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.
“All Thrive staff who work in Barton also live in Barton so this gives a real sense of embracing the young people they work with, some of whom will be those most socially excluded from everything else that takes place locally. Their Young Leaders, Mentoring and Outreach projects have seen some amazing results and they have succeeded where others before them have failed.”
Sue Holden, Company Secretary, Barton Community Association