Project information

The Quest - Rites-of-Passage Mentoring

abandofbrothers (ABOB) provides a unique rites-of-passage mentoring programme to young men (18-25) involved with the Criminal Justice System (CJS). It is a social action solution, aimed at enabling groups of community members to self-organise and tackle complex social problems.

March 2019 - March 2020

Charity information: abandofbrothers

abandofbrothers logo
  • Need


    We work with a community of young men who, very often, grow up without a male role model. They have often experienced, or witnessed, domestic violence. They may have been sexually abused. They may have experienced neglect. They are likely to have lived in a sub culture where no means of peaceful conflict resolution exists and where drug and alcohol abuse is
    Rates of reoffending among 18-25 year olds in the criminal justice system remain stubbornly high.


    These young men have entrenched narratives about their lives and how things will work out for them – these narratives have often been in place since childhood.
    They tell them that they are useless and that the only way they can make money, or earn the respect of their peers, is by committing crime. The Quest mentoring programme works to change these stories, and help these young people transition to adulthoods which are free of crime and full of meaning, purpose, and connection.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reduction in re-offending.


    » The young men who take part in the Quest retell their personal narrative and see that crime isn't the only way. They remain part of the community.

    What success will look like

    Our in depth evaluation model will demonstrate the reduction of severity, and incidence of re-offending.

    Aim 2

    Increase in volunteering


    » The Quest strengthens and creates community. Young men who take part in in often stay part of this community and give back.

    What success will look like

    Our in depth evaluation model measures this as one of its indicators.

  • Impact


    Over time we expect to see a reduction in re-offending in areas where we run the Quest. We expect to see a strengthening community, and long term changes for the young men.
    After the Quest, they are welcome to continue to be a part of the local ABOB Community on a regular or ad hoc basis. Clients will regularly reach out to us five to ten years after their initial programme. These communities provide ongoing support and hubs of community action.


    One risk is not having enough trained volunteers to lead programmes and support parts of programmes
    We therefore always ensure engagement standards are kept high – both in terms of getting the numbers and the quality of volunteers
    Another risk is that we failing to engage the young men referred by probation. We therefore ensure that we use trusted men from the local community to spearhead engagement.


    We can report to donors in a number of different ways, from detailed reports based on our evaluations to stories and experiences from the young men we work with.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,700

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,050 Residential Weekend This marks the beginning of The Quest and is set in nature away from modern day distractions.
      £6,450 Mentoring Programme This pays for all the mentoring costs associated with providing young men with a 12 week programme.
      £1,200 Other programme costs For example, this includes the cost of regular community meetings
  • Background


    The Quests will take place in one of the abandofbrothers communities. We have active communities in Brighton, Crawley, Eastbourne, Oxford, Cornwall, and Haringay. There are others in the pipeline. These are all areas where a need has been identified amongst the community.
    It isn't just the young men themselves, but the whole communities that are blighted by the issues that abandofbrothers tackles.


    The project will support 10 young men on each Quest, identified by local probation services. It will support them, their communities and families.
    Tony, a graduate from The Quest said: “The guys from A Band of Brothers helped me to be more confident about working life and getting a job. About 7 months ago I got a job as a trainee Scaffolder and have worked full-time for the company ever since. I haven’t got in any more trouble and it feels great to be grafting and earning proper money."

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    What differentiates The Quest from other mentoring or development programmes is that the volunteers who mentor the young men are from their local community and the relationship developed between the mentee and the wider community endures long after the programme has ended. We have young men who participated in The Quest ten years ago in Brighton who now comes back to volunteer. We have shown that this works and has demonstrable results.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nathan Roberts

    CEO, and one of the founders. In 2014 he was a runner up in the Sunday Times Changemakers Social Entrepreneur of the year Award.

    Dan Hartley

    Head of Operations - over a decade of experience leading Local Government projects supporting young people with multiple disadvantage.

    Hugh Newton

    Head of Programmes & Training and has been involved in men's work for over 18 years. A qualified Facilitator and Coach in related disciplines.

    Rowan Bainbridge

    Chair of Trustees. Following an international career in industry which included being the chief executive of a plc, Rowen is now a management consulta