Who Are We?
Philosophy We Strive For
Andy & Matt Smith are brothers who were placed into the care system by social services after neglectful parenting from their biological mother and father.
In our experience many young people often ask professionals “What do you know?” this is where our service differs from others as we have lived a life within the care system and without a mum and dad for the majority of our lives.
Combined with our professional experience and qualifications we are able to offer that shared life experience and offer advice and guidance based on real life and not just from a text book. We find this resonates with young people because we as adults are able to open up to them they in turn open up to us.
Smash Life is also creative on its approach to mentoring and getting young people to open up. It is limiting to just sit in a room and ask a young person to just “talk about it” and this can be oppressive for some young people.
By bringing sport, music, games, walks, and trips to the Mentoring we have found they create better results and the young people actually enjoy and look forwards to the sessions. We now also offer an NOCN accreditation which can be completed alongside our mentoring service!
Smash Life is also an award winning company having won the Mayor of Shrewsbury Gold Award for the Overall Winners in the Youth Category 2019, been nominated for the National Community Organisation Award for AGE at The National Diversity Awards 2020 in association with ITV news and have been mentioned in Telford & Wrekin Council Outstanding OFSTED report in 2020. Telford & Wrekin was the first Council outside London to go from Requires Improvement (2016) to OUTSTANDING! and the only Council in the West Midlands and North West to be OUTSTANDING!
Skills We Teach
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What we do
Find out how Smash Life can help you:
Inspirational TalksCatering to young people and professionals, our Talks focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Abuse, Complex Trauma and Safeguarding and are designed to help professionals understand children and young peoples' behaviour, change approaches and perceptions and bring a reality to practice that can’t be obtained through books. Young people will receive a hard hitting, factual story that will help them to understand that they are not alone with their own trauma's and can build up their own skills and resilience, following the positive example set by the Smash Life brothers.
Learning for Professionals
Catering to young people and professionals, our Talks focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Abuse, Complex Trauma and Safeguarding and are designed to help professionals understand children and young peoples’ behaviour, change approaches and perceptions and bring a reality to practice that can’t be obtained through books. Young people will receive a hard hitting, factual story that will help them to understand that they are not alone with their own trauma’s and can build up their own skills and resilience, following the positive example set by the Smash Life brothers.
MentoringOur bespoke and unique shared life, one to one mentoring sessions are for young people needing a positive role model, guidance and a listening ear.
Aimed at young people
Our bespoke and unique shared life, one to one mentoring sessions are for young people needing a positive role model, guidance and a listening ear.
Group WorkA safe space for young people to listen, discuss, share and learn about difficult topics or issues that have been identified by you or them e.g. drugs, alcohol, masculinity, gang culture, future aspirations and promoting positive / healthy relationships.
A safe space for young people to listen, discuss, share and learn about difficult topics or issues that have been identified by you or them e.g. drugs, alcohol, masculinity, gang culture, future aspirations and promoting positive / healthy relationships.
Training / ConsultationWe are able to use our experience of growing up in the social care system and working within it to provide advice and guidance so that your organisation is a young person centred service. We are available to deliver bespoke training courses for you and your staff team.
Training / Consultation
We are able to use our experience of growing up in the social care system and working within it to provide advice and guidance so that your organisation is a young person centred service. We are available to deliver bespoke training courses for you and your staff team.
Managing Director of Smash Life
Director of Smash Life
Head of Media / Mentor
Filmographer / Mentor
Mentor / Coach
Watch the Smash Life videos
Reactions from some of our recent clients!
“I just want to say a massive thank you to Andy for the support I have been given. I can always know that no matter what mood I am in I will always come out of the session smiling. More people should be like this looking out for others.”
“Andy has provided our most vulnerable students with support that they would not be able to access within school. His unique perspective on the issue experienced by LAC has enabled our students to feel secure, in particular during the stressful exam season. This is an excellent example of use of pupil premium funding.”
“ Since I have seen you I am not arguing with the teachers, its good to know someone has been there and understands.”
“A big thank you for helping so far on this absolute monumental journey I’ve been on: Anger, Emotions, and Positive vibes so again thank you so much”
“It was really good, he was really cool and I enjoyed the talk because Matt was funny, down to earth and really relatable, not like some teachers who just talk down to you”.
“Just had the most inspirational speech from these lads. Absolutely amazing and they should be very proud of themselves and their achievements”
“Andy and Matt give so much to those they work with, they really are an inspiration to so many. Being able to relate to the young people they mentor through their shared life experiences gives the young people someone they can connect with openly. I would highly recommend Smash Life.”
“What a breakthrough……he has told you more than he would’ve shared with carers or me on the first meeting”
“…really looks forward to her sessions which is such a transformation – when ….has something to think about ….opens up with us here which is such a relief and …also feels reassured about things on her mind knowing ….can talk it over with Matt”
“These remarkable brothers suffered long term abuse, humiliation, degradation and shame at the hands of those entrusted with their care. Their life story is one of courage, resilience and determination.. Their promise to use yesterday and their commitment to each other today, is to be the change for children that they should have experienced. If you are looking for conference speakers, mentors for your children these chaps are going to be booked up very quickly after being invited for by the consortium for therapeutic communities to their first conference debut yesterday.”
“I was lucky to hear Andy and Matt present earlier this year and their story must be one that has resonated with me the most. Ever. It has informed our practice at Sandcastle Care and we now weave our therapeutic web into colleges and schools offering trauma informed care training even further. Thank you Andy. Thank you Matt.”
“Incredible. Thank you for sharing your story and advice”
“Andy has a fresh delivery style to bring home the stark reality of young people in crisis and dwelling on his past experiences he provides many ideas on helping young people to get on the right path to make the best life choices they can. He is an inspiration to young people everywhere who are daunted by the challenges life brings them.”
“Having heard Andy and Matt speak I was able to relate many of the things they said to me and to the young people I work with and could only hope the young people that I work with develop a tiny bit of insight that Andy and Matt have. Their talk and shared experiences show that young people do not need to be a victim of their past and hearing this first hand can only strengthen this belief with the young people they work with. The motivation, humour, honesty and frankness of the talk is moving and exhilarating. I felt a roller coaster of emotions listening but felt even more motivated to support the young people I work with. Since meeting Andy and Matt I have spoken to young people about them – shared their messages and views. Their words have stayed with me and I can relate their experiences to many different situations I come across in my role. I thought I knew a lot “looked after children” , care leavers, the system – but learnt more from this talk than any other course, training or from books.”
“Thank you for coming along and sharing your story with us all. Such a heartfelt speech that moved everyone in the room, and lots of really important information to take away.”