Project information

An Alternative Christmas

To provide young people & children affected by someone else's substance misuse a day to celebrate without the pressure or stress that can come with a typical Christmas Day. A day of activities and to have fun and socialize after surviving what can be known as the season of stress for some.

February 2016 - February 2016

Charity information: The Matthew Project

The Matthew Project logo
  • Need


    Statistics show nearly 1 in 10 children under 16 in the UK live with a parent who uses illicit drugs and more than 1 in 20 young people live with a dependent drinker. There is a huge emphasis on drinking at Christmas time and we notice an increase into the number of people turning to us at this time of year. For young people affected by parents or siblings with substance misuse issues this can be particularly stressful time of year.


    We want to give young people and children something to look forward to for themselves and not to have to focus all their energy into one Christmas day. A chance to realise that they are not alone in feeling the pressures and issues that come along with Christmas. We will provide a day of fun for them and their siblings to enjoy themselves in a relaxed environment, including a Christmas gift, activities, games and a special lunch too. A day where they feel looked after and rewarded.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide a fun, stress-free day for young people who are affected by substance misuse of others.


    » Full day for young people divided into two days for different age groups of activities, lunch, and Christmas gifts. As well as providing peer support.

    What success will look like

    Positive feedback from the children and young people as well as positive feedback from parents and carers.

    Aim 2

    Give young people in similar situations the opportunity to meet together and make new friends


    » By having a group day and activities encouraging interaction and time to talk in an informal environment

    What success will look like

    Positive feedback from the children and young people as well as positive feedback from parents and carers.

    Aim 3

    Promote a positive relationship with the service, encouraging access to further support.


    » A stress free day of fun hosted by The Matthew Project as a reward and time out of their environment encouraging trust and further support.

    What success will look like

    A worker debrief on the event with feedback from the day. The use of "Our Journey" tool to assess movement of young people towards their own personal goals.

  • Impact


    These will be building positive relationships between the young people and a Matthew Project worker, providing positive memories for children and young people affected by someone else's substance misuse. This will also encourage more positive stories from those who attend when talking with their peers. By demonstrating that they are not alone & others are in a similar situation leading to a more positive outlook. This can all be measured by positive feedback and "Our Journey" tool.


    There is a risk of the young people not being able to attend the day if this falls on a school or college day as well as transport to reach the location. We have found a suitable location that is available during half term week and will provide transport for anyone who needs this.


    We will provide feedback from the event in our e-newsletters and on the website. As well as providing case studies in future mail outs from a young person who attended the day. We will individually send any feedback to any of our donors that require this running up to and after the event.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,156

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,096 Staff time Staff time to run and manage the activity day
      £800 Gifts and Food Christmas gifts and food for up to 20 children and young people
      £380 Resources and Volunteers Promotion of the activity day, and resources for activities throughout the day
      £1,080 Activities Activity day over two days for each group at £27 per person. 20 participants on each day.
      £800 Transport transport for each participant to the activity day
  • Background


    This project will take place at a activity venue in Norfolk. The Matthew Project run services throughout Norfolk and Suffolk and this project has a focus on young people and children affected by someone else's substance misuse in Norfolk.


    Children and Young People affected by someone else's substance misuse in Norfolk will be the primary beneficiary. These could be young carers themselves if parents or siblings have issues with substance misuse and will benefit by meeting others in similar situations and making new friendships increasing self esteem. We currently have 75 young people using our service in Norfolk for Affected others.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Matthew Project has been proudly supporting young people and adults across Norfolk for 30 years. The Matthew Project Youth Team works around the county with young people under the age of 25, in relation to drugs, alcohol and other related issues. Our Unity team has been working with Affected Others successfully seeing positive outcomes and supporting those who need it in Norfolk. 100% of young people attending these groups gave an overall feedback of great or excellent.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Luke Adcock

    Manager of Unity Affected Others Team, 10 years experience of educating & supporting children & young people with issues relating to drugs and alcohol

    Ally Williams

    Brings vast amounts of knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm to her work with young people, who have been affected by someone’s else’s substance misuse

    Catherine Bibb

    Holds a Social Work Masters, for which she was awarded the Dissertation Prize for the highest mark on her course, she is passionate about her work.

    Esther Heybourne - Youth Team Manager

    Esther managed the Hidden Harm resource designed by young people affected by someone else's misuse as well as supporting Norfolk Hidden Harm Forum.

“It was good, it enabled me to talk to someone. It was nice to have someone who kind of knew what I was going through”

Service User