Norwich charity NORCAS appeals for volunteers

A Norwich-based charity which works with those affected by drug and alcohol misuse is seeking to recruit more than 100 volunteers and raise �25,000 this month.

NORCAS week, which runs from September 19-25 is the first event of its kind in the charity's 33-year history. It involves recruiting 100 people to each raise �250 for the charity by taking part in events from running and skydiving, to shaking a collection tin.

Anna, who runs the motivational groups, said: 'They are held over eight weeks on a Monday morning. Mondays are often difficult for people after the weekend. The thing about addiction is that people stereotype and they tend to stereotype themselves. I help them to see the substance misuse as a problem and not part of their identity.'

A woman who wished to remain anonymous took part in the group to help with her alcohol problem.

She said: 'It gave me the chance to talk about things I hadn't spoken about before. I have had a lot of support from the group members. People think they are on their own, but we soon relax and get to know each other. You open up about and talk about things you wouldn't normally. I finished the programme three weeks ago and I am now having counselling. It has helped me to drink less. I want to get back into work and care for elderly people.'

NORCAS, which is based in Exchange Street, Norwich, offers immediate help with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. It also helps the user's family and friends. Paul Howes has worked as a counsellor to help those with gambling problems for two years. National charity GamCare funds each user to have 24 one-to-one sessions.

Mr Howes said: 'It's a growing service and we see more people year on year. We see gamblers and people who are affected by gambling. We look at the impact on the family and the bigger picture, such as how life has been from an early age.'

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If you are interested in fundraising, please contact Donna Hunt on 01603 227043.

Opinion – page 8.