Reaching for the sky
In July Matt Leadbeater climbed the 02 even though he also had to conquer his fear of heights, and he raised more than £1000 for Active Prospects, the charity which supports him.
A passionate fundraiser, 38-year-old Matt doesn’t let his learning disability get in the way and was keen to realise his long-term ambition to walk over the O2 with his support worker, Christine Davey. He described his adventure:Coming down was a bit scary because of the angle. You have to take it step by step, I panicked at first and Christine advised me to take it slowly. I’d like to do it again.
Matt is a volunteer with Active Prospects. One of his support workers shared his passion for fundraising with the Director of Business Development Joel Hartfield, and the organisation took him on.
Mr Hartfield said: “Matt was shortlisted for Volunteer of the Year in the Third Sector Awards 2021. These are national awards with high levels of competition, so it’s a great achievement to be one of the five people shortlisted.”
Matt’s fundraising work didn’t stop there; he also organised two live events which raised £700 for BBC Children In Need. He also supported his peers who were raising money for Macmillan, and he ran The Great Pro-Active Bake Off and produced the fundraising packs himself.
He was interviewed live on BBC Radio Surrey to promote the bake off.
Matt established and edits a Facebook page where he cheers-up people with daily quotes to make everyone feel happier. During the pandemic Matt and his friend, Harry Heffernan, set up their own radio station to broadcast to a wide group of people including other providers of support for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Matt’s desire and energy to help others knows no bounds; during lockdown he delivered fruit and vegetables to vulnerable people. He also hosts regular DJ slots in the evening for those in residential and community services who may not be able to attend other social events.