Matthew Barnes-Smith - Youth & Young Person Coach

Matthew Barnes-Smith - Youth & Young Person Coach


07751 214084

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07751 214084

About me

I am passionate about providing a platform for young people to express their emotions, thoughts and feelings in a manner that works for them, so that they can manage and take responsibility for their life, their choices and decisions.

Questions for you, your son or daughter…

Do you seem to always make bad decisions? Do you struggle to express your feelings and emotions? Do you suffer from low confidence and a lack of belief in yourself? Do you associate with the wrong crowd? Do you worry what people think of you? Do you often feel anxious, worried or depressed? Do you feel overwhelmed with aspects of your life? Do you find it hard to take responsibility for your choices and decisions? Do you feel in control of the direction your life is going? Does change scare you? Do you feel like there is no one around that understands you? Do you struggle to find the right support? Do you find certain social situations difficult? Do you feel like you’re just existing rather than living? Do you regret the past and feel fearful about the future? Do you feel lost with your identity?

If you have answered yes to one or more of the above questions, Youth & Young Person Coaching may be right for you, your son or daughter.

What is Youth and Young Person Coaching?

I specialise in coaching and mentoring young people in their teenage years and 20s. The work I do is designed to facilitate and encourage personal development in young people whilst also providing an outlet for any worries or concerns in their life. We work together to increase the young person’s confidence, find positive ways to release stress and discuss any difficult issues that may be a barrier to growth and the young person’s definition of success.

It also helps to explain what a Youth & Young Person Coach is not. It is not therapy, counseling, teaching or being told what you should or shouldn’t do. Whether the young person wants to discuss and work on their self-esteem, lack of focus, exam preparation, exercise, hobbies, careers or other immediate issues that are causing them worries, is completely down to them. The good news is there are no right or wrong answers, it’s all about the young person building awareness and working towards implementing the changes required to make a positive difference in their lives.

Why do it?

The pressure on young people to ‘achieve’ and ‘be someone or something’ has never been greater. We live in a world where the ‘perfect life’ is constantly on display, which massively distorts the expectations that young people have on themselves. Add to this the pressures of fitting in, growing up and planning a future, means truly defining what it is that makes the young person happy, content and fulfilled, a difficult and sometimes disheartening process. This is proved by the increase in mental health issues amongst today’s younger generation.

Young people today connect to the world and people in different ways from previous generations, through the use of social media and the internet. But when it comes to community and deep meaning relationships, they have less of that.

The core of this type of intervention is to allow the young person to firstly build a positive relationship with themselves, and then others around them. Through this process, the young person will become aware of their own negative beliefs which may be holding them back, replace them with new, positive and empowering ones, to then emerge and be the person they truly wish to be.

What are the benefits?

This depends on what the young person is aiming to focus on. Examples of benefits that can be worked towards through coaching and mentoring are;

  • Getting back on track with your life
  • Increasing your work ethic
  • Deal with difficult and embarrassing issues
  • Discover your true potential and authentic self
  • Setting and achieving goals that are important to you
  • Improve your relationships with family and friends
  • A safe, trusting and non-judging environment to discuss difficult subjects
  • Learn to see the world from a different perspective
  • Develop mature ways to deal with conflict and anger
  • Learn to handle, manage and express emotions
  • Build your confidence and social skills
  • Increase your motivation and inspiration
  • Learn about yourself, your limitations and your aspirations
  • Reduce levels of anxiety, worry and depression
  • Build a positive, driven and resilient attitude
  • Be confident and comfortable with your identity

How does it work?

I work with two different age brackets as well as parents. Package options are available for both age groups. I would advise that the older age bracket works with the standard package and the younger age bracket can choose either the standard or the bespoke.

What’s the difference between the ages groups?

In short, the circumstances and the individual will obviously be very different, however, the process of working with the young person is generally the same. Below is a breakdown of the main differences.

Youth Coaching – teenagers

The transition between childhood and adulthood is fueled by hormone imbalances, mood swings, heartache and perplexing bodily changes. All of these make everyday problems scary and challenging. We will work together so that the young people have the space and environment to identify and voice their worries, wherever they may be coming from. We can then build on from this and establish what is important to them, what they really want to do, where and who they want to be.

Young Person Coaching – age 20+

Many of the same feelings, emotions and worries will still be present in this age group, the difference being they may have become conditioned at bottling them up with unhealthy coping mechanisms. The feeling for purpose and identity in life may be strong at this point, creating questions, regrets, and confusion about where their life may be going. We will work together to establish how content the young person currently is and what changes need to be implemented for them to start leading the life they desire and to understand and maximise their full potential.


STANDARD - I offer 6, 9 & 12 session packages at 1 hour per session. This can be conducted via face to face, skype or phone call. These can be done on a weekly, bi-weekly or to suit the individual’s diary. To build momentum and structure, I will not conduct sessions with more than a month’s gap in-between.

BESPOKE – I offer a tailored package to suit individual needs. This package involves 2-3 hour sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis conducted via face to face only. This is aimed at building a supportive and trusting relationship with the young person and is conducted over a 3 to 6-month period, or longer if required and wanted. There are limited spaces available for this package.

FOR PARENTS – I can work with you to help build an understanding how small changes in your behaviour can impact positively on your relationships with others, including your children. This can be conducted via face to face, skype or phone call. These can be done on a weekly, bi-weekly basis, or to suit your diary. I offer this as 3, 6, 9 or 12 package option.

Here are some examples of areas I can work with you, your son or daughter on;

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-belief
  • Confidence
  • Goal Setting
  • Body Image
  • Heath & Wellbeing
  • Fitness & Exercise
  • School & Education
  • Exams
  • Careers
  • Communication
  • Hobbies
  • Friendships & Relationships
  • Bullying
  • Phobias
  • Understanding others
  • Choices & decisions
  • Happiness
  • Identity
  • Values & beliefs
  • Habits - breaking and forming
  • Embarrassment
  • State Management

For any other specific areas that are not listed above, please call to discuss.

Please note, I do not offer traumatic therapy or counselling treatment, however, I may be able to help by putting you in touch with someone in my network I feel may be able to help your situation.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a fully qualified Personal Performance Life Coach and NLP Practitioner. I am a part-time Youth Worker, running Youth Clubs and workshops for young people aged 11-19. I am fully insured and enhanced DBS checked.

My background and university education is in Construction Project Management, where I worked with teams and individuals in high demanding and challenging environments, managing change and building collaboration.

I have been through periods of my life where I chose to work with a third-party intervention and found coaching to be the platform that allowed growth, challenge and structure in my Life. I have my own NLP, Life Coach and Professional Mentor and continue to increase my competency levels with formal qualifications, training, supervision and CPD events.

I have experienced lows, confusion and regret at times in my life. I have learnt how to listen and channel emotions such as anger into powerful, motivating and empowering energy. I have made many positive changes in my life in order to see, experience and accomplish what I want to do, as well as showing gratitude and appreciating the contentment, love and belief I have in myself.

I continue to develop myself so that I can articulate my purpose with confidence and passion; this is to help young people find their voice in life, develop true independence and be the authentic person they wish to be.

I believe this platform is needed more so now than at any other point in time.


"Being coached by Matt has been such a valuable experience. From day one we built great rapport and trust. Matt has all the qualities of a great coach, he is neutral and free of judgement, professional, and positively challenging – keeping me on track and helping me learn and develop. This meant I felt comfortable disclosing very personal insights and thoughts that I have not verbalised to other close friends and family." Charlotte Moore

"My sessions Matthew were an exceptional experience, taking me to new levels of thinking and confidence that I never knew existed. Matt used clever and imaginative ideas to help me find ideas and ways of how I can overcome my obstacles. He was patient, kind and unassuming." Helen Griffiths

"It has been a great experience working with Matthew. I have had to step out of my comfort zone and face some of my fears. Thanks to Matthew and his brilliant coaching sessions I have managed to become more comfortable in promoting myself and expressing my thoughts and ideas for a large audience. I am very satisfied with my coaching sessions and feel it has helped me both professionally and personally." Hellen Griberg

"Matt really helped me to open up new possibilities that I had never considered. I feel much closer to my goals and have a definite action plan that I know I am capable of following." Jenny Devonshire

"Matt helped me with various concerns I had in my life that were causing anxiety. I found his coaching style and method to be very effective and he worked with me and tailored his approach to get the best participation from me. I often got frustrated that I couldn’t explain how I was feeling but Matt was always patient and listened to what I was saying before coming back with a question that helped me to open up and get the best out of our sessions." Kate Heasman

"Matt’s enthusiasm and empathic approach had a profound effect on not only my motivation but my self-belief. He cleared the way for me to achieve clarity and success and his approach was consistently supportive, logical, attentive and warm. I cannot recommend him enough!" Jo Howarth


If you are interested in discussing the above services, please call for a short chat about you or your son or daughters circumstances. From here, I can send you details of my pricing structures.

Further information

Please note: It is critical that any parent phoning on behalf of their son or daughter understands that it will be their child and myself who decide whether we want to work together. I'm am happy to have an initial talk with the parents and will then need to speak directly with the young person before proceeding with any formal appointments.

I offer a free initial consultation so that the individual and me can find out more about each other before agreeing to work together.

Hitchin, SG4

Type of session

Online life coaching: Yes
Telephone life coaching: Yes
Face to face life coaching: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


I am available at various times of the day 7 days a week - please call to discuss further.

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