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About Us


About us 

More information about the Matthew Project

We empower young people and adults to overcome drugs, alcohol, and mental health issues so they can live their lives more fully. We also offer specialist services for both family members impacted by others’ substance misuse and for veterans. 



Who we serve  


We support young people and adults who:  

  • have problems with drugs or alcohol 

  • are at risk of exploitation in County lines activity 

  • suffer from anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues 

  • face barriers to education, employment and training 


We also have specialist services: 

  • run by veterans for veterans affected by drug and

       alcohol issues and living with PTSD 

  • for family members isolated and impacted by others'

       drug and alcohol issues 


Our story

The story of the Matthew Project began in 1984, with a Norwich-based Christian social worker called Peter Farley. Peter was concerned about the level of substance misuse he was seeing among young people in the city and felt that the existing provision was not doing enough to support them.


Peter’s idea was to set up the Tackle Shop, a Norwich-based drop-in for 12-25-year-olds to get confidential advice and support, particularly around substance misuse. This was accompanied by an additional out-of-hours phoneline called the Tackle Line. Both services were immediately popular with young people, and this led to the establishment of a new charity, set up by Peter, called the Matthew Project, which comes from the word Matthew in the Bible meaning ‘gift of God’.   


Since those early days, we’ve grown into a leading local charity, working with thousands of people across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex every year.

Our impact

In 2022/23 the Matthew Project supported:

721 children and young people facing a range of challenges including barriers to work, substance misuse, and mental ill health

173 adults in recovery from addiction through therapeutic and skills-based programmes

522 veterans, serving personnel, and family members affected by substance use and/or PTSD

Our trustees 

Our patrons 

Henry Cator, OBE, DL 


The Lady Dannatt, MBE

General The Lord Dannatt GCB, CBE, MC, DL (Patron of Outside the Wire) 

Partnering with

Proud Member of Sir Norman Lamb Coalitio
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