Outside the Wire

A bespoke drug and alcohol service offering confidential advice and support to current and ex HM Forces personnel and their families, across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Our Services

Our highly-trained and experienced workers, who are themselves ex-Forces, have a particular understanding of the needs and issues faced by veterans, current serving personnel, and their families.

Quick Links

​We offer innovative, comprehensive support which includes confidential meetings at the location of your choice across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. We are sensitive to the complexities of military life and the often understandable resistance to admitting the extent of any personal issues, especially those relating to: PTSD and other mental health; alcohol and drug use; domestic violence and family related issues.​

Call to action: The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us, but our armed forces beneficiaries have been particularly hard hit. 

Many of our service users are already suffering from the effects of PTSD and drug/alcohol misuse. These issues have been exacerbated by coronavirus and the associated lockdown, which has increased isolation and reduced social contact. Lack of structure and relationship issues have added to these problems, and resulted in worsening mental health and increased alcohol use. This is a very vulnerable group, and suicide and health problems are also particularly high risks. 

At the same time, there has been a reduction in support available – for example, Combat Stress has significantly cut down its support in our region, and many other local services, Outside the Wire included, are struggling to keep up with demand. At a time when our support is more vital than ever, Outside the Wire is facing funding difficulties, brought on by Covid-19, and may need to wind down some services. 

We are currently working with over 100 veterans and family members across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, primarily through remote support (video calls, phone calls, and messaging), but also carrying out face-to-face welfare checks for particularly vulnerable individuals. We are also delivering care packages across the region. With your help, we can continue providing vital one-to-one support during this crucial time, helping our armed forces beneficiaries when they need it most. 

If you are a busniness owner or manager and feel able to support our cause by making a donation, please click here. It will take you to our Total Giving donations account where you can note OTW Appeal 2020 as your cause.

Further information regarding our appeal can be found by viewing our leaflet here
 

Testimonials

"I’ve been recieving regular visits from Paul over the last few months after being put in touch with Outside The Wire by my partner. Our meetings have been very beneficial so far and I have made some positive changes in my behaviour, especially towards excessive alcohol consumption. Paul has made me understand like never before the impacts that alcohol can have on my life, my work and family. His help has been brilliant and he also understands the pressures of leaving the service and conveys his messages with an understanding and empathetic tone albeit with a sense of authority which I really needed. His wealth of experience has taught me many things and given me a belief that I have been lacking for a long time ……A believe in myself. 
I’m a sufferer of PTSD, depression and anxiety. Paul has build a strong report with me from day one and enabled me to open up about whats really going on in my life and to take a step back and actually evaluate everything. He has encouraged me to focus on the positive things in my life much more and even offered me a challenge of improving my fitness.
 
Covid-19 -  Since the lock down in March has been in force, mine like so many others lives have been impacted. Paul has gone out of his way to keep me informed of his availability and we have continued to work together via the telephone. This has been a God send. His continued support has kept me level despite a couple of bouts of heavy drinking of which we have discussed, analysed and I’m please to say I have under control. On one occasion when I was having a particular bad time my partner contacted Justin and he immediately called me to discuss the matter and gave me hope. 
 
In reference to Paul encouraging me to exercise and aim for new fitness goals, I have agreed to work towards running a 5k race. I am now on my 4th week of training using the NHS couch to 5k application and have to say despite it’s challenges has help me immensely . Paul and I get on very well and we have much in common including service life. I am making progress with my life because of Paul and hope to be able to continue to have meetings with him for the foreseeable future. He is a fantastic representative for your incredible charity and now my friend"

Names and personal details have been changed to protect identities

"If you had not been there for me at my time of need, I believe, hand on heart, that my son would be growing up without a Dad. I owe my life to Outside the Wire"

A service user

"(Outside the Wire) truly understands the Armed Forces world from the inside - the staff are ex-forces who can relate to difficulties living in civilian world and have knowledge of the difficulties ex-service personnel can experience with regards to PTSD, mental health, and substance misuse"

The Essex Community Rehabilitation Company 

Other resources

To understand more about the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on veterans and their loved ones, watch this BBC documentary on IPlayer CLICK HERE

Combat Stress is another charity dedicated to veterans’ mental health. The organisation conducts extensive research in their field. To view their reports CLICK HERE

How PTSD went from ‘shell-shock’ to a recognised medical diagnosis National Geographic, June 2020
Ex-SAS soldier's lockdown suicide after PTSD struggle 'completely avoidable' The Mirror, June 2020
War hero demands better mental health services for veterans after PTSD caused breakdown Express, March 2020
Veterans' charity Combat Stress stops new referrals over funding crisis BBC News, January 2020
Veteran suicides are the 'epidemic of our time' former head of the army has warned
Telegraph, November 2019
The overwhelming number of suicidal military members, and the neglect they face Independent, July 2019
PTSD rates increase in UK military personnel, research suggests Guardian, October 2018

One hundred years on from the end of the first world war, a group of veterans in Dorset are torn between their pride in their military careers and their anger over the lack of psychological support provided to them by the Ministry of Defence. With many feeling abandoned and left to battle significant mental health issues such as PTSD alone, former soldier Andy Price decides to take matters into his own hands, launching the Veteran’s Hub, a peer-to-peer support network for veterans and their families. Over the course of a year, the Guardian's Richard Sprenger follows Andy on his journey. Watch this documentary below from The Guardian

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70-80 Oak Street, Norwich, NR3 3AQ  |  Enquiries@matthewproject.org  |  01603 626 123

Company registered in England - company number 6388343 | Registered charity number 1122801