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.
“I have known Thrive and the work it does for and with disadvantaged young people in Barton and Blackbird Leys for many years. Its enthusiastic young team, allied to its sound governance and long term approach, have made a significant difference to the lives of many whose prospects and opportunities would otherwise have been very poor. It is excellent that their model and work have now been extended into Abingdon. It is an organisation that richly deserves philanthropic support to both continue and expand its work.”
Tim Stevenson OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire