Matthew Blakemore - Achievements
In 2005 Matthew Blakemore was elected Chair of Stevenage Youth Council by representatives from each of the Schools in the
town. In his elected position he managed the Youth Council budget and supported various projects in the community to better the lives of young people living there. Two stand out projects were 'The Body Stop' an initiative to educate young people about sexual health, and 'Herts-wired' a county wide initiative to provide online support to young people in distress or in need of advice.
As elected Chair of Stevenage Youth Council, Matthew Blakemore was also invited to be part of the Hertfordshire Youth Council where he played an instrumental role in defining and delivering the Hertfordshire Youth Charter, a document that detailed the rights and responsibilities of young people within the community. He was heavily involved in the marketing initiative with Hertfordshire County Council and worked with a BBC production team to put together a Hertfordshire Youth Charter video that was distributed to schools and youth centres in the county.
Matthew Blakemore was awarded a Hertfordshire Youth Award for his hard work in the community.
In 2006 he was elected Deputy Head Boy at the John Henry Newman School. As part of this role he planned and executed the schools charity week (KISS week) with the rest of the elected team. The week raised over £25,000 for an orphanage in Uganda.
Matthew enjoys art and won the John Henry Newman School GCSE Art Award, in 2006 he gained national recognition for his talent winning the Noise Festival and having his artwork displayed on the Tate Website. This work can be found on the here.
Early Achievements: 16 - 18 years old
University of Hertfordshire: 18 - 22 years old
When Matthew Blakemore secured his place at the University of Hertfordshire to study International Business he also joined the university rowing team. Matthew balanced the first two years of his study with the new demanding hobby. Rowing became a big part of his life, the early training sessions and dedication soon paid off when the team won 'The Team of the Year' award at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Awards in 2008.
A year later in 2009 he took part in 'The Head of the River Race' with the team on the River Thames. The course of this race is the same used for the famous Cambridge and Oxford boat race. Hundreds of teams from all over Europe took part and the University of Hertfordshire made up over 100 places in the pre-race rankings to finish in a time of 19 minutes 45.72 seconds in 212th (starting position 333rd). In the University Halladay Trophy the team finished 31st out of 118.
In the third year of his degree Matthew Blakemore studied in Germany at Rosenheim Hochschule. He embraced the challenge of becoming more proficient in German and embracing a new culture and way of life. The experience gave him the opportunity to travel all over Europe and to learn about business in different environments.
In 2011 Matthew achieved a First Class BA Hons International Business Degree at the University of Hertfordshire.
Entrepreneurialism - Erasmus Portal: 21 - 22 years old
In 2010 Matthew Blakemore launched the Erasmus Portal a website he developed during the Summer on his return to the University of Hertfordshire from Rosenheim Hochschule.
Matthew's vision was to provide an all encompassing web solution that could be used by international students starting at the University of Hertfordshire to quickly become acquainted with UK culture, lifestyle, and opportunities. He asked previous international students of the university to contribute to the website and to pass on their advice. He also sourced deals and discounts from local businesses that could be of interest to the new students including discounted car hire, and restaurant deals.
The website was a big hit with international students and subsequently Matthew was invited to present the solution to the University of Hertfordshire's international partners.
The website was sustained by the income raised from discounts and deals used by the new students.
Matthew Blakemore has worked closely with Teens Unite Fighting Cancer a charity based in Hertfordshire that supports teenagers with life limiting illnesses.
In 2012 Matthew wrote and produced a song with Danny Andrews, James Thomas, and Tatjana Apukhtina to commemorate London hosting the Olympic Games. The track was written to promote the amazing work of the charity and raise awareness. Achieving local radio play, trending on twitter, and featuring in a number of newspapers, the promotional campaign worked extremely effectively. Several high profile celebrities lent their support to the campaign and still support the charity today.
Following the success of the Olympic song Matthew penned a Christmas track and secured Beyond the Barricade (a famous touring group of West End singers) to sing the track. The same team behind the Olympic song returned to be involved in the production and campaign. Once again local radio and press lent their support, but significantly BBC radio too offered interviews and radio play. The publicity drive resulted in increased donations for the charity and more celebrity support.
Hear both of the tracks here.