Rites of Passage Adventure Weekend 2023

by JOURNEYMAN MENTORING NETWORK LIMITED in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

Total raised £4,247

raised so far

+ est. £647.75 Gift Aid



We're running our 2023 Rites of Passage weekend. We want this to be available to boys & men of all backgrounds regardless of financial means


We're still collecting donations

On the 22nd September 2023 we'd raised £3,827 with 44 supporters in 74 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

JourneymanUK has been working with boys, young men and their communities for the last 10 years. 

Our vision is to create communities in which volunteer mentors feel empowered to support young men during their transition from childhood to adulthood, thereby increasing their positive contribution to society and equipping them to deal with life’s challenges.

We're a registered charity dedicated to supporting boys aged 13 to 17 in discovering their potential and providing support during challenges. By providing a range of activities, experiential learning, training, mentoring and space for sharing, we enable communities to skilfully take responsibility for supporting their boys and young men become the adults they want to be. We transform men into mentors.

You can read more about us in this Telegraph article published in August 2021.

Why we need your support

Following the resounding success of our previous CrowdFunders (in 2021 we raised an incredible £23,060!) which allowed us to consolidate our central operations and deliver training and support for our ongoing mentor circles in Stroud, Bristol, Frome and Hereford - we're going live again to ask for your support in hosting our annual Rites of Passage Adventure (RoPA) Weekend.

The RoPA is our core offering to our communities of parents, mentors and young men and this September we are overjoyed to be able to deliver yet another incredible weekend for them all.

This is a powerful experience of self-discovery for teenage boys, taking place over three days of challenges, games and activities, supporting them to create a strong bridge from childhood to adulthood.

The young people are joined in their quest by a team of volunteer mentors (two men to every boy attending!) and are given multiple opportunities to learn about and value their unique gifts; to set and appreciate boundaries; and to begin the development of a mature sense of self that is rooted in a sense of responsibility to themselves and their community.

The outcomes reported by participants include:

  • An expanded sense of possibility and self-awareness 
  • A greater capacity to process and express emotions
  • An easing of anxiety and anger 
  • An increased sense of confidence and ability to set healthy boundaries
  • An appreciation and understanding of their past choices
  • An improvement in their capacity to make effective choices going forward

“Before the Rites of Passage weekend I was nervous, anxious and angry, I didn't know myself at all. The weekend has opened up so many things for me, it allowed me to step back and look at myself.  I know I can deal with my situation in my own way...it's an experience everyone should have. It's life changing” - RoPA Participant, 2019

You can read more about our outcomes in the study hosted here by the Centre for Male Psychology. 

Following the lockdowns and RoPA 2022, we still have a long list of boys who have been waiting for an opportunity to take part in this powerful experience. This year, we are hoping to offer places for 25 boys.

As a charity our intention is to keep costs to parents, carers and our volunteers as low as possible in order that the event is accessible to boys and men of all backgrounds and economic means. Whilst we do ask for a contribution to our costs we will never turn away participants for lack of funds, and so we need your support to ensure the event is feasible in terms of admin and logistics and sustainable for years to come. 

We need to fundraise £15,000 to help us deliver our next RoPA!

How your funds will help us:

£20 will provide 1 boy with a JourneymanUK hoodie and RoPA talismann 

£34 will provide food for 2 boys for the whole Weekend

£150 will cover costs for 2 Staff Men for the weekend

£300 will cover costs of 1 boy attending

£350 will enable a full Training Day for RoPA Staff Men

£500 will provide a Catering Team Leader for the whole Weekend

£1500 will provide the cost of our site hire for the entire four days!

£3000 will cover the full administrative costs for the RoPA (getting 50-60 boys and men in the same place at the same time takes quite some organisation!) 

We are also looking for corporate partners and sponsors - please get in touch.

If we exceed our target, all additional funds will go to help us run a RoPA in Spring 2024!

The problems we seek to solve

We've been through too many generations of inadequate mentorship for young boys and at Journeyman we're trying to build the foundations and scalability to support and train men to become the mentors they need to be for our young boys.

Navigating adolescence without guidance often leads boys to make poor decisions, leading to a path of harmful and high-risk behaviour. Many times, boys become confused, angry and feel lost, leading to poor academic performance, disengagement from school and learning, delinquent or violent behaviour, and becoming involved in substance abuse and/or gang activity.

Growing up is tough. For boys, growing up in a single parent home, especially without a father or a male role model, is even tougher. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there are 2.9 million lone-parent families in the UK, which is 14.7% of all families in the UK. Around 90% of those families are led by single mothers, with absent fathers. And according to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), 44% of children from lone-parent families are living in poverty. 

A recent study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry found that from a cohort of 19,000 young people, 17-year-olds were asked if they had ever hurt themselves “on purpose in an attempt to end your life”, 7% replied yes. When asked if they had self-harmed during the previous year, 24% responded that they had. 

We are seeing boys suffering in schools. Disruptive behaviour like bullying, acting out, truancy, disrespecting authority and classroom disruption can lead to suspension or exclusion from school. Excluded children are the most vulnerable: twice as likely to be in the care of the state, four times more likely to have grown up in poverty, seven times more likely to have a special educational need and 10 times more likely to suffer recognised mental health problems. And boys are significantly more likely to be excluded from school than girls. School authorities rarely have the time or the budget to get to the root of a boy’s problem(s) and the reason for his low academic achievement or negative behaviour. Repeated or permanent exclusion from school is a defining factor in whether an individual is likely to be NEET (not in education, employment, or training) later in life.  With the advent of the Covid19 pandemic, there has been a large increase in unemployment for young people aged 14 – 24. From September to November 2020, there was a 17% increase in unemployment for young men (compared with 8% increase for young women). 

Due to all these social, family, and economic stressors, many boys grow up with a damaged sense of belonging and self-worth. These are two characteristics that are critical for the formation of a healthy individual. This lack of confidence and self-esteem is devastating developmentally, and is made far worse by the loss or decline of protective factors such as positive male role model involvement, community mentoring and rites of passage.

How we do it

Our work requires a recognition and witnessing of the boy on the verge of stepping into adulthood; a moment where he can be seen and accompanied on the journey of leaving childhood attitudes behind and stepping up to be the man he wants to be, with all the responsibility, courage, and honour that this requires. This is his rite of passage.

True community support for these young men requires ongoing time and connection with adult male role models. They need space to explore and practice their interactions with others. They can learn how to handle conflict, fear, anxiety, responsibility, stress, feelings of shame, joy, anger – the full range of emotions, and what feelings are for and how to work with them constructively. 

Using experiential and informal education techniques, Journeyman also teaches critical life skills including: learning to listen and communicate in groups, how to build relationships at home and beyond (regardless of background/class/colour), how to speak up and build self-awareness, how to understand their emotional, cognitive and physical needs/changes. This is achieved through patient mentoring on a regular basis in local groups.

A lot of the work we do revolves around supporting the men who step up to mentor the boys. To be effective adult male role models, we must be willing to explore our own challenges and triggers as men. We emphasise a culture of service and giving as we receive – this is fundamental to the Journeyman way. 

It is easier to grow strong boys than to heal men who feel broken


This project offered rewards

£100 or more

Journeyman Hero

Get an exclusive JourneymanUK branded T-Shirt!

£350 or more

The Golden Ticket

One place on our 'Understanding Young Men' Online Course. This is our hugely popular online course - ideal for parents, carers, teachers and mentors - learn about our mentoring methods from the inside whilst supporting us to reach more young people!

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