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Father2Father conference with an eye on the future

VISION: Courtney Brown with Samantha Cameron

ON NOVEMBER 21 hundreds will gather at the first ever Father2Father conference organised by Courtney Brown, founder of this much needed organisation.

The conference, scheduled to take place at Northumberland Park Community School, in Tottenham, north London, will feature motivational talks and networking and focus on the theme ‘protecting our children’s future’ and will feature workshops on parenting, community safety, and education.

Brown got the idea for Father2Father in 2011, established it as a social enterprise in 2013 and has, since that time, spent his spare time providing help and services for children and parents, particularly fathers.

Father2Father aims to promote family life and fatherhood by putting on events where fathers can learn to parent their children better, and spend quality time with them. The organisation also directs users to places where they can get additional support, such as legal advice and mediation services.

The vision statement of the organisation says: ‘Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers’. Inspired by Malachi 4:6, is an apt one, particularly when some of the youth problems we are witnessing such as knife crime and gang involvement can be attributed to the absence of fathers in the home.

Brown has many years experience mentoring and working with young people. He currently works as an assistant head of department at a school.

His work has made him aware of how important it is for young people to have their fathers in their lives.

He told Soul Stirrings: “Students would come into my office crying for the affection of their father.

“Sometimes it was because their father had gone off with another partner and was not paying any attention to the children or the mother had stopped them from seeing their fathers. Because of that, I’d see negative behaviour.”

He even admits that as a young man he sought validation from his father and turned to organising events and becoming a promoter in order to get it. And shared how his focus on being a successful promoter came at a price.

He recalled: “If I hadn’t changed my life it would have destroyed my relationship with my four boys.
“In my journey being a young father growing up, rather than me spending quality time with my boys I was too busy in the raving scene.

“So when I should have been taking my boys football and other things, their father was out being Courtney ‘Too Sweet’ the promoter.”

If there’s anything that has helped to make him a better father and husband it’s becoming a Christian just over a year ago – a spiritual turnaround he attributes to his wife’s prayers. And his newfound relationship with God has fuelled his drive, increased his self-awareness, given him greater understanding and made him strive to make a difference in the community.

There’s no doubt that Father2Father is having an impact. Brown was invited to a special event at 10 Downing Street earlier this year to meet other charity champions.

And increasingly, Father2Father is being approached by social service welfare agencies to do work with young fathers.

The Father2Father conference takes place on November 21 at Northumberland Park Community School, Trulock Road, London N17 0PG. Visit www.father2father.co.uk for more details

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