This is my Ethos Young Leader story.

I didn’t have the best childhood I could dream of: as a little boy who used to live in a violent neighbourhood I was getting into bad things such as selling drugs and in trouble with the law.

I was always getting myself mixed up with negative people and I was that boy who was angry all the time. I used to carry knives as protection from others.

This phase started when I was around 11, but below that age I was good – I was doing homework, going to primary school, being happy, but things changed over time..

Farah Bashir
Then came a time when I was moved around a lot of different parts of the UK due to my behaviour. Some people would have called me “A Menace To Society” but there was no father figure for me to look up to. That’s why I was being like this – I didn’t have any sense of the world itself. When I ended up being moved to South Wales, I still had the anger in me but over time I calmed myself down – thinking of the need to change myself.

After living in Wales for four years, I had a bigger picture of life. I went back to live in my original area but I still had police stopping and searching me and it was very hard for me to live a good life while being monitored by the police so they were always trying to find something to arrest me on. I made some bad choices and I sort of got led back to my past life by my peers. Then I met a guy that was speaking to me about how he had been a criminal and how he changed his life. I stopped doing it then and started working with Lyden who is in the Violence Reduction Unit and I’ve ended up working in Ethos as a Youth Leader.

I am helping others to not go in the same route as me – or even if they already have they can still change – this is my message:

For The Youths Of Tomorrow


The moral of this story is that: don’t do what I have done because it’s not worth it. I know you want to get a street rep or you want to sell drugs to help your family or friends or even take a knife with you as protection from your enemies. it’s just not worth it man because at the end you’re the one who will be dead or go to jail for possession of a knife and drugs, you don’t want to end up there – let me tell you that it’s not a nice place to be:  I know associates that have been there and they are not the same when they come out.


If any of your friends tells you to carry a weapon just stop and think what will happen to that guy or girl and who will it affect even with drugs. There are other ways to make money. I know that’s the only thing you know but seriously you can learn with a job that you can make legitimate income.


Why not come work for EthosVO? We are a brilliant charity organisation that have different projects we do and learn from others and yourself.

What have I learnt from being part of Ethos?

From working with Ethos I have learnt how to work together as a team to achieve that outcome. I have been coming to all the meetings and recently I have been getting there on time. I am learning new things everyday thanks to my work peers.

I have been able to listen to others and give a lot of positive feedback. For example:

There was a time (with Get Berkshire Active) where I brought a lot of different ideas in the meeting of how to help the youths get involved with free activities in their area.

There was a complex case that drew my attention.  I had to help a young boy out and now he will become part of the team. I’m so happy the team is excited about that.

I have learnt how to use ClickUp (project management software)  – it’s straightforward and also Slack (work communication app) too which is great to be honest.

From Universal Credit to my First Experience Working in Ethos

Once I onboarded with Ethos I thought it was going to be easy. I was looking forward to getting some work done but all I was doing was setting up my checklist so there wasn’t a lot to do  – just to go on Slack and see what other projects I could get involved in then. But once another week rolled around I was invited to a virtual meeting talking with the violence reduction unit in Northumbria! It was great that Rob said I handled it correctly and assertively and gave all the right information. Since then, I have been helping with projects which I enjoy. I have met colleagues from different parts of the UK and they are good to talk to and they are always happy to help their fellow members. I was working with Holly generating the Young Leader recruitment video using Canva (graphic software) to animate the slides. I enjoyed doing a project called the Hope Hack collective where I helped brainstorm ideas for tasks and placed them on ClickUp.

Working with my work navigator Joel and my other mentors – here are some team working skills I have learnt during my employment

Problem Solving

Rob invited Leon (another Young Leader) and me to help this teen who was in crisis. We had a chat with him about his troubles. After that, Leon and I had a meeting to talk about how we could help the troubled teen. We made a plan so we could achieve it. The youth is interested in getting involved with us so we helped him out and got him on the right track.

Professional Attitude

I’m always polite and I talk professionally in meetings and they like that from their workplace.

Work Ethic

I have been finishing my projects so what I have done I have finalised it to make it understandable for the audience to read my presentation and give positive feedback.

Time Management

I’m always coming on time with my meetings so that it’s better for me and the employer so he or she can praise me and it’s good for the future to practice. I message my colleagues to keep them updated on what is happening if there is a reason I am late.


I am always keeping up with Slack with my colleagues.

Contribute To The Work Environment

By always being cheerful and bubbly and having a laugh. I am a caring person – putting people first it’s my nature. I always ask people how they are doing and treat everyone like individuals. I don’t want other people to worry about me and my personal life, so I always talk about good things and help everyone feel happier.

  • – image generating software
  • ClickUp – project management software – creating tasks and folders, file sharing and working collaboratively
  • Using Slack – to send messages to colleagues and partners in text and audio
  • Oral communication – sharing information about Young Leaders with partners in meetings
  • Using email – reaching out to potential partners
  • Google Docs
Rob Pye

Rob Pye

Ethos Founder

So what to say about Farah? He’s outspoken, passionate, caring, enthusiastic.  Just a good bloke really.  When you read Farah’s story and work with him, it’s hard not to be moved. Of course after just a few months with our online work platform we need to be careful to not push too hard. We need to develop further “work packages” that are appropriate and be mindful that this is hopefully just the beginning of a journey that will last the rest of his life. I want to say “thank you” for the trust Farah has placed in Ethos and those within our community.  I’m looking forward to doing more amazing things with young vulnerable adults over the coming months.

Suzanne Watts

Suzanne Watts

Work Mentor

Working with Farah has been extremely rewarding. He has a natural ability to connect with people in a positive and uplifting way in remote online meetings. Just recently, the social media team wanted someone to look into TikTok and Farah was the first to step forward. He asked partner Jake Richings for help and reported back to the group with an analysis of the app  – using our project management platform. We voted to go ahead, and Farah is now setting up this new initiative with some help from Annabelle.  He has earned his place as a valuable member of the team.

Joel Escayg

Joel Escayg

Work Navigator

Farah brings a great energy to every call he is on and has a strong passion for helping other young people, which is a great benefit to young leaders.

Third party support worker commentary

“It’s amazing to see the transformation in this young man after just one month. Impressive”

Find out more

Farah has been employed as a Young Leader with financial support from the Department of Work and Pensions Kickstart scheme and in partnership with Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit. Find out more.

How you can get involved

Refer a young person on Universal Credit to Ethos VO Young Leaders 

Apply to be a volunteer mentor to a young person like Farah