With a Masters in Developmental Psychology, experience as a Family Support Worker with the County Council’s Adoption team and Youth Work experience with Oxford Youth Works, Kirsty brings a unique blend of experience and knowledge to this role.
Kirsty says, “I’m passionate about connecting with young people and supporting them and their families. I love mentoring young people, especially those who can be more challenging to interact with, and helping them realise their full potential.
“I feel called to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord our God (Micah 6:8), and believe that living in South Abingdon and building relationships with those around me helps me to live this out.”
Kirsty is joined by a team of fantastic and committed volunteers who believe in the young people of South Abingdon.
Matt Warmington joined Thrive in September 2017 and leads the team in South Abingdon.
Matt grew up in Oxford and has spent most of his life in Blackbird Leys, so he understands what it feels like to grow up on an estate.
Matt says, “I spent most of my time hanging out on street corners or playing football till it got dark. That’s what I was good at. At the age of 15 I was due to drop out of school and not take my GCSE’s. But then I met a guy through a mentoring program who invested his time and effort in me. I went on to take all my GCSE’s and become an Assistant Youth Worker at the age of 17 and I later won Apprentice of the Year for the country.
“I knew from that point that I wanted to see young people become empowered and grow in self-esteem.”
Matt has lots of experience of working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and has qualifications in Mentoring, Advice and Guidance, Detached Work and Social Care.
“I believe that Jesus has a heart for these young people. He promises in Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ My heart is to see young people become leaders and be set free from things that inhibit them, so that they can reach their God-given potential.”
Matt is married to Charlotte and enjoys football, basketball, American football and travelling.
“Working together, we’ve been able to bring hope to young people with low aspirations, with positive role models and mentoring, to help them develop and grow.”
Andrew Longmore, Pastor, Leys Communty Church