Alternative education that believes in young people

Our Story

Make A Pathway (MAP) was formed in 2014 by our founder Louise Waddington, who has committed her career to proving that every young person has the ability to change and fulfil their potential – if they are provided with a nurturing environment that recognises their needs and ambitions.

Since launching, MAP has built a reputation among education providers, statutory services and charities for pioneering new ways of working with young people that gets results for both individuals and communities – and has the stats to prove it

Now, Louise leads a team of professionals who live and breathe the MAP ethos, and use their positions as experts by experience – whether that be in their personal lives or career backgrounds – to create an education environment that enables every young person to thrive.

Building on our 50 years’ combined experience of developing and delivering multi-agency youth-led projects across Greater Manchester, the MAP team has grown to offer alternative education for young people from across Greater Manchester and Derbyshire at our established Ofsted-approved centre in Reddish, Stockport.

Our Team

Louise Waddington

Our dynamic leader, Louise, thinks big and wants to make changes in the world.

She sees working with young people as a calling and has a long and successful career of 9 years in youth and community work – with previous experience in the statutory and voluntary sectors. 

Louise’s entrepreneurial skills saw her set up MAP in 2014 – after identifying a need for new and innovative ways to engage young people and communities, and effectively work alongside other professionals and other organisations to provide the best opportunities for a high-quality alternative education provision for those with learning differences.


We live and breathe what these young people go through on a daily basis. We are all experts by experience – whether that be in our personal lives or career backgrounds. We believe in them and their right to a good education that suits their needs and increases their aspirations.


– Louise

Lynne Marshall

Our centre manager, Lynne, is the mother hen of the team – keeping the staff and young people under her watchful eye.

She has a wealth of experience having been a youth worker since 1982 – and first joined us as a volunteer before becoming an integral part of the workforce. She believes every young person should be supported to grow – and not judged or labelled.

Lynne can be seen working away in the office, guiding our young people to cook up something delicious in the kitchen, or putting our MEND approach – mentor, educate, nurture, develop – into action by offering a comforting and listening ear to our young people when they need it.  


MAP is leading the way in changing the way we work with young people for the better. I love it here, supporting young people is my passion.” 


– Lynne

Damien Samuels

Our charismatic support worker and sports coach, Damien, decided on a change in career after 15 successful years of working in IT for the NHS. He went on to set up his own football coach business before working with MAP.

His passion for sport and a healthy lifestyle shines through here too – with his belief that a healthy body and mind comes hand-in-hand in dealing with life choices.

Damien, who has FA level 2 coaching badges, can be seen leading a sports session, cooking a healthy meal or facilitating a classroom discussion – from English and art to science and politics.


I want to be a person these young people can believe in. I treat each one of them as equals – they respect my opinion and I respect theirs. I can see all the positive traits they have, and I encourage them to use them.”


– Damien

Jake Mattison

Our safeguarding and pastoral lead, Jake, has worked with young people for 18 years, starting off in residential children’s homes, then in youth offending teams and children’s services.

He is motivated by the changes that you see in young people when they are given the right support – and likes that MAP addresses the need for change in the education system – providing a professional but nurturing environment.

Jake also runs his own social enterprise with his wife Kelly, HEART and enjoys boxing.


Young people today face a range of issues in education – too many are square pegs trying to be forced into round holes. Those that attend MAP are an unheard voice – and they have great things to say – I want to give them a voice.”


– Jake

Will Lewis

Our creative, laid back support worker, Will, is the musician of the bunch – who can play the drums, guitar, bass, keyboard.

He feels like he can relate to some of the young people – and their experiences at school – and is driven by wanting to help them to succeed and find what they enjoy in education.

Will, who has a degree in music and plays in a band, supports sports and classroom sessions as well as sharing his passion for music with the young people as a way of assisting learning and opening up their minds to various career paths. He also volunteers at other organisations as a youth worker.


I would like to support the young people find their passion, like I have in music. I want to help put them on the right path. It will be the best thing ever to see them go on to be successful in life – whatever that may be.”


– Will