Skate pals in tribute to popular Will at memorial
FRIENDS of a popular young man who died after struggling with his mental health gathered to raise money in his memory.
Will Mathews was described as ‘a very compassionate and friendly young man’ following his death last month.
The 22-year-old student died after being hit by a train at Levenshulme train station on October 8.
Family say he had been suffering with mental health issues in the run up to his death and was admitted to hospital. His parents said he had become concerned with diet and nutrition, which may have been a ‘contrib- uting factor’ to his death.
One of this best friends, Jonjoe McManus, has vowed to do something to help other young people in need.
Along with Will’s friends he organised a skate and music event at Gatley Skate Park, in Stockport, to raise money for Papyrus – a voluntary organisation which supports suicidal teenagers and young adults.
Jonjoe, 19, said: “It was very appropriate in the circumstances. There’s nothing we can do to get Will back but we can raise money to other people like him.
“There were about 100 people there throughout the day, which we didn’t expect. We did it at the skate park because that’s where we all got to know Will and that’s where we’ve made a memorial to him.”
Tragically, Jonjoe’s sister Pippa McManus died after a long battle with anorexia. The 15-year-old died at Gatley railway station in December 2015.
She had been released from a psychiatric hospital before stepping in front of a train and had written a collection of ‘goodbye’ notes on a previous home visit.
Jonjoe previously said that Pippa’s death had a strong effect on Will and may have acted as a ‘contributing factor’ to his own personal struggles.
He added: “A few of us made this charity event happen because we thought it would be a nice idea seeing as we have all lost Will and my sister.”
Aspiring entrepreneur Will was studying food entrepreneurship at Manchester Metropolitan University and was said to be dreaming up new ideas for food-based businesses.
His parents described him as a lovely man who had compassion for everyone he met.