Martin Matthews lives on The Coots Estate and is at the heart of the Stockwood community. He has been called ‘The Sheriff of Stockwood’ because despite two jobs and a young family, he is available around the clock to help anyone that needs him. He has built up contacts in the council and the police who he can depend on for help and advice.
Here are just some of his many projects:
- He got the council to install a bin for dog waste and he organises regular litter picks.
- He became one of the founder members of the Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces and became his own self-styled park ranger.
- He made the council mow the grass on a regular basis and cut down overhanging trees.
- He has been clearing a pond and ridding the area of Japanese Knotwood; a nuisance weed.
- He used to organise bonfire nights for local children on November 5, using his own money, before he was stopped on health and safety grounds.
- With his £1,000 prize money from becoming Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator of the Year two years ago, he wants to pay for the clearance of park footpaths so it will make easier access for pensioners.
- With his help, fly tipping on the parkland has been virtually eradicated
With his hopeful and energetic attitude, Mr Matthews has inspired many other people in the community to get involved. Kerry McCarthy has said “Martin is a fantastic role model, his enthusiasm generates community spirit in the area; he is a wonderful asset for Stockwood.”