Darren Halford

Darren Halford

Mentor

Hi my name’s Darren.

I’ve got degrees in illustration/graphic design and working with children, young people and families. I’ve also studied children’s literature and 20th century literature, I really enjoy learning about stuff! I’ve had school experience volunteering at my son’s old school for six years, which included supporting both neurodivergent and neurotypical kids. 

Apart from the study, I’ve been a gamer since I had a ZX Spectrum and was pretending to pilot my own ship around the wireframe galaxy of Elite (maximum FPS: 3), before going all cool and getting into music and girls in my mid teens. I’d realised I wasn’t ever going to be cool by the time the PlayStation came out so I got back into gaming and have carried on since then. My all time favourite games include the Fallout series (I’ve sadly put more hours than I’m going to admit into Fallout 76, arguably the worst of the franchise…but I love it and the community is fantastic), Resident Evil 4 (Wii version superior),various Zeldas, the Telltale Walking Dead series, Lego franchises (Marvel Superheroes 100% completion!), Sea of Solitude, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (I still think the Wii motion controls on this were sorcery), Final Fantasy 7 (original and remake) and Spiderman PS4. I’ve recently had to limit my time on Fortnite. I’m looking forward to Starfield.

Although I have played a lot of games, it’s not all I’m interested in: music is my first love and I’ve been writing and performing for the last couple of decades. As of 2015, and with enthusiasm for organising or forcing my way onto shows waning, I started to put more effort into recording and have been doing that with varying degrees of success ever since. I’m also now an experienced songwriter, and myself and some friends organise a songwriting retreat each year in Scotland where we set writing challenges and generally help each other out to write songs and then perform them in front of each other. This has just had its seventh gathering, and was probably the most successful yet in terms of quality.

I’m also an experienced podcast writer, host and editor and am one half of a “comedy” Doctor Who podcast that’s been put on hiatus since the pandemic. At one point we were very popular and even got the coveted SFX Podcast of ALL TIME award (an award we made up after actually getting recognised in the magazine as the one time only Podcast of the Month in 2011).

I live in Lincoln with my son and two cats. 

I am fully DBS checked, have full up-to date safeguarding, safeguarding for online education, and data protection training and have also received training in PDA, Autism, ADHD, and suicide/self harm awareness, as well as personal experience of mental health issues – I’m a very strong advocate of mindfulness!

Favourite Games

Starfield, Fallout 76, Fallout 4, Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Telltale Walking Dead, Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, Red Dead Redemption 2, Bioshock.

Hobbies

Writing and Playing Music, Recording Music, Reading, Art, Science, Nature, Film and TV.

My Pets

Two cats called Felicia and Sebastian.

 

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