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Norfolk drug charity puts on a walk to remember

The Matthew Project, the East of England’s leading substance misuse charity, has announced its first ‘Walk to Remember’ event.

It will take place on March 1 and will provide a focal point, allowing people to remember loved ones who have sadly lost their lives to drug and alcohol related issues.


The Matthew Project is encouraging walkers from across Norfolk to come and walk 30,000 steps on planned routes around Norwich, whilst raising money through sponsorship to support those needing the vital drug, alcohol and mental health services provided by The Matthew Project. 


The charity has created two routes (a long one and a short one) allowing participants to enjoy the sights and scenes of our fine city of Norwich, with pit stops along the way. All ages and abilities are welcome, including dogs. 


Their champion for this event is Carole Taylor, who is walking in memory of her son, Jonathan, who would have been celebrating his 50th birthday on the day of the event. He sadly passed as a result of substance misuse, and she shares her story below.


“Jonathan was a loving son who bravely battled his demons with courage and humour, always willing to laugh at himself, attempting to bring good cheer. He was a son I was proud of.


“He was afflicted by heroin addiction, and he also used cocaine regularly. He managed to kick the heroin habit but when he was newly out of prison his tolerance for cocaine weakened by his recovery, and he succumbed to a drug overdose. 


“One memory I have is the day my son ended up in the police cells at Bethel Street and someone called Randall from the Matthew Project had seen him there and offered help.


“On release Jonathan was thrilled, and he said with heartfelt feeling that ‘we’ll get help now Mum’. It showed his usual way of always wanting to help me in his own way. Despite his addiction I always felt his care for me.


“The Mathew Project did help but the problem proved too long standing and our horizons were blighted by the enormity of the drug problem in Norfolk. The Matthew Project needs our help to continue their work against a backdrop of sheer enormity and complexity.”


Commenting on the event, CEO of the Matthew Project, Andy Sexton, says, “I am so pleased that Carole has had the vision for this walk in memory of Jonathan. Her story is incredibly compelling. It is sadly not a one-off. Many people struggle to overcome substance misuse. No-one chooses to become addicted.


“Mental health issues and substance misuse issues go hand-in-hand, and The Matthew Project is on the frontline in helping people tackle these problems. We rely on donations to fund our vital work so please do sponsor Carole or come and join us and seek sponsors as you walk to remember.” 


If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in Carole’s story, please talk to us at The Matthew Project by emailing [email protected] or call 01603 626123.


Further information can be found at: www.matthewproject.org/walktoremember


Pictured above is Carole Taylor.




Eldred Willey, 10/02/2023

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