We are a Christian charity providing a lifeline for vulnerable young people across Guildford Borough. Established for nearly 25 years, we are dedicated to working with young people, helping them to improve their lives, and for young people, catalysing change by nurturing, inspiring, connecting and empowering them.
Every year Matrix serves 1000’s of young people in schools and the community, making a tangible difference to their lives. Partnering with young people, local organisations, churches, schools and the community we help young people make the most of their lives and become active citizens in their communities.
We offer services as part of Mindworks Surrey, the children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health service, and are a founding partner of the Surrey Wellbeing Partnership, a joint venture of local and national charities of various sizes with a common goal: to work with children and young people in the community to improve wellbeing and mental health so that they can live full, fun and confident lives.
At Matrix we passionately believe that when you listen to young people and build positive relationships, you give them hope. The projects 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.
Operating in both schools and the community across Guildford Borough, we work with and for vulnerable and at-risk young people, building long-term relationships and providing activities that nurture, inspire, connect and empower them.
In schools, as an integral part of the pastoral system, we provide professional Mental Health First Aid trained Youth Workers to walk alongside young people in their life’s journey. Some of this is preventative, but much is responding to the growing level of emotional wellbeing and mental health needs amongst young people.
In the community we create safe spaces where young people can make and meet friends and access a wide range of opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach, through workshops, work experience and traineeships.
Our continued schools and community work have enabled our resilient staff to engage with many young people, in particular, last year, where we held 2566 sessions. That equates to 1283 hours working face-to-face with young people in one-to-one settings. One young person told us: “It’s helped me address issues I didn’t want to and realise how to healthily cope”.
Our school lunchtime drop-ins have continued to grow throughout this year and our team has welcomed 468 young people. Attendees have said because of drop-ins they are now able to: “make new friends in the future” and “talk to new people”.
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.
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.
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.
With Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a starting point, our 4 key strands 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.