Matt Taylor is the Community Connector at YMCA Derbyshire.
1. Matt, you’ve just started with us as ‘Community Connector’, what does your new role entail please?
My role as Community Connector will be connecting with young people (residents, learners and those in the community) and older people to create sustainable inter-generational projects which reduces isolation and loneliness. I will be encouraging and empowering co-production in the community and an ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) approach to collaborative learning and development.
2. In your first couple of weeks on the job, what are you finding most enjoyable so far?
The most enjoyable by so far is the people of the YMCA. Everyone has been so kind and helpful to make me feel really settled and I already feel apart of the family. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking to some of the local community and YMCA residents who have so much to give, and it’s my honour to create opportunities for them to flourish in so many different ways.
3. What does ‘community’ mean to you?
For me, community means togetherness. It can be shown through so many ways by supporting individuals or groups by encouraging and empowering one another to achieve new goals or sustainability in life.
4. What projects are you looking forward to getting involved in over the next year?
I’m looking forwards to getting involved in projects that are already established in the local community by championing and inspiring groups which will lead into new pathways of community co-production. I can’t wait see what is to come from this role and for the YMCA, I know that great things will develop from this community.
5. Outside of your day job, how do you spend your downtime?
I really enjoy “switching off” by playing sports and going to the gym – there’s something great in picking up a sledgehammer to a tractor tyre! I’m particularly keen on playing football and supporting Leicester City. I also play cricket and coach juniors in my free-time at the weekends which is highly rewarding. I enjoy spending days off with my wife and seeing friends and family.