Speaking from the ‘I’

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Programme.

Jean-Felix Callens attended The Quest Workshop in November 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Programme?

Firstly, it was recommended by my psychotherapist. Secondly, it was recommended by two close friends.

What was your experience of The Quest Programme?

It was life affirming and life changing. I experienced “a before and an after” The Quest. I had done a lot of work on myself prior to attending the programme and The Quest did not only consolidate this work, but it also took it much further. Darren and Ade have designed a solid and powerful programme that took me on a challenging and supportive journey of self-discovery in a diverse group of gay man who are all, included myself, learning to love and accept ourselves on a deeper level. Continue Reading →

Speaking from the ‘I’

‘My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Graham Hadley attended The Quest Workshop in May 2013……

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I was introduced to The Quest through a friend who had been on the weekend workshop. I had been doing lots of personal development work through an organisation called ‘The Essence Foundation’ and a series of gay men events through Loving Men. I was intrigued to see how The Quest was different to Essence and Loving Men.

I did go along to a Quest First Tuesday gathering in Soho to get a better idea about The Quest before going on the course. I received such a warm and friendly welcome that I decided to do The Quest weekend workshop in May 2013. Continue Reading →

Speaking from the ‘I’

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Robert Ramcharan attended The Quest Workshop in January 2012…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

After coming out as gay in my 40’s, I increasingly became a big believer that I personally needed to continually examine and develop myself and not stand still or fear change. I began to believe that I needed to think about my actions and reactions in the light of a wide range of developmental guides, regarding human thought processes.

I had come from what would I call ‘a life for others’, rather than myself, where I was married to a woman for nearly 20 years, with no male sexual encounters or gay experiences, up until the age of 40. I had 2 kids with my wife, which meant a lot of responsibility. I had been bought up with quite a bit of Roman Catholic guilt, as well as coming from an Asian West Indian background, involving expectations of what a “normal” life should be.

When I inevitably came out (I really had no choice in the matter, not because the situation was out of my control, but because not living my true self was impossibility). I went very wild, but eventually discovered that even this behaviour was not me either.

I had recently done a course which encouraged me to get involved in a community project. I had read “The Velvet Rage” by Alan Downs regarding the fact that shame was a significant (hidden) driver behind many gay men’s behaviour; I was very keen on getting involved in any project that bought Alan to the UK to speak to gay men. After some private research and advice from friends who had heard of Darren and Ade and their work, I met them in a West End restaurant. We talked a lot and I found them passionate and engaging. I was encouraged to first try the course and perhaps possibilities would develop from there, given my personal belief, I had no hesitation in agreeing. Continue Reading →

Speaking from the ‘I’

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Peter Cotton attended The Quest Workshop in November 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I have come out as a gay man late in life and have been keen to develop an enjoyable and supportive network through which I can have fun, learn more about myself and discover what it now means for me to be gay. Part of that network has been a gay men’s massage group “Men in Touch”. I was enjoying the tactile aspect of the group as well as the opportunity to form relationships. So when “Men in Touch” (or “Touch Magic” as it was then) joined forces with The Quest to run a day workshop on “Making Room for Love”, I signed up for it. Through that, I was introduced to the two Quest facilitators, to their style of working and to the original basis of their work: “The Velvet Rage” by Alan Downs, a book which, co-incidentally, I had read not long before. Through the autumn of 2014, I attended several First Tuesday Quest Socials, found them very congenial events and eventually signed up for the November workshop. Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Paul Ryan attended The Quest Workshop in April 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

When the train hits the buffer it comes to a stop; well my life hit a buffer and I felt there was no way to go forward – just like the train hitting the buffer, with no way forward.

It all started with my best friend dying, and within weeks of his death I lost my job, and learned that my mother did not recognize me when I went to see her, (she passed away on the last day of my workshop). My confidence went down like sinking ship, I felt I did not belong, had no value in life, was unloved, unworthy of anybody and did not love myself. I had two choices –  to go down the road of life long depression and a life of loneliness or find help to recover my confidence and rebuild my social life make new friends and stop procrastination my life and avoiding myself.

Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Tobias Oliver attended The Quest Workshop in November 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

The last two years has seen a great deal of challenge and change, both good and bad, for me and my family. Perhaps inevitably, this brought with it a greater sense of introspection and self-examination. (I turned forty a few years’ ago, so perhaps it’s just a mid-life crisis or ‘spiritual awakening’!)

Whatever the reason, I felt compelled to take a long, hard look at myself and my life. Something I have so skilfully avoided in the past, mainly because it’s difficult and I don’t usually like what I see. I had a good idea what was probably lurking there and it scared me. I was afraid.

Then I picked up a flyer for The Quest in Soho on a visit to London – I live in Sheffield, but am frequently in the capital to visit family or for work – and it spoke to me. I kept reading it, and visiting The Quest website. Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Mark Ward attended The Quest Workshop in December 2012…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I ‘came out’ to everyone at the age of 48 in the summer of 2011. I had spent years of living a heterosexual life peppered with some vague mumblings to a few close friends about being bisexual. In my adult life I had never had sex with a man, but had experienced two physical relationships with women in my late 20s and early 30s interspersed with long periods of celibacy. So I was ‘out’ but pretty confused and unsure ‘how’ to live my new self.

In my many searches on the Internet looking for answer to my confusion, I came upon a reference to the book “Love me as I am” and I eagerly ordered a copy. The book both resonated with me and left me with even more questions. At the end of the book was a link to The Quest website. I visited it and then without much thought or procrastination (unusual for me) I found myself booking onto a workshop. I didn’t know what it would involve or whether it would be right for me, but I knew I had to take the leap (any leap) and ‘do’ something.

Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Ian Smith attended The Quest Workshop in September 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I had developed a general malaise towards life. I felt disconnected from my friends and my surroundings. Feeling that no-one understood me and because of that I didn’t want to try and connect with them anymore. At weekends I would only leave the house to scratch the itch of needing sexual contact, otherwise I would have been in my pyjamas all weekend. Life wasn’t getting worse, but it definitely wasn’t getting any better. I decided some changes need to be made. Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Steve Harding attended The Quest Workshop in June 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I became aware of the work of The Quest through a mutual friend of Ade’s. Over the years I have done a fair amount of personal development work, but this has been largely one to one and I was keen to gain a new perspective on my ‘story’ through group work.

What was your experience of The Quest Workshop?

I found The Quest workshop challenging, nourishing, enlightening and overall a life-enhancing experience. Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Jide Rowland Macaulay attended The Quest Workshop in April 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

First it was my curiosity to find out what was going on. I knew that I had issues, mostly especially at the time I was struggling with many undecided matters about my sexuality and importantly decisions about my future. Deciding how to deal with issues with my “family of origin”, dealing with both internalized anger and external abuses, my religious community and reconciling my sexuality as a black gay man of faith, and of Nigeria descent.

What was your experience of The Quest Workshop?

Extreme, candid and authentic, extremely genuine and a life saving experience. Whilst I have attended numerous workshops about being gay and life, The Quest workshop stood out as exceptional, and I have since challenged myself to build on what I have learnt, so I can move forward positively. Continue Reading →