Who We Are
At Matrix we passionately believe that when you value young people, listen to them and build positive relationships, you give them hope. The provision and opportunities that we provide, enable young people to believe they can realise their unique potential and provide a platform for helping them make the most of their lives – whatever context they find themselves in.
Our team of staff and volunteers are dedicated to seeing young people thrive in every area of their lives. As carriers of hope they put young people at the centre of all provision and decision-making and go the extra mile to ensure every provision is a safe inclusive space.
We are on a mission to catalyse change for vulnerable young people, helping them to make the most of their lives.
We work in partnership with young people, churches, schools, local organisations and the community to nurture, inspire, connect and empower them.
Where we are
Guildford Borough is a place of contradictions. Bustling town, tranquil countryside; steeped in history, centre of innovation; wealth and status, poverty and vulnerability. While from the outside, Guildford may be seen as just a place of wealth, the needs of many children and young people are very real, and the contrast to those that have is felt deeply.
Poverty [in Guildford] is both distributed and concealed. Very often, it is concentrated within a housing estate or even within a few streets. Hidden Surrey 2016
And it is within this context that Matrix works with young people and for young people – bringing a wealth of opportunity to those without and caring for the vulnerable so they are not left socially excluded.
In 2018-19 we provided over 800 hours of face-to-face provision, engaging over 2900 young people across 16 projects. 294 young people were met one-to-one for in-depth support, providing a lifeline when life was tough.
Our impact on the lives of young people ranges from a quick and simple solution, such as relief experienced by an individual when someone listens to them and gives validity to their struggles, or a preventative workshops that demonstrates tools to catalyse changes in their lives. Other times, solutions are broad and more complex with an individual accessing several projects to meet a variety of needs, such as one-to-one support in school and a local Hub in their community.
Thank you so much for always being there for me. Ellie, Year 8
The 1:1 support sessions we run every year in schools helps young people like Cindy, who since meeting 1:1 with our Youth Worker, has grown in confidence, found better ways of coping and has learned that she has the resilience to change the way she feels about herself. She told us that she didn’t want to self-harm anymore and was really happy that with our help she was able to stop. This year, we offered over 800 sessions, helping nearly 100 young people.
In the Community
Our Youth Hubs and community activities enable some young people, like Liam age 11, to stop feeling so lonely: ‘I came to Youth Hub to make new friends…and I have!’ and others, like Alexi, age 12 to spend time with her friends and ‘become closer to them’. In fact, this year 60% of our young people told us they have made new friends through our projects.
80% young people also told us that Youth Hub has had a positive impact on their lives, like Chelsea* who tells us she has become more confident.
Our theory of change puts young people at the centre of all we do – this is why we listen to young people in every project and why we go to where young people are, in schools and in their community. We take a relational approach to all our work and prioritise building long -term connections with young people, through quality, fun, innovative and accessible opportunities.
Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a starting point, we identified 4 key strands to our model that are essential to enable young people to achieve their potential. All of our engagement with young people, starts with them and ensures that they are nurtured, inspired, connected and empowered so they can make the most of their life.
We care for young people’s needs so they’re not left socially excluded by their vulnerabilities.
We release hope, creating opportunities that help them discover and achieve their potential.
We provide safe spaces for young people to engage with each other and their community
We give them tools to stand strong so they can advocate for themselves and engage in their community
Matrix is a Christian charity. We are committed to our belief in the life-changing message and example of Jesus Christ and seek to demonstrate this through nurturing, inspiring, celebrating and empowering young people so that they can make sense of life. Ian Nicholson (Founder & Trustee)
We love to laughBelieving that more is accomplished if you are having fun, we create environments where team and young people can be engaged and enjoy themselves.
We are all about peopleWorking relationally, we treat everybody, of all faiths and none, with equal respect and value them as unique individuals. We build long-term relationships, meeting young people where they are at and helping them to grow.
We look on the bright side of lifeLooking for ways to help young people find hope and a way through in difficult circumstances, we seek to speak constructively and positively about young people, celebrating them as individuals and help others to do the same.
We don’t sit stillThrough research and relationship we proactively and creatively look for better ways to meet the needs of young people and seek to develop and share expertise in our field. We are flexible to the needs of those we work with and the changing requirements of the sector.
We work with othersOur welcoming and inclusive team seeks to work cooperatively with churches, local organisations and other partners in the community, in order to best meet the needs of young people.