• +0161 928 2758
  • trustees@skcv.org

our founder

our founder

matthew norton

Matthew Norton, son of a Cheshire GP, was born in 1953, was educated until aged 13 at St. Ambrose College in Hale Barns. He had a varied and colourful youth, was a nightmare teenager twice expelled from subsequent schools and finally left home to become a hippy, living on the streets for a year. He always came home and kept in touch. At eighteen he married Anne Heenan in Salford and in 1971 had a son, Marc, later known as Madhava. They joined the Hare Krisna Movement in 1974 leading a meaningful life after so much seeking. Later they sadly divorced, Madhava remaining with his father. Matthew travelled widely in the States and Europe but whilst working for them in India in his late ‘twenties’ he became worried about the plight of the thousands of children living on the streets and trains. He took in 9 children but the organisation was not interested in helping so he left and set up the registered charity, SKCV Children’s Trust in 1984.

Matthew married Bhakti, a very special Indian girl, in Pune in 1988. They took in more children, teaching them to garden and to cook until they were asked to organise a run down orphanage in Vijayawada in Andra Pradesh. They could not have children of their own so adopted a son, Ananda Moi, in 1992.

Matthew took the name of Manihara and was known throughout SKCV as ‘Pitaji’ (father). For 25 years caring for children was life’s blood for Matthew but it took its toll on him. He also suffered from severe osteoporosis sustaining many broken bones and 2 new hips, finally severe pain from a nerve trapped in a healed broken back. He was given the prestigious Annual Award from the All-India Rotary International for his outstanding services to children which moved him greatly. A year later, greatly incapacitated, he died suddenly and quite unexpectedly on 1 June 2009 aged fifty six. All who knew him acknowledge his amazing qualities of contagious merriment and commitment to his vision but is remembered most of all by the hundreds of children he loved so much and helped to a purposeful, happy life.