A youth provider with a difference

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Staff Bios

Matthew Houghton – Managing Director

I had one teacher in school that I got on with, he pushed me in his lessons and his lessons were enjoyable. I try to use the same style in my sessions with young people I get to know quickly. There was a really positive youth worker as well who worked with all my mates at the time and got the most out of us and got us involved in things other than football.

I bring a lot of experience having worked at HYPE since 2008 working in many different communities across the Wirral and Liverpool and have worked with literally thousands of young people.

As a teenager when hanging out with my mates, Police were constantly moving us from street corners and out of parks. Having park projects and youth clubs locally would have given me more options to get more involved in positive activities.

Ed Interi- Cycling Coordinator and Youth Worker

My biggest inspirations as a child were both my Grandad and my Dad. They were great teachers- they could sort out any problem and could fix anything mechanical that was broken. This is where I developed my love for mechanics and bikes.

My specific skillset is my background in downhill biking, and I am taking the lead on our current project to install a BMX biking track in Birkenhead Park. From my work on the side I have DJing experience and many other technical skills. These interests help me to identify with the kids HYPE works with, and consequently I can pass these skills and interests onto them.

As a young person, HYPE would have dramatically accelerated my bike and mechanical skills, and encouraged my interests in outdoor activities rather than PCs and games. HYPE would have given me and my mates proper places to ride instead of illegal trails in Heswall Dales!

Liam Jones- Outdoor Spaces Coordinator and Youth Worker

No one in particular inspired me when I was young, so there was definitely a gap in the market for a youth organisation like HYPE. My main priorities were my spending time with my friends and family. I grew up enjoying going out with mates on evenings and weekends.

I’m learning a lot on the job and am grateful for what HYPE has taught me so far. This summer I have done a lot of work with NCS on our various ‘hands on’ social action projects, and have led various gardening projects in Woodchurch, New Ferry and Birkenhead Park. I know how to operate equipment safely, and enjoy teaching the local kids gardening skills.

HYPE inspires young people everywhere across Merseyside, and I know if I was a young person growing up in this area today, I would have loved to be a part of it.

Maddie Maloney- Head Arts Coordinator

As a child, I was most inspired by my mum because she always pushed me to follow my interests, which have always been around the subject of art. When I was little, I mostly practised fine art, in the traditional media of drawing and painting, but with my mum’s support and guidance my interests have developed and my main area of interest is now mixed media, 3D and textiles. My mum played a big part in helping to provide me with the materials and opportunities at home and through extracurricular clubs to carry on doing what I loved right through to college and after.

I have studied art throughout my GSCEs, A level and have recently completed my foundation course in Fine Art at Birkenhead Sixth Form College. My art skills and passion for working with young people has encouraged me to learn new methods and skills which I will use to encourage young people to discover art, and find new creative ways in which they can express themselves.

Having an organisation like HYPE would have been a great opportunity for me to gain confidence and bring out the best in my skills outside of school. The opportunities presented by HYPE would have pushed me to branch out in my techniques at a younger age, and it would have been a great place to go after school, rather than going straight home.

Lisa Littlewood – HYPE Primary Schools Tutor

Growing up, I was an avid vinyl collector and aspiring DJ. I was inspired by DJs in the Scottish club scene, notably Glasgow DJs such as Slam who had started small, set up their own nights and festivals, then took that success and went on to producing music, their own record label and were playing around the world. 

After sending Matt my CV, he identified my role as a DJ and radio presenter which could help build confidence and hone the professional presenting skills of the staff on the team. I used my experience in staff development to help crystallise their goals and objectives as well as helping them play to their strengths within the company. As a primary teacher my knowledge of curriculum development would help the team devise relevant and stimulating enterprise projects and resources for our involvement with schools.

If HYPE had been around when I was growing up, it would have been brilliant to have opportunities to meet and work with young adults and peers who could help me recognise and develop skills I had that lay outside of the traditional educational setting.

Julie Jones – HYPE Arts and Crafts Lead Worker

As a child I was inspired by my grandma, auntie and mum as they all baked/cooked and loved to make cakes. So I would get involved as much as I could and loved it. They would take me to demonstrations of fancy cake decoration events and this inspired me to sell novelty cakes when I was in my late teens. I still make them for family and friends’ birthdays.

Being apart of HYPE has allowed me to share some of these skills with the children in the youth clubs; baking, cooking and projects like the Christmas cake gifts. I also am quite arty and have an A level in Art so I am always doing art and craft with the children most sessions. What’s great about HYPE is it provides a club that allows the children to ask what they want to do and we make it happen. If there was a club like HYPE when I was young It would have benefited me a great deal as I was quite shy and it brings the best out of children especially when taking part talent shows and seeing all the great art work and baking they do.

It makes my day when I see the kids are really proud of themselves with what they achieve. It would have built my confidence being part of a HYPE youth club as a youngster as it does with a lot of the children I work with. I hope sharing skills I have learnt myself inspires some kids to carry on in the future to enjoy baking and art etc.

Jack Webb – HYPE Sessional Youth Worker

As a youngster my dad inspired me, as he always believed in my decisions and me no matter whether he thought they where right or wrong. He always tried to push me to achieve the best I could.

Before starting at HYPE I had worked with children through football as a coach and also in primary schools. As I enjoy playing sports and keeping active I would be able to help young people stay fit and try new sports.

I would have benefitted from HYPE when I was young, as it would have created a safe environment with familiar faces. It would have kept me from hanging around the streets and given me the chance to try out new activities.

Laura Martin – HYPE Life Coach and Secondary Schools Tutor

Mrs Murphy my primary school teacher, she showed great compassion towards every child in our class and made each and everyone of us feel special.

I can bring health, fitness and well-being coaching to young people and the team at HYPE. HYPE helps massively by being part of an active local community, helping young people gain qualifications and find support to enhance their skills & experience, which of course helps improve the chances of getting a job.

Dave Bickerton – DJ

If I was to pick on person who inspired me, I’d have to pick my stepdad. When I was 15 he had a motorbike accident, he died at the accident and was brought back to life by Paramedics. He then spent a year on life support and a total of 2 years in hospital. He never let his injuries beat him. He came out of hospital and was totally dependable on family and had to be re taught to walk. Slowly he got himself back to loving a normal life. If it taught me anything it taught me that you should never give up no matter what challenges lie ahead. Life can be short and it’s easy to let it get on top of you. Brush it off and move forward. 

As a DJ I’ve learnt a lot of things I can pass on. Teaching kids to use music in a way that they can expresses themselves. I can teach kids on every format from using vinyl to using CDs, USB to using a controller linked to iPad and using a Spotify collection of music. I have a lot of equipment and use each piece as and when it should. 

For me as a kid growing up in Leasowe, Moreton and Wallasey. I noticed there was one thing these areas all had in common. A lack of activities. On a regular basis I could be found just scowling the streets for things to do. We played a lot of football but pretty much every area we chose to play football we where swiftly moved on. It became hard to find constructive things to do. HYPE really tries to tackle this. HYPE gives kids somewhere to go. HYPE believes in the youth and works with them, building activities they want to do. HYPE is the future of our youth and most importantly HYPE cares about our youth!

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