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Reducing drug and alcohol harms to Norfolk’s Young People.

The Matthew Project held a training and launch event for two services aimed at supporting young people affected by substance use.  YouCan is dedicated to supporting young people under 19 impacted by a family member’s substance use, and the Unity service is a treatment provision aimed at assisting individuals under 19 concerned with their own substance use.

The Matthew Project, was awarded the contract by Norfolk County Council following a successful open tender procurement process. The launch celebrated the services at Dereham Town Football Club, attracting over 80 professionals and community members eager to learn more about these vital services.

The services have been developed in partnership with children and young people in Norfolk, ensuring that they are meeting their needs in the most engaging way. Parent of a child YouCan supported. ‘I really can’t thank them enough for the support they gave us. My daughter wants to say a huge thank you for helping her on her way to feel safe and happy.’ Stories from young people, offered first and accounts of the challenges that are faced by those affected by substance use were presented. 

Participants heard from  ,  the Local Authority Commissioner and the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Partnership Manager. Together, they emphasised the importance of addressing substance use among young people, the impact to young people living in a household with substance misuse  and highlighted the collaborative efforts necessary to combat stigma and promote positive change.

Attendees participated in a training session which provided valuable insights and practical knowledge to equip them with the tools needed to support young people with at risk of harm from substances.

Julia Smith - Operations Manager, Norfolk Youth Justice Service

“I found the launch day really interesting and informative. The YouCan service is excellent, supporting those affected by others  drug or alcohol use, to be able to cope and have someone to speak to about how they feel.”

Quote from Rachel Chapman, Chief Executive of The Matthew Project

“We are delighted to be launching two Norfolk-wide services to support young people affected by their own or a family members’ substance misuse.  This funding will help us reach more of the most vulnerable children across Norfolk.”

About The Matthew Project

The Matthew Project empowers young people and adults to overcome drugs, alcohol, and mental health issues so they can live their lives more fully. The Matthew Project also offers specialist services for both family members impacted by others’ substance misuse and for veterans. visit –



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