John Holmstrom

Community Conductor

I’m the very proud and often frustrated father of four young adult children (and recently a grandfather!).  I have worked in the homelessness sector for nearly 40 years, the last 9 as   CEO for Turning Tides, a West Sussex based charity. Under my leadership Turning Tides has grown from 50 to 70 staff with an increase from 70 to 300 volunteers. My mission as CEO has been to help anybody experiencing rough sleeping, to not just find homes but, to transform lives blighted by poverty, trauma, mental health and addiction.   I am also an accomplished  musician, playing soul, blues and classical musical on piano/keyboard along with regularly playing church organ in my Local church.
I’m also a 5th Dan in Ki Aikido, and 30 year member of a men’s book group.

I had been aware of ABOB for many years, and it’s growing reputation as a leader in the field of training mentors to work with young men involved with the criminal justice system.
However, I was not prepared for how powerful and transformative the work actually was until I joined the organisation in 2019. Since then I have been a regular of the Crawley ABOB community, and have experienced first hand, the potency of the work we do.
On a personal level, my own sense of confidence and wellbeing increased, along with receiving the support I needed when times have been challenging.  But most importantly, I have seen the powerful role that older men can play in the lives of the young men we are charged with working with, and how needed and necessary that work is to help them turn their lives around and thrive.
In ABOB terms “ I’m In”

I was both incredibly proud and surprised to be nominated and subsequently elected as the Conductor of the Crawley community in July 2022.  Crawley, although outwardly quite prosperous, has many social issues, particularly regarding young men, who are often unseen and marginalised. Although Crawley ABOB has a long history, being the second ABOB community to come online, with a strong and impressive track record of mentoring young men. It has also, arguably, had the most challenging time of all ABOB communities, This has resulted in the understandable fatigue and exhaustion of many of the pioneer men of ABOB Crawley, who have more than often gone above and beyond what has been expected of them as volunteers.

It’s my hope and vision that I can bring some of my professional skill and expertise along with my passion for this work, to revitalise and honour Crawley ABOB. A Band of Brothers is definitely needed in Crawley.