Local Face: Matt Ryan

  |  Published: Oct 1st 2013

Matt has lived in Wendover for most of his life - he was born in Aylesbury, lived in Tring for his early years and then moved to Wendover where he attended the Junior School and then Aylesbury Grammar School. He moved to Devon with his family in 1992 where he completed his A-Levels at Torquay Boys Grammar School, before moving back to Wendover, to be with his childhood sweetheart Amanda.

Matt and Amanda were married in 1997 and in 1999 their first child Sam was born, and was followed Rebecca, Charlie and Joseph. Matt also began his training as an accountant, and qualified in 2001 as a Chartered Certified Accountant. During this time he worked at his father-in-law's accountancy practice, before moving to Harris & Co in Berkhamsted and later working as a Financial Controller for a Sunday Times Top 100 privately owned company. In 2006, Matt took the big step of opening his own Chartered Certified Accountancy practice. Today, his business, Numbers, has grown significantly and now supports many local businesses, employs seven local people and is based in the heart of Wendover at the top of the High Street.

Aside from devoting his time to his family, friends and business, Matt is very involved in many activities within the Wendover community – he’s an active member of St Mary’s Church, where he was Church Warden for several years and is now in his second spell as leader of its youth group. He is also Treasurer of Wendover Cricket Club and a football coach for the Under 15 Colts at Wendover Junior Football Club to name but a few. He has recently been appointed as the Treasurer for the Lionel Abel-Smith Trust – an organisation that was created to provide Wendover residents and societies with financial assistance for worthwhile projects.

Matt has made many friends at St Mary's and it was here he met Paul Shyvers, who sadly lost his battle against cancer at the end of last year. When Paul was first diagnosed with this, it reminded Matt that life was too short not to make the most of it.

At this time Matt invested in a sea kayak as something to enjoy whilst spending time together with family and friends on their holidays. Matt really wanted to take Paul out on the kayak, but never got that opportunity. So in his memory, Matt and a group of friends decided to kayak around the Isle of Wight!

In the last weekend of August Matt, Ben Hutchings, Claire Morton & Ruth Morley successfully kayaked around the island and to date have raised an amazing £8,000 towards St Francis Hospice in Berkhamsted and Cancer Research. They were supported by friends who had travelled to the Isle of Wight and also from afar via Facebook. They even managed a live link up from their support yacht during the Sunday morning church service!

The Isle of Wight adventure was a huge achievement as the paddlers managed to make the 100km around the island. They endured three gruelling days of early starts, battled 6ft waves but enjoyed amazing scenery and best of all the companionship of wonderful friends. They were supported on the Isle of Wight by 40 people from their community of family and friends from Wendover who made the trip down. They were able to enjoy the adventure together away from the normal busyness of life.

www.justgiving.com/IOWKayakAdventure

Paul Shyvers spent his last week at the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.  This is a fantastic small charity that does wonderful work, looking after patients and their families during the most difficult of times. They need to raise £4.7 million each year and only 20% comes from the NHS – the rest has to come from fundraising.  Matt's donation page is still live so if you would like to help recognise their fantastic achievement you can visit www.justgiving.com/IOWKayakAdventure.  

Last year it was the Reading Half Marathon for Mimi’s Mission, this year kayaking 100km around the Isle of Wight for St Francis Hospice in Berkhamsted – what does next year have in store? Watch this space!

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