Ipswich: Cameron backing drugs charity in its battle for survival

IPSWICH: Prime minister David Cameron is backing Iceni as they fight for their survival, it has emerged today.

In a meeting with the prime minister this week in London Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said Mr Cameron remembered the dedicated work of Iceni in 2006, when he visited Ipswich in the midst of Steve Wright’s killing spree.

Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) are working closely with the charity to work through a business plan in the hope of securing vital funding to help boost the charity and move them further from the brink of closure.

Mrs Harsant said she is passionate about doing all she can to help the life-saving organisation survive.

Of the meeting with the prime minister, she said: “He [Mr Cameron] remembers Iceni very well.

“In 2006 we were in a situation where we were at an all time low, the town felt pretty grim.

“Mr Cameron was due to be visiting Norwich and stopped in Ipswich.

Most Read

“On Wednesday I told him about meeting with the charities minister Nick Hurd, and he said ‘let’s see what we can do’.”

Iceni co-founder Brian Tobin said it was great for Iceni and Ipswich to hear the prime minister had remembered the work being done in Ipswich four years ago.

He said: “It is terrific to know he remembers the work we have done.”

Mrs Harsant said she hopes once the business plan is submitted by co-founder Brian Tobin and his team at Iceni, IBC will be in a position to make “a considerable donation” to the charity.

And Mrs Harsant said she hopes the work being done to Iceni’s business plan will be advantageous to the charity when it applies for the government’s transition fund, a venture they discussed with Mr Hurd on a recent trip to London.

Mrs Harsant added: “My personal view is that Iceni does such a fantastic job.

“They reach out to very desperate people in our community.

“They have a way of bringing people into their building and helping them.

“I haven’t met the new providers but I don’t think they will have the same contact, availability and kindness as the team at Iceni.

“I will fight tooth and nail to help them.”

n Tell us your experiences of Iceni’s valuable work. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail evening starletters@eveningstar.co.uk