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While mentoring underprivileged youth at North London’s Arsenal Football Club, I noticed regular and alarming newspaper reports about the deaths of local young men in knife related stabbings and high levels of male suicide. When I discussed childhood issues with the young men and discovered that absent fathers, gangs, childhood poverty, a dearth of male role models, mental health issues, existential issues related to the ‘growing pains’ of youth emerging into adulthood in challenging inner city London was a theme commonly running through their lives. And so the project Young Men, Worst Fears was born. It seemed that the question ‘What is your worst fear’ ignited their imagination and caused them to drop their guard. It was as if they were unravelling. They were vocalising their frustrations without inhibition and welcomed the chance to communicate their truth.


'Being broke and being a bum and not being able to do anything with my life.'

TOMMY 2020.

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