£10,000 boost for sex worker charity

EXTRA funding has today been made available to get sex workers in Ipswich into drug rehabilitation programmes in the hope of getting them off the streets for good.

EXTRA funding has today been made available to get sex workers in Ipswich into drug rehabilitation programmes in the hope of getting them off the streets for good.

The Iceni Project in Fore Street has been given £10,000 by a local charity to fund treatment programmes for prostitutes in the town.

The news comes just weeks after a £10,000 donation from a national charity, made last month, which was used to keep prostitutes off the streets in the aftermath of the killings of sex workers Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

That money was used to pay for practical measures, such as gas and electricity bills and purchasing food, but has now been spent.

In all 51 women were helped by the money.

Now the Iceni Project has been given the second £10,000 donation to help find a longer term solution to getting the women off the street by addressing the problem which sent many of them into the red-light district in the first place - drug addiction.

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Workers at the Iceni Project are in the process of identifying candidates for rehabilitation programmes aimed at helping them break free of crippling drug addictions, thereby removing the need for them to work on the streets.

Brian Tobin, co-founder and project manager at the Iceni Project, said: “For the next step hopefully we've identified a group of people who we might be able to get out of that line of work.

“The money is available when we want it. What we're looking at is more of a mid-term solution to the problems.”

The first donation was made in the wake of the killings of the five women. In the first week more than £5,000 was spent as women struggled to cope without any source of income.

Two women were sent out of the area to spend Christmas with their families while another had her car fixed. Another £1,000 was spent on Argos vouchers for children's gifts to help the women enjoy Christmas with their families.

Mr Tobin added: “A lot was spent on food vouchers for Sainsbury's, there were also a lot of utility bills paid for and TV licences kept up to date.”

Contact the Iceni Project by calling 01473 214006.

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