They say one of the biggest issues in helping keep young inner city men on the right path is positive male role models that they can relate to.
Raised in part in the Tiverton Estate, by all accounts Robyn Travis lead a pretty road early life - he came from a family of drug dealers so those were his role models - so perhaps you might not think he makes an obvious candidate for a role model, But he's changed and after that change, he can speak from a position of both experience and reflection.
His life is outlined in his book, "Prisoner to the Streets" the launch for which is tomorrow at the Bernie Grant Centre. Its powerful message is: "DON’T LIVE THE LIFE I LIVED."
On a related note, I heard youth worker Patrick Regan by chance on local radio during the riots last summer and bought his book "Fighting Chance."
Like Travis, he also has direct experience of people growing up in difficult situations and he also wants to get a different point of view out there. In the face of negative media coverage over gangs and the cultures that surrounds them, his book is the stories of those who began in those situations but found themselves a better path. They never make headlines of course, but their struggle and stories deserve to be heard.