Skate pals in trib­ute to pop­u­lar Will at me­mo­rial

Stockport Express - - News - BETH ABBIT beth.abbit@men­ @BethAb­bit

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.

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