Tobias' story

Tobias (Toby) Gutteridge, a former member of the U.K. Special Forces (S.B.S), an avid motocross rider, surfer and overall extreme sports enthusiast is the founder of Bravery, an extreme sports brand that supports charities for underprivileged children and discharged members of the Armed Forces. He aims to support and empower those who have dug deep within themselves to overcome their own adversities by finding courage, strength and the resilience to bounce back stronger than ever, rather than sinking into despair.

Toby (35) who grew up in South Africa, was exposed from a young age to how easy it is for kids to fall into a life of crime, gangs and drugs. Due to this, his passion has always been to make a difference in the world and peoples lives. From these core beliefs came the motivation to join the British Royal Marines. Toby was on tour in Afghanistan when he got shot through the neck, which left him instantly paralysed from the neck down.

He has a miraculous survival story, and has overcome many of his own struggles but he still faces new challenges each and every day. He now lives in Southern England and has recently achieved a First Class honours Degree in Business Studies.

Toby chooses to tackle his hardships head-on and is determined to let nothing get him down, insisting life is too short! Toby hopes his own determination to succeed will serve as proof, and inspire everyone that any obstacle in life can be overturned given the right mindset. Everyone should follow their dreams. From these beliefs comes the company slogan:  Always Follow Your Heart.

“Everyone will experience at some point in their lives a life changing moment, an event, big or small, that changes the course of that person’s life forever. It will make you re-evaluate things, question things and ultimately affect the choices you make from that point on. These experiences are never easy as they push you out of your comfort zone or put you on a path that suddenly is fraught with obstacles and challenges and headed for the unknown. These events will be filled with fear!”

— Tobias Gutteridge, Founder

Why Bravery?

Bravery is about EVERYONE reaching their full potential. I have created the brand not only for the youth intervention programmes but for people to stop and take a look at their own lives and choices and to see what obstacles or challenges they are avoiding that will lead to them living their full potential.  I want it to act as a reminder that by taking risks, stepping out of their comfort zones and believing in themselves, making a difference could change their lives in amazing and exciting ways.  We are on this earth to live big and not small, to confront what scares us so that we know every time we feel the fear, that it’s just that, a feeling and not the driver of our actions.  By finding our Bravery in small things, we can learn to find the courage in the big moments.  We can be examples to others and help them find their Bravery and in doing so the Bravery chain will grow link by link. This is my path now, it will be both scary and exciting but I ask you to join me on this adventure with one goal in mind – to discover our full potential and help others achieve the same.

I believe there is a part of us that cannot be crushed or defeated, our spirit will endure anything and because of that I have the courage in knowing that “Never will I die” and fear can be vanquished with bold action. With this comes a hope that our lives do not have to be defined by moments in our history or the choices we have made in the past but by the new choices we can make every time a new challenge arises. Bravery is making that tough call when our heart knows it’s right and facing our fear so that it does not take control of our lives and this allows us to live to our full potential.

I have chosen extreme sports to represent Bravery as it epitomises ordinary people demonstrating amazing actions when they don’t let fear stand in their way. Extreme sports has also been used successfully over and over to show youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds that life is what you make of it if you don’t let fear stand in your way or control your actions. It is often fear that makes them join gangs, numb themselves by doing drugs or turn that fear towards others through violence and crime.  It is with the younger generation that I hope to make a difference through Bravery, to help them break that chain of self destruction and give them a new path of courage, dignity and self respect by channeling that fear into pushing their own limits in an extreme sport.

Bravery hopes to create a team of role models, people that have learned what it means to face their fear time and time again and can show that it is their choices that control their destiny and success and not their fear. I hope to create programmes that will give disadvantaged youngsters a choice between life on the streets and a brighter future. That will teach them that true power comes from within and not by spreading fear in others. I feel so passionately about this kind of intervention as it breaks the cycle of children with broken lives and hopeless futures. As they find a way to heal their pain and, in doing so, show others that it is possible. This will lie at the heart of the Bravery cause and everything I hope to achieve with it.