Ipswich: Delight as work begins on new women’s sanctuary

A dream to create a refuge for women caught up in vice and substance abuse today moved closer to reality – thanks in part to generous Evening Star readers.

Building work today started on an innovative women’s sanctuary which will become a legacy to the five Ipswich women who were murdered by Steve Wright in 2006.

The refuge – called Talitha Koum and sited on a farm in Witnesham – has been backed with a �20,000 donation from the Somebody’s Daughter appeal, a fund set up by The Evening Star in response to the killings.

Talitha Koum – which translates as “little girl, arise” – has secured �100,000 to begin work on the sanctuary but still needs to raise a further �225,000 to complete it.

John Cobbold, chief executive of the charity, said: “After going through the legal and planning process successfully, I am so excited that the building work is now beginning.

“The decision has been made to spend the money we have to move towards making the project a reality, going forward in faith that we will secure the rest needed.

“We see Talitha Koum as a family and we believe that family values and the Christian faith will help the women to turn their lives around.

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“The creation of a therapeutic centre is a place where they can be helped to carve for themselves a life free of turmoil, fear and vulnerability.”

The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “The care, love and support that can be found in the therapeutic community of Talitha Koum is the way of the Christian community responding to a particular type of pain and distress that can be found in our society.”

Liz Beaton, one of the original trustees of Talitha Koum, who lives in Ipswich, said: “We are really looking forward to the day when the doors are open to offer this particular help and hope to the women who need it.”

Anyone who would like to support the project can contact Talitha Koum c/o John Cobbold, Chief Executive, Talitha Koum, 20 Back Hamlet, Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 8AJ or visit www.talithakoum.org.uk