A family is set take on the Three Peaks Challenge in honour of their son who died in a road accident in Cambodia and wanted to do the same challenge.
Matthew Riley, 23, was killed last summer just a few days before he was due to return home to Ketton. He had spent four weeks in the country and an inquest heard the motorcycle Matt was riding was in collision with another motorcycle.
When Matt returned home, he had set his sights on completing the Three Peaks Challenge but sadly never got the chance.
Now his parents Ges and Mick are set to take on the challenge this weekend and will travel to Scotland tomorrow, ahead of climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon on Saturday.
About 55 family members and friends will also be taking part, coming from as far afield as Australia and Norway. Ges’ niece Alicia is unable to come home from Canada so will be climb Mount Yamnuska instead. Accompanying the group will be Mattchoo, a brightly coloured elephant that was found in Matt’s belongings and is now the family mascot.
The challenge will be raising funds for Diabetes UK and Mind - two charities Matt had intended to help in memory of his grandfather and aunt - and 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: “I think it will be quite emotional when we get to the top of Snowdon but I think the adrenalin will keep me going and knowing that we’re making Matthew proud. He would have said ‘You can do it Mum’.”
The family has been overwhelmed by support since Matt’s death and Ges said they are incredibly grateful to not just those taking part in the challenge, but everyone who has sponsored them or offered raffle and auction prizes for a social gathering being planned for September 3 at Ketton Sports and Social Club. The aim of that event is to raise further funds and to celebrate the completion of the challenge and Matt’s life and achievements.
Ges said: “Matt’s favourite saying was ‘It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years’ and he certainly packed a lot of life in his own years. Any amount that we can raise for these charities makes such a huge difference and it means his memory is living on.”
Ges has set a fundraising target of £2,309.21 - the number of years, weeks and days Matt lived. To sponsor them visit www.gofundme.com/2eawams