Last week saw the launch of our brand new £1m Norwich-based centre for those in recovery from addiction, funded by Public Health England, Norfolk County Council and generous Trusts, Companies and Individuals.
On the 17th October over 90 local organisations came through the doors for the launch of our new recovery centre - Next Steps. The space, based on Oak Street, will help hundreds of vulnerable people each year to learn employability skills, access support, and be part of a new recovery community. The centre will also support children affected by parental substance misuse, and veterans with drug/alcohol and PTSD issues.
For our open afternoon the newly renovated training kitchen was utilised by staff and volunteers to serve refreshments to our guests. We also had the pleasure of Sam Maddocks from Strangers Coffee House breaking in the new espresso machine to provide specialist coffees.
In addition to the cafe and training kitchen, Next Steps has a workshop, an exercise studio, an IT suit, counselling rooms, and an art studio, as well as spaces for group support. The centre has already been supporting adults in recovery since January this year, alongside renovation works.
Members accessing the recovery programme were vital in volunteering their time to help with the day, and to talk about how Next Steps has supported their recovery.
Staff and trustees of the Matthew Project were also on hand to discuss what the new centre will offer the Norfolk community, and to answer questions about the great work they already do.
The evening launch welcomed trustees, staff and donors to the Next Steps, in addition to special guests Lord and Lady Dannatt, Sheriff of Norwich Dr Marian Prinsley, Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas & Lady Mayoress and High Sheriff of Norfolk Lady Clare Agnew.
The leader of Norwich City Council Alan Waters, Marie Reavey from Faith and Police Together and Inspector Graham Dalton from Norfolk Constabulary were also in attendance.
The training kitchen was put into full use by the members of the recovery programme to produce a fantastic spread for the evening launch.
Introductions were led by our head of Trustees Paul Hoey and the Next Steps vision was relayed by our CEO Andy Sexton. Then the RSP graduates Kaz and Cameron bravely shared their stories of addiction, and the positive effect that Next Steps has had on their recovery.
Finally we had the privilege of our new patron, Lady Dannatt MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant officially opened the centre. Thank you to all who attended!
Quotes from the day
“It is so fantastic to see this vision come to life! What an amazing space that will make such a difference to people. Well done!”
“What an amazing project. Beautifully designed and very welcoming for all!!”
“Absolutely wonderful, such an inspiring place. This will be an amazing place of support, love and friendship to many people.”