Matthew named as Good Citizen

Published Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Matthew Ellison has been named as Coventry’s latest Good Citizen.

Matthew and his family with the Lord Mayor of Coventry, John McNicholas

Matthew received his award from Lord Mayor Cllr John McNicholas, at this week’s City Council meeting.

From an early age, Matthew experienced the devastating impact the effects of Huntington’s Disease had on his family. 

As Matthew grew older, he wanted to use his own experience of growing up with a parent who had the disease to change the landscape for other children and young people. 

While attending the Huntington’s Disease Congress in 2009 Matthew connected with many other young people who were going thorough similar experiences. During this event an idea would transpire and after years of fundraising, writing, research and lobbying, the idea turned into reality. 

Matthew was able to bring HDYO.org into fruition in 2012, an organisation dedicated to filling the gap in support and education for young people impacted by Huntington’s around the world.

Since 2009 Matt has helped support 4,000 young people from over 90 countries. The educational content he developed is now available in 14 different languages and the videos have been viewed more than two million times.

Part of the citation which explains why Matthew was given the honour, says:  “Matt does all of this whilst living with the knowledge that he too will develop Huntington’s Disease after testing positive at 18. Matthew is an advocate for young people, Huntington’s Disease, rare diseases and genetic conditions. 

“He has invested his time, efforts and resources to help better the lives of young people, his actions truly reflect his character and he is a worthy recipient of this Coventry Good Citizen Award.”

If anyone would like to nominate someone for a Good Citizen Award they can fill out an online application.  

Coventry City Council