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Norfolk charity challenges Cameron to see the impact of cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:07 01 March 2011 | UPDATED: 12:23 01 March 2011

Julian Bryant - New director of the Matthew Project. 4/10/2004

Picture: James Bass
For: EDP NEWS
EDP Pics ©2004  Tel: (01603) 772434

Julian Bryant - New director of the Matthew Project. 4/10/2004 Picture: James Bass For: EDP NEWS EDP Pics ©2004 Tel: (01603) 772434

Eastern Daily Press © 2004

The chief executive of a Norwich charity has invited David Cameron to meet some of the vulnerable people it supports - who he believes will be "broken" by government cuts.

In a letter, Julian Bryant, from the Pottergate-based Matthew Project, also told the prime minister the number of people in need of help would increase as their support networks disappeared.

The chief executive, whose charity has been helping people with drug and alcohol problems for more than 28 years, said: “I am writing to you to express my concerns about the impact that cost savings will have, and are having, on the most vulnerable people.”

Mr Bryant said he understood the government expected community groups and voluntary organisations, like The Matthew Project, to take on a greater role as the cuts began to impact, under the guise of the Big Society.

He added: “When I heard the announcement of the Big Society, I was excited. My hope was it would create and ‘make’ communities.

“Now I am left wondering whether, in essence, the savings may actually start to break vulnerable communities.” Mr Bryant said the government cuts were kicking in too quickly for the voluntary sector to adapt.

“Some organisations are no longer able to provide the support they have previously provided and others are at risk of ceasing their work altogether,” he said.

“To develop an alternative model to provide these services will take longer than the speed of the implementation of your savings plan.”

Mr Bryant believes the result will be “the most vulnerable in society” will lose vital support groups and those people who are currently struggling to cope will slip into the vulnerable category without the preventative help they need.

Although admitting Mr Cameron was likely to be busy at the moment, Mr Bryant thinks a meeting between the prime minister and some Matthew Project users, would help him understand the effect the cuts are likely to have.

How will your organisation be affected by the cuts? Contact Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk.

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