• Thomas Scannell


Buddah, Tom, Alfie, Stoppah, Loops, T, Scans, Tom

These are just a few of the nicknames I’ve been called over the years. Some have been used in jest, some in respect and some in laziness and I allowed it to happen sometime because I didn’t care, sometimes because I didn’t stand up for myself.

But do you know how significant it is when you allow yourself to be called by a certain name?

Or what you call yourself is?

Think back to when you were a child. Think of the nicknames you and your friends gave each other. Now think back to how those people reacted to those names.

Historically surnames were given as birthrights. They could represent your occupation, your region of birth or your clan. Your name was your badge of honour.

But fast forward to the 21st Century and family names have started to lose their power.

These days your child’s first name becomes their street name and their gang becomes their surname. It tells you their region, their clan and even their occupation. Their new names promote power and carry credibility.

This empowers our child enabling them to walk around their neighbourhood with their head held high. This is all down to the connection and the feeling of belonging they have with their clan.

Gangs and nicknames are not a new thing but with the rise of social media, it has certainly escalated things.

Did you know that YouTube now has channels that show drill videos that keep scoreboards of such things as gang stabbings, murders and even drill rappers who were found NOT carrying a weapon!! There are even videos posted now where these individuals share what they have managed to purchase with their new found fame. Imagine what impression this leaves with our children as they grow up.

You can see one such video here…



Last year I made a decision that I was going to reclaim my name.

I no longer wanted a nickname. Up until this point, it’s kind of been a half-hearted effort but from today I am drawing a line in the sand and making a stand! I promise, and I will use this article as a form of accountability to make it happen, that from this day forward, I’ll make an everyday effort to be called Thomas Alfred Scannell.

Before anyone else, I need my children to understand that we stand for something.

We don’t take short cuts.

We strive to be the best version of ourselves each and every day and when we tell someone our name for the first time, we say it with power and pride.

It is my want and my need for the Scannell clan to be a place where clanless people can find refuge, a place of consistency and a place where they can reach their full potential.

Did you know 50% of young people incarcerated in the UK have experience in foster care despite them only representing 1% of the youth population!

Are these people most likely to end up in prison due to their lack of belonging?

And find their family name in a gang?

I’m not saying the Scannell name should be the name of everyone.

But I do believe the government should concentrate on increasing community ownership, empowering community leaders and groups.

Creating a clan (community) that use community people encourages our children to be better, uses role models from the community to show what’s possible and enables members of the community to share their life experiences and advice to those who need it.

But most importantly, it creates a support network for young people and adults where RESPECT is not a choice.

I don’t know the answer to everything and I am just saying how I see things. But what I would like is your help to create a community that matters. A community that cares and a community that supports and helps one another.

A few people have already got back to me and we are waiting to set a date so I’m sorry in my slow reply,

Let’s set a date, Let’s take lead, Let’s take control

And let’s make it happen.

Until next time

Have a great day

Thomas Alfred Scannell.

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