Ipswich: Future is looking positive for treasured Iceni Project

OUR town has been good to us during our time of need.

Those were the words of Brian Tobin, the director of the Iceni Project, as he puts a year of funding uncertainty behind him and thanks the public for their fundraising efforts, which have saved the charity.

The future of the project, based in Foundation Street, was plunged into doubt when they lost �300,000 worth of vital funding at the end of 2010.

However since then generous residents have pulled together to secure the project for another year by raising about �70,000, with donations still coming in.

This compassion shown by the public shows how Ipswich can become a beacon town to lead our country out of the economic crisis.

Today Mr Tobin said the year ahead would be spent securing long-term funding, while the charity is financially secure for another year.

“Ipswich has been so good to us,” he said. “They helped us when we really needed it most but we can’t rely on their generosity forever and we can’t keep living from pound to pound.

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“If we weren’t to get another penny through donations we would be safe until 2013. But this year is all about securing long-term funding from people who are prepared to take the plunge and offer their support.”

Iceni is currently treating people suffering from drug, alcohol, sex and gambling addictions from as far afield as Haverhill and Newmarket, something Brian believes showcases the good reputation the charity has with the people of Suffolk.

Mr Tobin said: “We are really excited about the year ahead and we look forward to using the knowledge we gained over the past year.

“We began using a new approach in April which heralds a new era for addiction rehabilitation. Instead of treating solely the person addicted, we now help families affected by addictions.

“We have treated 156 families and that says how amazingly well things have been going.”

As part of the new approach of working, from April 1, the Iceni project will become Iceni Ipswich.

The Evening Star launched a campaign to help save Iceni when the Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team took away vital funding in November 2010.

Since then, The Star and thousands of residents across Ipswich joined forces to fight for the project.

To find out more about the work of Iceni, visit www.iceniipswich.og.uk