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A valuable visit from #SheIsNotYourRehab

Last month, Woodlands School were lucky enough to receive a visit from Matt and Sarah Brown from She is not your rehab. The young people had a great time and expressed how valuable it was to hear Matt's story.

"Taimalelagi Mataio Faafetai (Matt) Brown, is a New Zealand born Samoan author and renowned communicator who works to eradicate domestic violence by supporting those who perpetrate violence, to heal. A survivor of family violence and childhood sexual abuse himself, he originally started his domestic violence advocacy work by sharing his story with the men who frequented his busy barbershops as a way to foster vulnerability, healing, and connection. Matt believes his true calling lies in his work to redefine societies view of masculinity and to help end the cycle of domestic violence plaguing families all over the world. For over a decade Matt has hosted free men’s anti-violence support groups from locations like barbershops, construction sites, gang pads, prisons and in indigenous spaces. He has facilitated multiple programs inside men’s and youth prisons and was named a Corrections NZ patron in 2020. "

As part of the their most recent tour, Matt, Sarah and their children came over to Wrexham to speak tell their story and introduce their movement. In the run up to the visit, the young people took part in some 'Break The Cycle Week'. Our definition of 'Break the cycle' is that it can mean different things to different people, depending on our personal experiences. This is why the week can be so powerful and meaningful to us all. Breaking the cycle of something usually means changing something for the better

  • Pattern of behaviour

  • Routine of something

  • Changing the way we do something

  • Changing the way we think

The week involved attending a talk at Coleg Cambria along with varied workshops at Woodlands School itself. These workshops included creating their very own logo to represent the key message for the week, which started with scetches and then became digitalised. We tasked the young people to think about their own meanings for 'break the cycle' and what they believe would be important for themselves or others to break. We also created footprints highlighting gender stereotypes!


In the activity pictured below the young people were asked to come up with a positive label for one another after learning about how negative labels can negatively impact people.


On the day of the visit to the school, the young people had prepared a presentation for Matt and his family exploring many different aspects of 'Break the Cycle' week and what #SheIsNotYourRehab meant to them. The visit has left a great buzz around the school, and we can't thank Matt and his family enough for coming from New Zealand to meet us.

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