Top award for crime prevention charity

The A Band of Brothers community with the Lord Lieutenant Peter Field on the presentation of their Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - picture by Ben Cole (contributed)
The A Band of Brothers community with the Lord Lieutenant Peter Field on the presentation of their Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - picture by Ben Cole (contributed)
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A charity which helps people in Crawley turn their lives around has received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

A Band of Brothers has received the highest accolade for volunteer groups for its work to improve the lives of troubled men and their families.

The charity, which started six years ago, has a remarkable success rate having prevented more than 80 per cent of young men from reoffending by applying contemporary rites of passage as a process for building awareness and understanding. It has enabled them discover their sense of community purpose.

Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, who presented them with the award at a ceremony in Brighton last month, said: “A Band of Brothers is an exciting charity that is delivering real positive transformation to the lives of troubled men - especially young men.

“The Queen’s Award is a very special award for community service and I was pleased to make the presentation on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. This is the highest honour a voluntary organisation can receive and it is equivalent to a group MBE.”

The government estimates that the financial cost of troubled families is £9bn each year, £8bn of which is spent reacting to the problems caused and experienced by these families. By comparison, an estimated £1bn (11 per cent of total expenditure) was being spent on targeted interventions to help families address their problems long-term.

The Government now recognises A Band of Brothers for its innovative approach in tackling the issue, which has seen it grow from a small charity into a national social enterprise working with the criminal justice system and other government agencies.

The charity, which is based in East Brighton, is set to become one of the leading organisations working within the criminal justice system to prevent young people from re-offending.

Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Warren Morgan, said: “The success of A Band of Brothers is truly inspirational, and they have done so much to turn around the lives of young men in the area I represent and across the city. I hope for many years of continued success.”

Charity chief executive Nathan Roberts said: “This is a great honour to be recognised for our work, but to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, is a real privilege and testimony to the hard work of all the men who give their time to help build positive communities.

“I’m deeply grateful for their commitment to this very important cause.

“We want to build resilient communities, but in order to do that we need to reimagine the role of men and fundamentally change men’s roles and responsibilities in the world beyond the hero stereotype that’s commonly perpetuated.

“By bringing generations of men together to collaborate in a meaningful and common purpose, A Band of Brothers acts as a catalyst for creating social capital at a local level.

“Our work is only just beginning, and this is a great achievement, but we’ve got a long way to go.

“We need more men willing to step up and help transform the lives of young men by being constructive role models and mentors.

“Together we can make a huge difference.”

For more information about A Band of Brothers visit abandofbrothers.org.uk

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