Norfolk and Suffolk drug and alcohol charity in fundraising plea

A Norwich charity working with people who misuse drugs and alcohol is looking to recruit more than 100 volunteers for its first community fundraising campaign.

Norcas Week will be the first event of its kind within the charity's 33-year history and all money raised will be invested directly into services supporting Norcas clients in Norfolk and Suffolk.

In Norfolk, one in 13 people will experience an issue with alcohol or drugs at some point in their lives, with current figures showing that more than 8,000 people in the county are problem drug users, while more than 3,700 children have parents with a drug problem.

Norcas, which is based in Castle Meadow and Exchange Street, has seen a 30pc rise in referrals across its drug and alcohol services since 2008 and problems with addictive behaviour affect individuals from all backgrounds and social classes.

The aim is to raise both awareness and money for the charity during the week, which runs from Monday, September 19 to Sunday, September 25.

The hundred or so volunteers will be encouraged to organise or take part in activities throughout the week in a pledge to raise �250 each.

Matt Wilson, head of fundraising for Norcas, said: 'As an independent charity, we are not able to rely on funding and grants from sources such as the NHS and the government.

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'We are, therefore, embarking on a community fundraising programme in order to boost our sources of income and in turn help us to provide the much-needed services we provide across the region for those affected by addictive behaviours.'

Each participant will be fully supported by the charity, with downloadable fundraising toolkits being made readily available on the Norcas website. Event ideas could include coffee mornings, car boot sales, quiz nights, auctions or fancy dress parties, but if organising special occasions does not appeal, then the charity suggests that perhaps growing a beard, shaving hair off or simply shaking a tin could be an alternative.

Mr Wilson said: 'By pledging to raise �250 or more during Norcas Week, you will be making a big difference to those in your community affected by problems with alcohol, drugs and gambling, enabling individuals and affected others to gain greater control in their lives.

'The funds raised in Norcas Week will enable the charity to answer specific needs from specific areas and clients at any time. These could be as small as a new school uniform so a child doesn't stand out at school, to helping an individual to write their first CV in 15 years.'

In 2010, the charity launched its first independently-funded programme and an appeal to help young carers and children affected by a family member's misuse of drugs or alcohol.

However, this is the first time it has asked members of the community and individuals to fundraise towards its work.

For more information about how to fundraise for Norcas, contact Donna Hunt on 01603 227043 or email

Do you have a story about how you or your family have been helped by Norcas? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email