Herefordshire Public Services
As a content editor on the 2012 project to move all public service web content for the English county of Herefordshire to a new one-stop website, I led the transformation of a number of areas, including education and family services, teen health, and sustainability. The role involved leading meetings with council departments, liaising with designers and developers, writing copy text to Plain English specifications, and building content in a new content management system.
“Matt was an invaluable addition to our team, able to work unsupervised and deliver superb work on time, every time. I would love to have Matt as a full time content editor and hope to work with him again in the future.”
-Ashley Tucker, Digital Channels Programme Manager, Herefordshire Council and NHS
Paint the Town REaD
“Dr. Matt Finch [is] an impressive speaker with a passionate commitment to literacy development.” — David Bradbury MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Treasury
“Matt’s contribution to Paint the Town REaD has been a game-changer for our organisation. His energy, enthusiasm and talent for community education are limitless and Paint the Town REaD is pleased to recommend his services to clients in Australia and beyond!”
-Rhonda Brain OAM, Founder, Paint the Town REaD
From June 2011 to August 2012, I consulted on the development of Australian literacy scheme Paint the Town REaD, a capacity building programme which empowers local communities to take a hand in child development through the message “Read, talk, sing and rhyme with your baby from birth!”
The role encompassed development of media awareness, professionalisation of resources and overall strategic direction for the scheme, which brings together government bodies, volunteer organisations and the private sector to support community literacy across Australia.
In addition to leading brand development by establishing connections to new partner organisations, project managing the launch of a new website and driving use of social media within the programme, I also created new training and press materials for Paint the Town REaD affiliates.
In September 2012, I was a keynote speaker at Paint the Town REaD’s Third Annual Literacy Conference in Canberra. You can read the speech on this website.
“Matt’s work in training and community outreach has made a huge impact on our work as corporate citizens and our long term commitment to the UK economy. To reach the final stages of the national Business Language Champion Awards in the first year of our outreach scheme is a real achievement, alongside speaking at the Houses of Parliament and discussing issues with our local MP. We look forward to building on these successes in the future.” – Geoff Dance, Managing Director, PMD Magnetics
From September 2009, I headed up the launch of an outreach programme at PMD Magnetics, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and distributors of blank media. As a major supplier to the education sector, management at PMD Magnetics were keen to support Britain’s students and strengthen their already extensive links with schools and universities across the country.
Working with a range of partners including the Business Language Champions scheme and BXL, I developed a programme focussing on business skills, foreign languages and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) subjects. In the very first year of PMD’s outreach work, I was highly commended at the Business Language Champion Ambassador’s Awards, and the company continues to work with me, supporting students through an ongoing outreach programme.
“The students were captivated and you left an excellent impression on all of us!” – Mireia Barrachina-Plo, Development Leader for Student Voice, Heart of England School
“Matt did a brilliant job and his presentation was pitched at the right level, giving pupils very interesting examples from the real world of business” – Cornelia Smith, Head of Languages, Queen Elizabeth School, Atherstone
“Matt has been an inspiration, sharing ideas, information and contacts with the sole purpose of promoting a love of reading and writing to young people, and indeed everyone he meets. His passion for literacy and literature has been the catalyst for several new Library projects in 2012 and an invigorating experience for our students.” – Tracy Dawson, Parkes High School
A spin-off from Paint the Town REaD’s work in Parkes, New South Wales, the Newsvember Project is an initiative by Northparkes Mines in association with local community groups which seeks to promote literacy across all ages through a month-long focus on local newspapers every November.
I came on board with Newsvember 2011 to develop the scheme, broadening Paint the Town REaD’s traditional focus on young learners by partnering with a local high school. In this role, I delivered a series of innovative literacy activities to teens in the town, from hundred-strong Physical Ed. sessions focussing on handwriting and brain development to sharp, witty workshops on ‘How to Con Your Parents Out of a Million Dollars.’
University of London
“Matthew Finch is one of the most outstanding individuals I have encountered in my quarter century in university education. His rare set of gifts combines intellect and professionalism with all-round humanity and commitment.”
-Dr. Warren Boutcher, Dean for Taught Programmes (Humanities and Social Sciences), Queen Mary University of London
From 2004 to 2008, I took on a number of educational and outreach roles at Queen Mary, University of London.
As Subject Leader for the AimHigher activities of the English department, seeking to encourage students from underprivileged backgrounds to study at university, I designed and delivered a broad range of on- and off-campus teaching sessions, from holiday and weekend workshops to schools visits and special one-off activities. Students were challenged to develop their critical thinking skills by exploring and investigating everything from James Bond films to rap music, comic books and the gender politics of fairytales.
In addition to leading seminars for undergraduates on the university’s BA in English Literature, I also served as an award-winning Researcher in Residence under a UK Research Councils scheme that placed academics in British schools for one day a week to challenge and inspire younger learners.
I was one of the first Researchers in Residence to work with the primary age range, in a popular programme at Joy Lane Primary School, Whitstable, Kent. The activities ranged from developing advanced research skills in older pupils through to German language lessons, special sessions on Anne Frank and the Holocaust, Egyptology and communications technology.