The Quest Program for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Gay Men

“The Quest ……. which focuses on encouraging feelings of identity authenticity, was successful in reducing feelings of internalised homophobia, which the present project and previous research have both identified as a key factor underpinning decreased wellbeing among BME MSM”
– Black and minority ethnic men who have sex with men, Project evaluation and systematic review (Public Health England, De Montfort University), May 2016

In 2015, The Quest was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) to deliver its flagship “The Quest Program” to Black, Asian and Minority Ethinic gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM). The final report from the evaluation can be found here.

Due to the overwhelming requests that have come in over the past year to deliver the program again, and following on from the feedback in the evaluation report, we will be running a subsidized BAME The Quest Program in 2017. This has been made possible by donations from Friends of The Quest initiative, along with our commitment following on from the PHE study.

When: Friday 21 July 2017 (7pm – 10pm), Saturday 22 July 2017 (10am – 6.00pm), Sunday 23 July 2017 (10am – 5.30pm); follow-up integration session Thursday 10 Aug 2017 (7pm – 10pm).

Final date for registrations – Fri 14 July

Click here for more information, dates and registration details. 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 →

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 →

The Quest Workshop for Black and Minority Ethnic Gay and Bisexual Men (London)

“Amazing! I would highly recommend it as the cultural aspects of upbringing did not need to be explained – participants ‘just understood’…” May 2015 Workshop Participant

Public Health England (PHE) has commissioned The Quest to deliver its flagship “The Quest Workshop” to Black African, Black Caribbean, mixed Black and other ethnicity (BME) gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM).

The delivery of the workshops is part of a wider PHE project evaluating different models of direct behaviour change interventions for BME gay men and MSM aimed at reducing health risk behaviour and building resilience.

The next workshop will take place in September (London). Please note that the workshop is now sold out and if you register, you will be going on a waiting list.

Feedback from participants on the March (London) workshop include:

“Really fantastic – I knew it would be life-changing; it has been”
“Enriching and transforming”
“Loving, Caring, Nurturing, Supportive, Wonderful”
“Unique, Special, Powerful”
“Challenging, Supportive & Rich”

Click here for more information, dates and registration details. Continue Reading →