Matthew Barnes-Smith - Coach & Mentor for Young People

Matthew Barnes-Smith - Coach & Mentor for Young People


07751 214084

Saved Save profile


07751 214084

About me


I am passionate about providing a confidential and safe space for young people to express whatever is on their mind without fear of judgement, and empower them to take control of their life and choices.

Some questions for you, your son or daughter…

Do you struggle to be yourself? Do you suffer from low confidence and belief in yourself? 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 feel you are not in control of your life? 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 a bit lost, worried or confused?

Firstly, if you have answered yes to one or more of the above questions, that is completely OK and does not mean there is anything wrong with you. It simply means you know the time is right for change, and the support I offer may be right for you, your son or daughter.

What do you do?

I specialise in coaching and mentoring young people in their teenage years and early 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.

I help to develop the young person’s confidence, find positive ways to release stress and discuss any difficult issues that may be a barrier to growth, connection, and the direction the young person wants to be heading in.

It also helps to explain what coaching and mentoring for young people is not…

It is not therapy, counseling or being told what you should or shouldn’t do.

Whatever subject the young person wishes to discuss is completely down to them. The good news is there are no right or wrong answers, whatever is brought to the table to discuss is done to the young person and is completely relevant to the big picture that is THEIR life.

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.

The core of this type of intervention is to allow the young person to firstly build a positive relationship with themselves, and then connect with others around them. Through this process, the young person will feel empowered to 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
  • Deal with difficult and embarrassing issues
  • Discover your true potential
  • 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 different perspectives
  • Develop 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
  • Reduce levels of anxiety, worry and depression
  • Build a positive, driven and resilient attitude
  • Be confident and comfortable with your identity
  • Develop a new idea / dream into an action plan

How does it work?

I work with young people (Age 18-21, +/- 2 years) as well as parents. Package options are available for both depending on the level of engagement required.

STANDARD - I offer 6, 9 & 12 session packages at 60 or 90 minutes 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 6, 9 or 12 package option at 60 or 90 minutes per session.

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 had found myself stuck in a rut and it was getting harder to change my ways. I booked some sessions in with Matt and am so pleased I did. Hi kind, calm ways and patience to listen, no matter how big or small my obstacles were was comforting. His methods and phrases will stay with me for years to come. Will 100% recommend to anyone." Joe Gorman

"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

Photos & videos

  • As featured in Positive Kids Magazine


"I am intereseted in your services, what should I do next?"

If you are interested in discussing the above services, please contact me to arrnage a short chat about you or your son or daughters circumstances. We will also discuss here how to have the conversation that introduces the young person to my services, if they are not already aware.

I offer a free, no obligation, consultation meeting before any decision to work together is made. It is important to me that you or the young person WANTS to works together rather then feel like the process is being forced.

After this meeting, I can send you details of my packages & 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


Wheelchair access: Unspecified


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