Passionate volunteer receives annual Matthew Percy award

PUBLISHED: 16:30 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:27 27 March 2019

Karl Butler from IO Radio in Ipswich Picture: KARL BUTLER

Karl Butler from IO Radio in Ipswich Picture: KARL BUTLER


A remarkable volunteer with IO Radio of Ipswich who has defied a terminal heart condition has received a special award recognising his work in the community.

Karl Butler, winner of the Matthew Percy award. Picture: KARL BUTLERKarl Butler, winner of the Matthew Percy award. Picture: KARL BUTLER

Karl Butler, aged 38, scooped the Matthew Percy award at the station’s annual awards.

The community station, based in South Street in Ipswich, handed out 17 awards to their volunteers to recognise those who have made the biggest impact in the last year.

The awards ranged from bravest moment award, volunteer of the year and best show team but the award which always stands out from the rest is the Matthew Percy Award, which recognises outstanding achievement.

Karl, of Ipswich, was nominated after a string of achievements including creating a club night for those with additional needs, supporting those who need it at the station, and working as a disability advisor for the NHS.

Eva Percy, Matthew Percy's sister, awards Karl Butler with the Matthew Percy Award at IO Radio Picture: IO RADIOEva Percy, Matthew Percy's sister, awards Karl Butler with the Matthew Percy Award at IO Radio Picture: IO RADIO

He was born with a serious heart condition and doctors have now told him that he is in “the end stage” of heart failure.

Karl said: “I can’t say how grateful and honoured I am to win this award!

“I’m grateful for everyone around me who supported my journey and my crazy ideas and give me confidence to make a difference in the community.”

Matthew Percy was a well known young person on the Ipswich political scene, serving on Kesgrave Town Council and being a member of the Youth Parliament.

He was a former presenter on IO Radio, bringing his passion for politics to the airwaves.

The 21-year-old sadly took his own life in April 2015, shortly after posting an emotional message on Facebook.

Ed Barnes, the former manager of IO Radio who nominated Karl for the award, said: “Karl joined us at IO Radio when he signed up for one of our courses around five years ago.

“He trained at the station and started to present a sports show with his friend John Smith.

“Throughout this time Karl helped support John who has his own disabilities despite his own health issues and they made an excellent radio show.

“Karl went on to support more and more people at IO radio as he became a regular face at the station and we saw his confidence grow.

“So much so, he went on to become an ambassador for Ace Advocacy and then landed himself a job with the NHS as a disability advisor.

“He then went on to create a club night for people with learning disabilities or who need additional support.

“Karl has done all this whilst dealing with his own very serious health issues and in our eyes is a thoroughly worthy winner of the Matthew Percy award for Outstanding Achievement.”

Karl added: “I’m passionate when it come to people with learning disabilities and mental illness and making sure that they have a good ordinary life and be part of the community.”

“I believe it is important to help people because I have lived and have experience.

“I want to help and support them so that they can have good ordinary life.

“I do it because I care about them and want the best for them.

“In the past I hadn’t received much support and I don’t want other people to think that there is none.”

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