Discover the amazing Smash Life brothers journey; what they learnt, how they dealt with their trauma and its impact through to their ultimate success in finding resilience.
Smash Life offer inspirational talks catering to both young people, and industry professionals and trainees. The talks have been very successful and have been delivered to enthralled audiences up and down the UK.
Each talk can be catered for young people, professionals, organizations, training days and conferences and will focus on adverse Childhood experiences, abuse, complex trauma, safeguarding and much more.
The benefit of the talks in a professional context is to provide continued professional development by helping them to understand children and young people’s behaviour, change approaches and perceptions and bring a reality to practice that can’t be obtained through books.
For young people they will receive a motivational, 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.
We now have an array of talks we can offer to young people & professionals so please ask during the booking stage.
Our bespoke and unique shared life “one-to-one” mentoring sessions are for young people who need a positive role model, guidance and a listening ear.
Smash Life is creative on its approach to mentoring, enabling young people to open up to us so that we can really focus on their voice. We have found that it is limiting to sit in a room and ask
a young person to just “talk about it” as this can be oppressive and daunting for some
By bringing sport, music, games, walks, and trips to expand on the Mentoring we have achieved better results and the young people actually enjoy and look forward to the sessions. We believe that showing our own vulnerability will inspire those we mentor to share their own.
The ‘Smash Life Experiences’ promote a hobby or help build a young person’s aspirations. We know that not all young people have the opportunity to have the same involvement and
exposure to some positive activities that we may take for granted. This is due to the reality that they may find themselves in growing up.
Our mentoring service provides learning and enriches lives through fun activities and engagement. We are flexible and can tailor a mentoring programme to meet a young person’s individual needs.
‘Smash Life Reports’ are an additional “add on” service. If requested, they can be written after each session in order to identity needs, pass on any concerns, share positive steps and capture the young person’s voice. This ensures that the young person is continually heard and their needs acted upon swiftly by fellow professionals working with them. As mentioned above, the reports are optional and will be discussed with you during the referral stage.
We also offer ‘Virtual Mentoring’ for young people who may benefit from this form of communication. This can apply to those young people with severe anxiety or to a young person who we cannot get to because of geographical reasons, thereby expanding the reach of our Mentoring service.
Featuring the same high-quality mentoring as our traditional face-to face service, we use a secure virtual platform to carry out the sessions. So far they have proved very popular to those young people who have already benefitted from the service.
Life Story Work
Smash Life offer ‘Life Story Work’. We believe this is a vital and important piece of work for young people in the care system. Having experienced Life Story Work ourselves whilst growing up we know first-hand how important this work is. It can also provide young people with a wider knowledge as to who they are and why they are in care. This can help them moving forwards and learning to adapt to their new surroundings. We can use our creativity and work alongside young people to create something they can keep and look back on in years to come.
We offer a ‘Smash Life NOCN Qualification’ that young people aged 11-18 can complete alongside our bespoke mentoring sessions! This qualification provides a way for the young person to learn new skills that they will be able to take into further education, training or employment.
In our group sessions we provide 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 plus lots more. We combine these issue focussed group sessions with sport, games, music and creative expression, to make them fun and engaging for those taking part.
As an extension to our group work and mentoring services we also provide ‘Mediation’. We have seen many examples of how low-level conflict can quickly escalate into bigger issues for the individuals involved and at a cost to services (NHS/Police/Courts) and sometimes families and the local community. We will attend a meeting in any setting to try and resolve issues between two parties or individuals. Sometimes a neutral mediator can provide a safe platform for individuals to work through their differences without violence being used, whilst at the same time learning how to talk instead of acting through fear or responding to threats of intimidation.
We firmly believe that by providing a space to air grievances that can be listened to and resolved peacefully at ‘ground level’, we can help to tackle some of societies bigger issues – like the rise in knife crime and other criminal / anti social activities. We are all about proactive, early intervention work that can help to create communities inhabited by people who are emotionally intelligent.
We also offer training to groups of professionals working with young people as part of their ongoing professional development. This will not only help to improve practice but also create better outcomes for the young people and families that we all aim to work alongside and empower.
To book group work or Smash Life neutral mediation service now, simply click on the button to the right of this box and complete the form.
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 can observe your practice or meet with your staff teams to discuss solutions to problems faced and create a safe space for staff to open up and be honest about the challenges they may face so you can identify further training to empower them. We can also advise on things like policies and procedures, safe working practices and ideas on hearing and capturing the voice of the child throughout the structure of your organisation. This service can also be provided under the guise as a “mystery customer” or undercover independent examiner in order to provide your organisation with “true life results” professional feedback on how you are doing in areas that you want to find out about.
Consultation is also available to young people who may be within your organisation and require assistance in specific areas or career advice / guidance.
“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.”
Sarah Morgan, Specialist Advisor, Education and Childrens Social Care
“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.”
Teacher, Holy Trinity School - Telford
“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”.
Pupil, Charlton Secondary School Telford
“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.”
Young Person, Mentee
“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”
Young Person, Mentee
“Our young people really value time with Matt. It’s their space. Their time. Time to express how they feel. Time not to be judged or made to conform. Time to be themselves”
Head Of Pastoral Care , The Priory School Shrewsbury
“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.”
Helen Ball , Shrewsbury Town Council Clerk
“Incredible. Thank you for sharing your story and advice”
Christine Dunn, Professional
“ Since I have seen you I am not arguing with the teachers, its good to know someone has been there and understands.”
Young Person, Mentee
“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.”
Natalie Prudence, Elite Dance Studios
“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.”
“Just had the most inspirational speech from these lads. Absolutely amazing and they should be very proud of themselves and their achievements”
Matthew William, Care Home Manager - Keys Group
“…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”
Parent, Mentoring Client
“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.”
Helen Barton , Head of Therapeutic Services at Sandcastle Care
“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.”
Kathryn Packer, Education Liaison Officer
“What a breakthrough……he has told you more than he would’ve shared with carers or me on the first meeting”
Social Worker, Shropshire Council
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We are proud to work alongside the Council’s, Schools, Businesses and Groups listed below.