Throughout my life I have always had appreciation of others and always knew of the economical differences in place within society. However, it has only, over the past couple of years, become so apparent to me how vast these differences are. Therefore, I have made a decision to commit myself to making a difference. My name is Matthew Hensman-Smith and I am 33 years old, I was born in 1981 and grew up in South Manchester. The trials of being raised within a working class family, mixed with negative temptation from peers and lack of motivation at school lead to my education being terminated in the final year of high school. Even though I completed a full five year education, I was refused permission to sit my final exams and therefore received no GCSE qualifications. This is turn lead me into more behavioural problems and resulted me being incarcerated. After my sentence had ended I was very aware of the difficulties an ex-convict can face when looking for work, and I was determined to reinvent my way of life. Thus I decided to create my own business.
At the age of 21, I started a gardening, painting and decorating business. This quickly became very successful and after two years I sold the business and was lucky enough to buy and sell my first house. This success inspired me to open up my second business, a sandwich shop called “Bursting Butty” and at this time also welcomed my son into the world. It was his presence that motivated me to want to progress further and I then sold the sandwich shop and opened another business “Short Cutz Barbers” at the age of 25. This business was a success until I reached a turning point in life and decided to sell my business to pursue other things, making a difference. I then bought my second home. By originally setting out to reinvent my life, I think it’s safe to say that I had succeeded in doing this. At 29 I travelled throughout many different countries, with Goa, Mexico and Thailand having the strongest impact. My eyes became open to the living conditions within these countries and this left me feeling shocked at the life chances, or lack of, that some people have. This forced me to feel nothing but gratitude for the life that I have and also how much I take for granted. It put a lot of areas of my life in perspective in regards to what is necessary and what is not. A part of myself awakened. I wanted to give back. To use my position, as someone more fortunate, to help in any way that I can. This is why I have decided to put as much time as I can into “Giving It Back Community”.