Matthew Norton, founder of Street Kids' Community Villages, dies

Tributes paid after 56-year-old is killed by a fall at home in south-east India

Tributes have been paid to Matthew Norton, the founder of Street Kids' Community Villages, who has died after a fall at his home in south-east India.

Norton, who was 56, set up SKCV, which works with homeless boys and girls in Vijayawada, south-east India, in 1984.

Norton identified with the street children because he had lived on the streets of Manchester and London after running away from home aged 16, colleagues said.

Richard May, chair of the trustees of SKCV UK, the fundraising arm of the charity, said Norton's death was a "great shock and a tragic loss. He will be greatly missed by people around the world whose lives he touched so deeply,

"His tireless devotion to the plight of destitute street children earned their love and respect and humbled all who knew him.

"He was an inspirational lion of a man whose fitting legacy is the charity he founded and the thousands of young lives he rescued from unimaginable suffering and, for many, otherwise certain death."

David Maidment, founder and chairman of Railway Children, which works with SKCV, said: "I had great admiration both for Matthew and his work.

"His empathy for street children and his ability to gain their trust, which was born of his own experiences, made his work enormously effective."

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