Mentor scheme for young men wins Queen’s award

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A voluntary group which mentors young men with troubled backgrounds has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

aBandofBrothers, is a community of men in Crawley who are committed to personal and social change by providing a modern day rites of passage and mentoring young men who want to find a route out of a life of crime.

The volunteer mentors, from the local area, provide a community based solution to the problem of young male disaffection.

Nathan Roberts, chief executive of the initiative, said: “To receive this award is a great honour.

“It recognises the contribution of over 150 men from Brighton, Crawley and Eastbourne who have stepped up to work with troubled young men across our County.

“It is our belief that young men need positive role models and to gain a sense of belonging to their community.

“Only volunteers can do this. Giving of themselves in this way is not easy. It takes time, commitment and courage to show up.

“I am immensely proud of all of our volunteers and what they have achieved over the years.

“What we have achieved, and to be recognised in this way, is testament to the power of small groups of committed to making the world a better place.”

Dan Hartley and Nathan Roberts from aBandofBrothers attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 28, along with the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.

aBandofBrothers is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

aBandofBrothers will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex later this summer.

Martyn Lewis CBE, The Queen’s Award for voluntary service committee chair, said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.”

Rob Wilson, minister for civil society, said: “I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”