Matt’s story

Doing so much good in such a short life… Matt Kendall image

Matt Kendall,  an inspirational and much-loved youth and development worker from Kings Heath in Birmingham, died from oesophageal cancer in May 2015, aged just 35.

Knowing that all treatment options were exhausted after a gruelling two and a half year battle,
and that he didn’t have long,  Matt used the last of his energy to set up the
Matt Kendall Foundation.  He was determind that his life’s work should continue, because
“the job isn’t done.”

For almost twenty years Matt inspired communities in Birmingham to come together for the
common good, and supported young people to realise their potential. His passion for the city,
and for what people can do – together and individually when given a helping hand – changed
hundreds of lives.

He made a huge impact in Aston, for example, which is one of the most deprived areas of our
city. By empowering young people and those that do not have a strong and equal voice in society,
barriers were broken down, people from all walks of life came together and the community
re-energised itself, leading to more opportunities and a better quality of life for all.

Many of the numerous sports and community initiatives that he set up are now run for the
community by the community,   including the football league he set up for refugees, which
has been renamed in his memory.  Many awards were also presented at the 2015 Heart of
Birmingham Awards  in his honour.

Matt’s approach of empowering young people and communities also took him across the world.
The Matt Kendall Foundation continues to enjoy support from people Matt helped in  places as
far away as Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Chile.

Matt is missed, but his positive energy and ability to change people’s life for the better has
inspired many people. We all feel lucky to have known him. Matt’s values of integrity, equality,
diversity and community collaboration live on through us, his Foundation and his family, supporters
and the Friends of the Foundation .

As part of his legacy, the Matt Kendall Foundation, which is run entirely by volunteers, embraces
Birmingham’s cultural diversity  and collaborates with other organisations to access and support
young people. We are passionate about what we do  and the difference that young people can
make in their own lives and to the city of Birmingham.

We’re changing lives, just like Matt did.

Watch: Matt’s story in his own words – why a Foundation? 

Watch: Matt’s annual fundraiser- the Soulstic Shakedown

Find out how you can support us.

Find out more about what we do.