Funds for centre to help the vulnerable

THIS year's Evening Star Christmas appeal will raise money for the Somebody's Daughter memorial fund, launched after last winter's red light killings. Thanks to the generosity of Suffolk's united community, the campaign coffers have already been boosted to the tune of several thousand pounds.

THIS year's Evening Star Christmas appeal will raise money for the Somebody's Daughter memorial fund, launched after last winter's red light killings. Thanks to the generosity of Suffolk's united community, the campaign coffers have already been boosted to the tune of several thousand pounds.

As the cash continues to roll in, JOSH WARWICK reports on some of the most generous donations so far, which will make a real difference to vulnerable young people in Ipswich.

SYMPATHY, not judgement, was the overwhelming emotion when the plight of drug-addicted street prostitutes was brutally brought to light last winter.

The desperate lifestyles of the five women killed - Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell - invoked sadness across thee country, not criticism.

As the details of their troubled final months began to unravel, a disturbing pattern began to emerge.

All were bright, popular women who had descended into a spiral of misery induced by a drug dependency and the subsequent need to work in the sex trade to fund their habit. In the months since those dark days, Suffolk has been praised for its cohesiveness and its determination to triumph over adversity.

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And at the heart of the community's togetherness has been the Somebody's Daughter campaign, which has been warmly backed by generous individuals and businesses.

Cash raised will be used to fund a safe haven where vulnerable young women can find the support and guidance required to break free from the perils of vice and substance misuse.

To date, well in excess of £30,000 has been raised - but much more is needed to ensure the £100,000 target is met.

Among the biggest contributors has been Call Connection, where company boss Graeme Kalbraier sanctioned a massive £5,000 donation. His kind-hearted gift came after he offered a £50,000 reward at the height of the police investigation, while his staff raised £1,306 at a charity football match with insurance giant Axa.

Charitable staff at Sainsbury's Warren Heath petrol station managed to raise £1,000 in only three weeks after leaving a collecting bucket near the tills for customers to drop loose change into.

A collection at The New Wolsey boosted the fund pot to the tune of £2,700. Theatre-goers were invited to donate cash before and after a number of shows.

Meanwhile, several of firms and organisations, including Axa, Ipswich Borough Council and BT, sent teams to a Somebody's Daughter ten-pin bowling night at Solar Bowl, helping to raise more than £1,000 in the process.

A dress-down day at Willis raised £1,700, while the East of England Co-operative Society did their bit for the cause by donating £1,000.

Drinkers at the Grinning Rat pub in Ipswich dedicated a day of fun to the fund, raising several hundred pounds along the way.

Train drivers from rail operator 'one' took part in a special Norwich v Ipswich football match, raising around £800, while students and staff at Suffolk New College dug deep to donate £400.

Staff at KPMG in Ipswich also raised £250, while Suffolk police donated £500.

Because of the international interest in the killings, pledges have come from outside the UK including the USA and Germany.

Tell us how you are supporting Somebody's Daughter. E-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk or call 01473 324840.

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Tomorrow: See how a centre to help vulnerable women works in Norwich.

How YOU can make a difference:

Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at www.eveningstar.co.uk, in person at Ipswich Borough Council's customer service centre in the Town Hall, by calling 01473 433777, or by sending a cheque, made payable to Somebody's Daughter Memorial Fund, to PO Box 772, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.

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