The Team

Barefoot began working with Plymouth communities in September 1996 and has since grown and become well-known and trusted across the city.  The charity was founded by David Oddie OBE in 1996, Richard Marsh becoming director in 1999 and Julie Matthews taking on the role of Co-ordinator in 2006.

In 2014 the small Barefoot team of two part-timers was joined by three part-time youth workers, currently Claire Best, Daisy Ritchie and Jon Dingle, and more recently by two volunteers, Kirsty and Rosie.

The Barefoot staff are supported by a five-strong Board of Trustees.

With a common goal of providing inclusive opportunities for everyone, particularly young people, the Barefoot team work tirelessly to bring people together to share positive experiences, helping to create stronger communities. 


Barefoot sees activities as the key way to bring people together to share achievement, learn skills and strengthen their sense of community.  We particularly work with those who are, or feel, marginalised or excluded, delivering this by creating and managing inclusive projects and events, working in partnership with education and community organisations and employing local practitioners.

Legal Identity, Funders and Partners

Barefoot is a registered charity (no 1062887) and a not-for-profit public company (no 3245163) limited by guarantee. It is governed by a Board of Trustees.


From the beginning we were determined that Barefoot would work in genuine partnership with all groups and organisations, ensuring that involvement with any aspect of our work would bring mutual benefit to all partners. Over 20 years we have developed wide networks of partners encompassing youth work, education, the arts, local government, community, diversity, regeneration, social care, heritage, volunteering, sport, business, reconciliation and youth offending prevention sectors.

Our current key partners include: Plymouth City Council Youth Service, Plymouth Community Homes, Ernesettle Community Forum, Plymouth YMCA, The Eddystone Trust, Ernesettle NHS Surgery, Exim Dance, FotoNow, Livewire Youth Project, Devon FA, Plymouth Sports Charity, the University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth University, HOPES, Ernesettle Community School, Marine Academy Plymouth and Sir John Hunt Community School.


We are based at the SPACE Centre at the heart of the community in Ernesettle, Plymouth, where our current Big Lottery, Reaching Communities-funded SPACE Shot Youth Project has been active since 2014.

Over its twenty-year life-span Barefoot has received funding from the following trusts and organisations:

  • Affinity Sutton Housing Association
  • Aim Higher
  • Arts Council England
  • Awards for All
  • Baily Thomas Charitable Fund
  • Ballard Trust
  • Big Lottery
  • Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Community First
  • The Claire Milne Trust
  • Department for Business, Skills and Innovation
  • Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership
  • Home Office Crime Innovation Fund
  • Keepmoat Fund
  • The Millfields Trust
  • The Norman Family
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Plymouth Drake Foundation Trinity House Fund
  • Plymouth and District Racial Equality Council

Many thanks to all of those who have funded and supported Barefoot projects.