Pez Nye, 47, Landscape gardener, Cornwall
How did you know about abob?
A friend of mine in Cornwall invited me to a small gathering with abob’s Head of Programmes, Hugh Newton. It’s funny but I didn’t actually know I was looking for anything at the time, it wasn’t in my awareness. There were about 10 of us and our circle started from there.
So then you did the rites of passage weekend?
Yes, I did it as quickly as I could. And it was world-changing for me. I can’t remember the details of the weekend because I have health problems that hinder me in that way, but it was amazing. I knew that I wanted to carry on and for abob Cornwall to go ahead. I’d been having confidence problems and the weekend helped me with building blocks around relationships that I could use straight away. I realised how rites of passage weekends can change lives, for all men.
What were your health problems?
I had cancer when I was 19 and which was treated with chemotherapy and considerable radiotherapy to my head. Now at my age, I am being affected by this past treatment. I have some cognitive impairment and permanent double vision.
Did it help being able to release big emotions like anger and grief at the weekend?
Yes, hugely. It’s taken time to unfold afterwards but BTH transformed the way I approach my life. I knew that I needed help but wasn’t sure what I needed. I was able to let go of a lot of grief and anger around my cancer and that allowed me a new freedom and confidence.
How was it to have the support of other men?
Amazing. It’s such a big part of the work we do and also my life to be able to trust and feel safe.
How has your wife been about it all?
She really encouraged me to go to the initial small gathering and she’s been there supporting me all the time with abob. We both feel it’s transformed our relationship.
What’s happening with abob Cornwall?
We’re expanding. We are currently deciding whether to become two groups so that we can serve more men. We’ll potentially be in Penzance and Falmouth. We want to create more opportunities, especially for the younger men to come to the weekly meetings.