The parents of a young man tragically killed in a road accident in Cambodia have handed over a cheque for money raised in his memory on what would have been his 25th birthday.
Matthew Riley was killed while riding a motorcycle in the summer of 2015 just a few days before he was due to return home to Ketton from travelling in Cambodia. He was just 23.
His devastated parents Ges and Mick and brother Tom decided to complete the Three Peaks Challenge - something Matt had planned to do himself for charities close to his heart. They were joined in August by more than 50 family members and friends.
As well as Diabetes UK and Mind - the charities Matt wanted to support in memory of his grandfather and aunt - his family also chose to support CamKids, a charity in Cambodia helping youngsters, and one that Matt had helped during his time in the country - teaching orphans to swim.
Ges said: “We wanted to try and do something positive on his birthday and what better than presenting the cheques to the charities he had wanted to support Diabetes UK and Mind plus CamKids, which we added in his honour.
“The amazing amount raised exceeded all of our expectations completely, the total was £12,752.68 and with GiftAid rising to around £13,500, which is overwhelming. The generosity of people has blown us all away.”
The money going to CamKids will support a class of 30 orphan and street children for a year - and a class will be named in Matthew’s memory.
Ges said representatives of all three charities paid tribute to her son.
She added: “They all said how much of a difference this money will make to each of their charities.”
A former pupil at Ketton Primary School, Casterton College and New College Stamford, Matt would have graduated from Lincoln University in September and his parents heard “moving and emotional tributes” to him.
Matt also worked locally and was a keen rugby player. Friends also took part in the Deepings Raft Race this year in his memory.
Ges said: “We miss him so much each and every moment of every day - he brightened any room up when he walked in, he had such a presence. He touched so many lives.”
A Facebook page has also been set up dedicated to Mattchoo - the colourful elephant found in Matt’s rucksack. The hope is that pictures of the ‘mascot’ will be taken all around the world in memory of Matt who had ambitions to travel further.
Anyone able to share a photo of the elephant should go to Facebook and search for ‘Mattchoos Great Travels Around the World’.