“Matthew Benjamin Elliott”
22 September 1978 to 18 May 2009
Five years ago this week, we lost our lovely son in a tragic accident. We always knew he was special, but only after his death did we find out just how many hearts he touched and how many of his friends and colleagues were also left bereft.
Many of them have raised money over the years in different & challenging ways – they call it “doing an Elliott” as Matt was always finding new challenges and setting off on adventures of one type or another.
His old firm in London created a travel bursary in his name, and each year, around Matt’s birthday, reward their most promising new employee with a ticket to anywhere in the world of their choice for themselves and a companion, plus two weeks extra leave. The only stipulation being it should be an “experience’ rather than just a holiday. Somewhere to take them out of their comfort zone and challenge them. They call this the Radiator Award, in honour of his beaming smile (and tombstone teeth!)
His university friends also get together each year, again in September, to remember him, sometimes challenge themselves, and keep his memory alive. Over the years we’ve had endurance bike rides, long walks, games & picnics. We feel very lucky to have got to know them, and be included in their get togethers and have consequently a big extended family to enjoy.
Matt’s old school friends celebrate in a different way, with an annual golf tournament down on the South Coast – competing to win the Elliott trophy each year and raise a glass to him.
His amazing rugby club, Hackney RFC hold an annual knock out tournament at the end of each season in his memory – The Matt Elliott Cup. Funds raised each year have been donated to various charities, and this year we are very pleased to be able to support Reuben’s Retreat – a charity we have only recently become aware of.
This seems particularly apt to us for two reasons:-
Even when they are grown up and have flown the nest (Matt was just 30 when he died), there is never a good age to lose a child – and no matter how old they are, they WILL always be your “child”. Reuben’s Retreat’s aim to help bereaved parents and siblings rebuild their shattered lives will be a wonderful resource for families in dire need of support.
Matt spent three very happy years at Manchester University and was very fond of the city. It seems right somehow to be supporting a charity based there and to be giving something worthwhile back.
When you lose a child, the world stops and you just want to get off. Help and support from people who understand is essential. The world for that family will never be the same, nor should it be. But eventually, over time, as we know, life can go on – just in a different way and in a different direction. Helping families find a way to move forwards is a wonderful and worthwhile thing to do.
We wish you well in your journey.
Sue and Rick,
“Thank you BOTH, what a handsome chap, with so much to give, even in his passing. A testament to you both and his loving family Kisses to the sky dear Matt Elliott” Love Nic xxxx