We’d like to welcome our new Interim CEO, Rachel Chapman, who has been busy settling into the challenging new role.
Rachel steps into the new role already knowing the charity well. She has been deputy CEO for the past two years and has headed up the charity's On Track programme for young people who are not in education, employment, or training. Rachel's background before joining the Matthew Project was in education, most recently as Project Manager at City College Norwich, and for many years she has been committed to working with some of the most disadvantaged young people in Norfolk.
Rachel is looking forward to this challenging new role and leading the Matthew Project as it approaches its 40th birthday in 2024. She said: “I am really lucky to work alongside a committed, passionate, and experienced team of staff and volunteers. Across the organisation we provide a wide range of support for both adults and young people and they inspire us with the resilience they demonstrate day after day in challenging circumstances. Serving them all is what makes this role such a privilege.
“The Matthew Project supported over 1,500 people last year. The need for our services is greater than ever and we see ever increasing numbers visiting the Next Steps recovery hub in Norwich, open to anyone in recovery from drug and alcohol use. We are working to transform the lives of many, providing support as they seek to rebuild their lives.
“We are primarily a Norfolk-based charity, but recently we have expanded with the provision of support for veterans across East Anglia, including our latest outreach into Cambridgeshire,” said Rachel. “With the rise of mental health issues during the pandemic we have grown our services for young people, providing more support and counselling for mental health issues. In the last year, we have seen a marked increase in the number of young people across Norfolk affected by other people’s substance use. Finally, we seek to help young people who are not in employment or education, supporting them to re-engage with employment and training opportunities.
“With ever increasing demand for our support, I am thrilled to continue the leadership of this amazing charity doing such important work, into our 40th year and beyond,” she said.