Charity trust to be set up in memory of Matthew Percy so ‘this doesn’t happen again’

Matthew Percy while standing for the county council in 2013.

Matthew Percy while standing for the county council in 2013. - Credit: Archant

The passion and dedication of Labour activist Matthew Percy will live on in a charity being set up in his name.

Mr Percy, from Kesgrave, died after a collision with a train on Monday after leaving a final emotional message on Facebook.

A well-known member of the town’s political scene who had served on Kesgrave Town Council, many tributes have been paid to Mr Percy from friends and politicians since his death.

He was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder when he was just eight years old, and it is understood he had also been treated for depression.

Now Joe Plumb, who said Mr Percy had been “a best friend” to him during his own struggles, is setting up the Matthew Percy Trust to raise awareness of mental health issues and bullying.

Mr Plumb, 17, from Northampton, said he met Mr Percy seven years ago at a meeting of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services in London and explained why he was establishing the charity.

“It’s so stuff like this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “Unfortunately stuff like this happens to too many people.”

“Matthew was a best friend to me and he always had a passion for making the lives of young people better.

“He was so passionate about the work he did and he has made such a positive impact.”

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Mr Plumb added the charity had the support of Mr Percy’s family.

And more tributes have been paid to the 21-year-old who was studying a BA(Hons) degree in special educational needs and disability studies at UCS.

Dan Jarvis, a Labour shadow Justice minister, met Matthew as part of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Intern Scheme.

“I was devastated to hear the tragic news that Matthew Percy has died,” Mr Jarvis said in a statement.

“I was fortunate enough to have Matthew as part of my team in Parliament when he was placed with me through the scheme.

“I remember Matthew as an extremely decent and caring young man, who worked hard and had a keen interest not just in politics, but in the power of politics to help people.

“The labour movement has lost a bright and committed young man. But, above all else, my thoughts are with his family at this tragic time.”

To get involved with the new charity call 0203 4052 330.