Charity appeals for help to make recovery centre a reality

The Next Steps Recovery Centre illustration. Photo: The Matthew Project

The Next Steps Recovery Centre illustration. Photo: The Matthew Project - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk charity which helps people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is appealing for donations to help make its new community centre a reality.

The Next Steps Recovery Centre illustration. Photo: The Matthew Project

The Next Steps Recovery Centre illustration. Photo: The Matthew Project - Credit: Archant

Once complete, the Next Steps Recovery Centre (Next Steps), in Oak Street, will be a one of a kind facility in Norfolk, providing a space where people recovering from addiction can learn new skills, access support and be part of a safe and supportive community.

The Matthew Project initially received funding for Next Steps from Public Health England and Norfolk County Council, which allowed it to buy the building and get started on the refurbishment project.

Now, with the first stage of the renovation complete, the charity is looking for a further £220,000 to finish the centre and complete the final phase of development.

Graham Parfitt, the recovery hub manager, said: "[Next Steps centre] will definitely help us to help more people, it will be a unique facility within Norfolk, it's an exciting prospect."

Refurbishment is currently taking place at the new site. Photo: The Matthew Project

Refurbishment is currently taking place at the new site. Photo: The Matthew Project - Credit: Archant

Kay Arnold, a former service user who now helps others going through the charity's six-week recovery programme, said: "I wouldn't be where I am today without The Matthew Project.

"To be around people who are informed and understand the challenges [of addiction] there is such a need for it," she said.

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Once finished, the Next Steps centre will include a cafe, skills and employability workshop, exercise studio, therapy rooms, training kitchen and soft play area for children.

Andy Sexton, chief executive of The Matthew Project, said that with the right support people recovering from addiction could reduced their chances of relapsing from 50pc to 15pc.

The new IT suite within Next Steps. Photo: The Matthew Project

The new IT suite within Next Steps. Photo: The Matthew Project - Credit: Archant

He said: "If someone has come out of rehab or detox in a hospital and they go back home or somewhere similar sometimes they will end up going back to the same situation they were in before or they will be so isolated it will be very difficult.

"Recovery really depends on what support people get."

He added: "The idea is that this place will be a place for people to have a positive community."

For more information on the centre visit www.matthewproject.org/nextsteps.

Donations can be made via the Matthew Project's Total Giving page: www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/Next-steps-recovery-centre

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