Founder of XLP: “I’m really motivated by wanting to see change”
“CEO of @xlplondon, @artsxlp & @xlpmentoring, @xlpgapyear speaker, author, husband, dad of four wonderful kids, aim in life is to try and make a difference.” Patrick Regan’s Twitter bio does a good job of summing up his eventful life.
“Those who work at XLP share a common passion,” says Patrick. “To serve the community by meeting the social, educational and behavioural needs of young people, and empowering them to make wise lifestyle choices and to realise their potential.”
Without his charity, Patrick says that he would probably be involved in sports management but he couldn’t be happier developing XLP. Since he launched the charity, the concept has grown into a gap year programme, mentoring schemes and an arts programme.
“I see young people who come on a gap year grow in confidence and realise that, even though they may be from a very different culture and background, they do have things in common with each other and the young people in London, and are connected in some way.”
Patrick’s a devout Christian but XLP welcomes and brings together young people of different faiths.
Steven Ita, 22, started to get involved with XLP six years ago after his GCSEs. Now, he’s working for them and believes that this work and Patrick has changed his life.
“[Patrick’s] in a way helped mould me and make me understand that my future is brighter,” says Steven.
Watch Steven talk about Patrick and how XLP has influence him.
For Patrick, it’s essential to keep young people in society active and to give them a voice.
“We need to work alongside them to create those opportunities,” says Patrick. “It’s long and hard work but ultimately it makes a huge difference for not only the young person’s life, but for their family and community.”
See what happened when Patrick met David Cameron.
17 years on, Patrick still has no problem finding the drive to help young people.
“I’m really motivated by wanting to see change; and by knowing that what we do can make a tangible difference to a person’s life. My faith also motivates me. To me faith is not sitting in church on a Sunday morning and singing hymns, though that may be part of it.
“Faith without action is dead, and our values of loving your neighbour as yourself and caring for the marginalised in society are really important. Sometimes it is tough and can be a real struggle but I know that my faith has been a source of strength for me to keep going when things do get hard.”