15:11 Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017 In: Home Ground


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