The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norfolk based charity expands service to Suffolk

The Matthew Project, Norfolk’s drug and alcohol charity, has recently expanded its Outside The Wire service into Suffolk thanks to additional funding from the Royal British Legion.

matthewprojectphildunnAndy Wicks, manager for the service said, “We are grateful to the Royal British Legion for supporting our Outside The Wire service which was launched in Norfolk two years ago. There are individuals struggling to cope with civilian life having left the Armed Forces, many of whom have alcohol and drug issues. We recognised that there was a need for a bespoke service to support our veterans and their families as well as for serving personnel.”

Denis Bloomfield, County Chairman Royal British Legion Suffolk said, “We are really pleased to see this focused service extend into Suffolk.  This is a great example of our external grant programme working in partnership with like-minded charities”. 

Phil Dunn, 45 and from Suffolk, has recently joined The Matthew Project as the Outside The Wire Recovery Worker for Suffolk.

“I joined the Armed Forces as a Junior Leader at the age of 16 in 1986, joining the Household Cavalry at Knightsbridge a year later where I remained until 1993. I then transferred to the Welsh Guards and served in Northern Ireland, IRAQ and Afghanistan to name just a few places where I’ve served with the Armed Forces” said Phil.

Phil left the service in 2010 having spent half his life in the Armed Forces and felt completely lost.

“I was diagnosed with PTSD due to my service in the Armed Forces and at the time found it extremely hard to find support in Suffolk as I did not know how to establish contact with services in this area for ex-servicemen.  Eventually, with the support of the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress, I managed to get back into work. I wanted to work in an area where I could support others as I was supported. It was important to me to try to ensure that they would not have to cross the same pit falls as myself and to know that there was support for them in Suffolk. I worked in substance misuse in Suffolk for 3 years and then had the opportunity to support ex-service personnel in Suffolk with the Matthew Project’s Outside The Wire service. For me this was my dream job to help set this project up in Suffolk in supporting veterans, serving members of the Armed Forces and also affected others.”

For information on The Matthew Project’s Outside The Wire service, visit www.matthewproject.org/outside-the-wire

Phil Dunn is pictured.


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