The party and launch event was held at the Christian charity’s Norwich
head office at Nedeham House, attended by around 100 staff and supporters including the charity’s patrons, the Bishop of Norwich
and Henry Cator, The Lord Mayor of Norwich
, his Sheriff
and the Norfolk High Sheriff.
Henry Cator officially cut the ribbon on the new Voicebox following a year-long campaign to raise funds to replace the old Voicebox
Matthew Project CEO, Rosalie Weetma
n, said: “It is hard to believe that 30 years ago, Peter Farley
and his wife Margaret
had the vision to set up a small local charity with the intention of supporting young people in rural Norfolk - and look where we are today! From those small but significant beginnings, The Matthew Project has remained true to its ethos of compassion, care, creativity and integrity and has grown to employing over 125 staff plus volunteers to deliver drug and alcohol treatment services and support to thousands of individuals, and their families and communities every year.
“The Matthew Project is a value-driven organisation, originating from a Christian perspective and believing in no compromise on hope for people's lives no matter what their situation.
“From the earliest days of the Project, local people supported Peter and Margaret to deliver this new and much-needed service, and it soon became clear that to meet the needs of young people living in the far reaches of Norfolk, an appropriate form of transport would be needed - and so Voicebox was born! We have had a few caravans over the years, and I am delighted to be launching the most recent incarnation this evening,” said Rosalie.
“The Matthew Project has evolved over the past 30 years, and we now have teams working with all age groups in 12 offices across two counties, as well as the work we do in outreach settings including schools, youth clubs, universities and colleges, as well as police stations, village halls and health centres.
“These are, however, challenging times for charities and we are conscious of the need always to do more, often with fewer resources. And so our thirtieth birthday year will also be a year where we continue to seek to raise funds for projects which meet the needs of vulnerable individuals who would otherwise slip through the gaps of society’s net such as our new Outside the Wire project for Armed Forces personnel and their families,” said Rosalie.
The coming year includes a tandem skydive on May 17
, a 1930s Ball at Sprowston Manor on Saturday June 14
and an afternoon event in the Bishop’s garden on Sunday September 7
For information visit www.matthewproject.org
Pictured above, Henry Cator officially cut the ribbon on the new Voicebox.