Ipswich charity Talitha Koum welcomes Bishop Mike Harrison of Dunwich as its patron

Talitha Koum Charity trustees pictured at the rehabilitation centre site

Talitha Koum Charity trustees pictured at the rehabilitation centre site - Credit: Su Anderson

A charity helping women in the Ipswich area struggling with addiction has appointed one of Suffolk’s most senior church leaders as its patron.

Talitha Koum (TK), which was set up in the aftermath of the Ipswich murders in 2006, said it was delighted to announce the new role for Bishop Mike Harrison of Dunwich.

The charity says its work has increased dramatically over the past two years and now has more than 50 members attending its regular Women Together support groups in Ipswich. Its new rehabilitation centre for women is also near to completion near the town.

As patron, Bishop Mike is hoped to bring a fresh insight to the charity’s work, drawing on his experience in the church and his interest in therapeutic interventions.

“Talitha Koum is a great example of a vital service offered professionally and fruitfully to those in particularly vulnerable and precarious circumstances,” the bishop added. “God is clearly active in and through this organisation and I look forward to supporting and promoting TK’s work.”

Ken Donaldson, TK’s project director, said he was “delighted” to have the bishop on board at such a pivotal time for the charity, adding that he was looking forward to working with him. “His interest in TK and desire to contribute to a project which is impacting so directly into the lives of women affected by addictions is very encouraging,” Mr Donaldson added. “As we approach an opening to the centre, Mike’s local involvement, networking and connections as well as his spiritual oversight are greatly welcomed.”

TK has thanked the Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of Lambeth and formerly Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, who recently stood down as a patron for TK after five years.

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“We are very grateful to Bishop Nigel for his patronage over the years and understand his need to step down now that his work is primarily based in Lambeth and has a more global remit,” a spokesman added.