Matthew Peckett, the only son of Jenny and Trevor Peckett, was a fit, healthy 6’4″ young man with everything to live for. He and his girlfriend Beky Forester had moved into a new house in Barkisland and looked forward to their future together. In 1996, aged 26, Matthew collapsed at work and was later diagnosed with epilepsy. Sadly, two years later in July 1998 Matthew died from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.The Peckett and Forester families became great friends and supporters of the Fund for Epilepsy and Beky was a hard-working employee and supporter of the Fund offices in Barkisland, as were the rest of her family. Fundraising efforts for the Matthew Peckett Memorial Fund had been tireless, including 5- and 10-mile sponsored walks, bring-and-buy sales, coffee mornings, fashion shows, parties, and many other events.

Matthew was employed by the National Grid as an overhead power line engineer. He loved and lived for his work. Colleagues at the National Grid held a sponsored abseil down a 170ft office building in Manchester, and a Dress Down Day at work, resulting in a substantial amount being raised for the Fund.

As a tribute to their colleague, the National Grid named a new type of conductor after him: the Matthew, an innovative aluminium-zirconium alloy gap-type conductor. (It is normal practice to name conductors for ease of reference. Standard alloy conductors, for example, are named after trees.) The first Matthew conductor was installed in 2000 on a section of the Drax-Thorpe Marsh circuit (Yorkshire).

In 2008 the total raised by the Matthew Peckett Memorial Fund reached £20,000 and was committed to supporting the research of Dr. Steven Kemp of St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds. On the 10th anniversary of Matthew’s death it is good to know the monies raised in his memory, are being put to good use.”

– Jenny Peckett and Beky Forester, July 2008

A 2-year study ERUK study by Dr Kemp, investigating how to combine functional MRI and magnetoencephalography to work out who would benefit from epilepsy surgery, has been entirely funded by the Matthew Peckett Memorial Fund.

To make a donation to Matthew’s memorial fund, please use the link below.

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