Director Julian says goodbye to Norwich charity
Julian Bryant - Director of the Norfolk and Suffolk drug and alcohol charity The Matthew Project – said farewell to his role at the project at a leaving event attended by over 60 colleagues, friends and family. Keith Morris reports.
Julian has been in The Matthew Project for 10 years and in that time the staff team has grown from about 14 to 75 people. During that time a number of services have been started including: a separate youth team, Under 18 Norfolk, Under 18 Suffolk, Thetford, The Junction and other initiatives. Also launched have been a Remembrance Service, Carers and Family Work, Drop in and a needle exchange programme, brief interventions, service user groups, smoking cessation and other initiatives.
Chair of trustees, Stephen Lock, told the leaving event: “Julian is a very special man who works hard to listen to his colleagues. He leads by example with no hint of compromise.
“Making choices is not easy and sometimes costly but if you truly want to make a difference you must be prepared to pay the price - and Julian was prepared.
“His work has impacted on many lives and we know that the message which drives him on does work. It is a sad day for us but we know that he now has more to give to others.”
Assistant Director, Graeme Stewart, who hosted the presentation on September 29, said: “Thank you from the whole team for the huge difference you have made.”
Julian has worked tirelessly for The Matthew Project for over 10 years, 8 of those as Director. His commitment to those most in need has been an inspiration to many and his experience will be missed by those working in the drug and alcohol field.
At the farewell presentation at the King of Hearts in Norwich, Julian was presented with memorable gifts from all the Matthew Project teams including some leopard skin handcuffs, a toy money box, a puncture repair kit, a fish-tank bridge, a lolly and some chocolate.
His wife Barbara and children Luke, Seth and Kerri also received gifts in recognition of the support they had provided Julian over the years in this role.
Julian said he was bowled over by the presentation and the gifts and sentiments expressed.
“Over ten years ago, when I first met Peter and Margaret Farley and saw the fire they had to make a difference, I felt privileged to be able to carry that fire on.
“I want to thank God for each and every one of you. Over our ten-year journey there have been some difficult times and some great times – thank you all for being part of the journey with me. I know that God will continue to bless the Matthew Project as you continue on with that journey.”
Julian is leaving to work in a campaigning role with Christian Aid and to develop a small grassroots charity he helped found called The Open Table to reach out to people with various needs and show them value and respect.
Pictured above are Julian and Barbara Bryant with children Luke, Seth and Kerri at the leaving presentation.