Hi there, I’m Tom.
Charity Ambassador & Advocate for Young People, Diana Award Winner
Born and raised in Jersey, 19-year-old Tom Martin-Hughes completed his primary education at D’Auvergne School and it was here that he was first introduced to volunteering. Tom attended a talk on first aid and St. John Ambulance, which led to him expressing an interest in joining the organisation. At the age of 8, he joined as a St. John Ambulance Badger and started to develop skills such as first aid and leadership. Tom remains part of St. John Ambulance to this day and has offered over 800 hours of public service providing first aid to the community of Jersey.
Tom moved on to complete his secondary education at Haute-Vallee school, where he credits his mentor, Head of Year, and science teacher for providing him with the guidance and support that enabled him to achieve what he has so far, highlighting the importance of mentorship in education. After completing his secondary education, Tom completed a diploma at Highlands College.
Both volunteering and mentoring are a large part of Tom’s life, and these have led him to become the first Jersey recipient of the Diana award. The award recognises young people who go above and beyond to make positive changes in their communities. It is awarded by The Diana Award Charity, which is a legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change the world, with the mission to “foster, develop and inspire positive change in the lives of young people”. The charity also offers a mentorship scheme, and Tom has been working with the charity to ensure mentorship is part of the education curriculum in Jersey. This advanced further at the end of 2019, as the States of Jersey Police approached Tom to see how they could use this scheme and engage with young islanders. A programme has now been developed where twelve officers of different ranks have regular 1-2-1s in a mentoring capacity with twelve young people who have the potential to be not in education, employment or training (NEET).
Alongside his volunteering and mentorship work, Tom is primarily based in Italy and works in an international role for Gucci, focussing on brand and culture engagement. This is a wide-ranging role which includes advising the company on their work with charities, employee volunteering, and diversity and inclusion. Typically to work in a corporate capacity at Gucci a master’s degree is required, however despite not having this Tom was driven by his belief that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” and was able to demonstrate that he had the necessary skills and experience for the role.
Having had the opportunity to travel the world and see and compare various educational systems and teaching styles, Tom has identified several focus areas that may be relevant for education and social mobility in Jersey. He believes that educational systems should be balanced between exam results and vocational opportunities in order to cater for all learning styles. The specific skills nurtured in educational institutions are also important, and a mixture of academic and ‘life skills’ should be considered. For example, people and communication skills, and how to network and build rapport may be overlooked but are key skills that can be utilised in a wide range of career paths.