Established in April 2000, the Matrix Trust aims to transform communities by working with local people to help effect change. The charities current focus is on youth work to support young people in issues surrounding relationships, sexual health, friendship, trust, drugs and life skills, to name but a few.
This week, we catch up with Chief Executive Misty Bower, to learn just how Matrix Trust is making the ultimate difference to young people across Guildford Borough.
Matrix is a vibrant youth charity based in Guildford Borough that works in schools and the community supporting some of the Borough’s most vulnerable young people. We build long-term relationships by providing activities within schools and the community, which nurture, inspire, connect and empower young people, helping them make the most of their lives.
Young people today are increasingly struggling with poor mental health, social isolation and a sense of disconnection from their community. This results in young people who lack confidence, social skills and who miss out on a wealth of opportunities on their doorstep – both to receive from others and to give back.
Matrix works with young people in their own communities, aiming to help prevent these issues from arising through practical educational workshops, social opportunities and targeted activities that help them engage with their community. And when a young person reaches crisis point, we are there to listen and give them the tools they need to get through, with one-to-one support.
When Ben* first came to Youth Hub, he didn’t have a lot of respect for the boundaries. One week he got angry with another young person and locked himself in the bathroom, refusing to interact with his peers. However, as the weeks progressed, he started to partake in activities, made a new friend, and grew in respect. At the end of term Ben* came on an ice-skating trip with the other Youth Hubs and was surprised with the award for ‘most kind’ young person! He had spent the evening being encouraging and helping other young people (and some leaders!) on the ice and we wanted to honour him for that.
At Matrix, we’ve seen changes like this across the breadth of our provision, seeing young people benefiting greatly from engaging in a variety of positive face-to-face connections. They may seem small to some, but they are life-changing to our young people. Nicole, a Youth Hub member, gained social skills and confidence through her regular attendance and told us “I was so dull and anxious, now I’m just bubbly and confident”.
This work is vital to ensure all young people in the Borough have access to the same opportunities for making the most of their lives. So this year, we are expanding our work to include coaching Year 6 students for a successful transition into Year 7, and opening a Youth Café for Year 9+ with spin-off activities that give opportunities they wouldn’t be able to access, while increasing the numbers of young people we are working with across all current provision.
We are incredibly grateful to all our volunteers and donors who enable us to serve the young people of Guildford effectively and to the Community Foundation for Surrey who have been such a support over the last few years, providing a variety of grants across the breadth of projects that we run. This year they have specifically supported 2 of our Youth Hubs in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the Borough, and enabled us to pilot social action workshops that enable young people to help the most needy in their community.
*Name has been changed
We are incredibly proud to support the work of Matrix Trust. The grants we make to groups in Surrey are made possible by the giving of individuals, businesses and trusts whom we work closely with to help direct their giving to causes they are passionate about. You can find out more about Giving and Who We Support by clicking to through to the relevant pages.