As the founder of the Fight for the Fatherless, I was fortunate to be born into a supportive family in the UK, loved and cared for by both parents and brought up with the knowledge that I was created and therefore loved and valued by God. Unfortunately growing up I was subjected to many instances of Racism, Bullying and violence, which led me to believe that maybe I was not as valuable as others because of those damaging experiences.
As a consequence I left home at 15 not far short of my 16th birthday and in my mind I doubted my self worth. I knew that at this point my life was beginning to and could have spiralled completely out of control but it was over the next few years that various Role models continued to reinforce how valuable I was especially to God consistently encouraging me and giving me hope that I’d achieve great things. This was without doubt the key to saving my life and eventually helping me to fulfil my potential and become a World Natural Bodybuilding Champion.
I was determined that I would be that voice and Father – figure for others and so for over 20 years I was committed to working with children and specifically those, who for many tragic reasons, may have lost one or both parents or who at some point, have suffered the trauma of a disconnection with a parent or parents for various reasons.
My passion for working with these children led to me being honoured by my city and also being nominated for the Pride of Britain awards and In early 2013. I joined an independent school for vulnerable children aged 11 upwards, with the dream of using my talents as a competitive athlete, to help inspire them to discover their own gifts and self – worth.
Over the next few years lots of issues arose and it became clear that many children felt as if they had been forgotten. They felt they were not safe and felt unloved and uncared for and that sometimes life wasn’t worth living. I began to raise concerns and subsequently I resigned in order that I could begin what I knew was a necessary fight to raise the issues, firstly with outside agencies and then through the Media. and finally through Members of Parliament.
Even though it was acknowledged that the concerns were genuine and were also supported by evidence, many responsible simply refused to look into the issues to ensure the children were safe. As a result I become aware that many children without a voice and often without a parent or parents who are willing to stand up for them, face neglect both, emotionally and spiritually, not just in this case but in society in general Worldwide.
I knew that as a World level athlete and through my faith, I had the power and influence to change things. I knew I could be a voice as well as provide love, inspiration, hope and encouragement for the children and in doing so inspire the rest of society to do the same. I knew that together with other athletes and persons of influence, we could create a movement to make children’s lives better.
By sharing our personal stories and messages, we are able to connect with children to let them know that they are not forgotten, that they are loved by God and that he has a plan for their lives and that we are here to support them, emotionally and spiritually in all that they do.
Founder – Fight for the Fatherless.