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School's out for summer
So today is the official start to the school summer holidays, although for many parents that's been the case since 20th March!

However it seems like a good time to share some tips around how to keep your child safe online, as we've had a few issues brought to our attention 

We've chosen not to highlight anything or create an environment of fear as the internet is a wonderful thing if used sensibly. Instead, please find below a list of websites where you can find valuable advice at a time when kids are likely to be spending more time on their devices... Knowledge is power!

NSPCC has a fantastic collection of articles around online safety for young people. From tips on how to start a conversation with your child to the risk of online games. Go to their website here and find out more
The UK Safer Internet Centre is another website that we'd recommend for further advice around online safety. Their website (view here) includes a hotline where you can report harmful content and extensive guidance around keeping young people safe
An excellent resource for parents and proffessionals is Child Exploitation and Online Protection police command (CEOP) Here you'll find a range of information about keeping yourself or a child you know, safe from child sexual exploitation. View their website here
More news for this week...

Update from our teams

Hopefully, you are aware that we have 5 projects running under The Matthew Project banner, focusing on different areas of local support. All projects have continued to run during lockdown and face to face work is starting to resume in line with Covid19 safety measures. Read on to find out more about where they're at...

OUTSIDE THE WIRE currently supports 98 clients across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, plus a large number of veterans in custody in 4 prison establishments. They report that all current clients, including affected others, have been supported throughout the government imposed restrictions. Their telephone contact with clients has been so effective, that even after restrictions have been relaxed, some will continue working this way

YOUTH & FAMILIES continue to work effectively on the phone with a range of clients. They have supported 35 people by phone and zoom and are now doing social distance meetings with some of their more vulnerable young people. They've been doing mindfulness sessions that have been particularly successful

ON TRACK are working with 122 young people. In recent feedback 100% of them said that the Facebook group work helped them remain positive and supported their mental health. 95% said that Facebook groups provided them with opportunities to complete tasks and challenges. 90% said they felt less isolated and more connected with other people and 76% gained confidence by engaging and sharing in Facebook groups

UNITY made 3000 successful contacts with clients over the lockdown period which includes letters sent, messages left, and appointments completed.
They are immensely proud of all of the team during this time and have continued to receive very positive feedback:

“Before I engaged in the Matthew Project, I felt isolated and that I had no one to communicate with and no one understood me. I now feel that I can express the way I feel and my relationship with my family has improved massively... Emma*, You are definitely my favourite person I've been referred to as I felt as though you understood me and cared. I really appreciate all the help I have received and if I ever feel the way I did I will definitely get in contact. Thank you :)’’ 

NEXT STEPS RECOVERY SUPPORT PROGRAM have supported 40 members, including new referrals, making on average 27 outgoing calls a day, 5 days a week. They have put together and distributed 30 care packages with the support of financial donations. Staff from other projects and trustees were involved in delivering them. They also delivered 6 food parcels through the Norfolk Community Foundation Grant and have been able to provide supermarket vouchers and mobile phone credit plus activity packs to suit individual need

Well done to all the teams and our service users during this challenging time. Onwards and upwards!

Donate
We are pleased to announce that Our Outside The Wire Appeal 2020 has reached 54% of the £20,000 target thanks to generous donations from
Loveday and Partners – £3000
Mills and Reeves – £2600
Macauto - £3000
Roys of Wroxham - £1000 
Individuals - £1135
However this means that we still have some way to go and we need your help to get there...
PLEASE, if you feel able to donate or know a local business that might fund us, click this link or email enquiries@matthewproject.org

The video above has been created by Dave Fincham - a veteran that the team at Outside The Wire supported on his journey. He is really keen to share his story and you'll see when watching, why it is so incredibly important for us to raise funds so they can continue their work with other service users

Thankyou
To finish...

We hope you enjoy these weekly updates from The Matthew Project. As you can see, there's always something new for us to share! 
If there is anything else you'd like to know, or perhaps something you'd like featured, please get in touch in the usual ways

Thinking to next week and the summer holidays ahead, do enjoy your free time, however you choose to spend it. There's a great article here from mind.org about the benefits of getting outside for your mental health. Can't beat a bit of fresh air!

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe

Best wishes from all the team at The Matthew Project x
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Our mailing address is:
70-80 Oak Street, Norwich, NR3 3AQ 
www.matthewproject.org
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Company registered in England - company number 6388343

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