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Ex-Ipswich Town star Kieron Dyer speaks at charity event to raise awareness of child abuse

PUBLISHED: 09:47 15 October 2018

The charity event was held at Greshams Ipswich on Tuddenham Road. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

The charity event was held at Greshams Ipswich on Tuddenham Road. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

WILL JEFFORD

Former Tractor Boys winger Kieron Dyer has spoken out to raise awareness of child abuse at an inaugural fundraising event.

Kieron Dyer spoke at the afternoon tea Picture: FRESH START NEW BEGINNINGSKieron Dyer spoke at the afternoon tea Picture: FRESH START NEW BEGINNINGS

Hundreds of people gathered at Gresham’s near Ipswich in a bid to collect cash and spread the word about the work of Fresh Start – New Beginnings, which works with sexually abused children.

High-profile guest speakers delivered speeches at the charity’s first ever afternoon tea party – organised by the charity with the help of culinary students from Suffolk New College on Friday.

Ex-international football star Dyer was joined by Maggie Oliver, an ex-police officer who helped to expose the sex abuse ring in Rochdale, who also spoke to the crowd.

“Child abuse is still a kind of taboo subject,” said Dyer.

Students from Suffolk New Collage waited on guests at the event, serving tea and cakes. Picture: WILL JEFFORDStudents from Suffolk New Collage waited on guests at the event, serving tea and cakes. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

The more awareness and publicity we can get out there the better.

“Any child or anyone who sees signs any kind of abuse should get help. Hopefully it helps kids to speak up.

“Just going from my experiences, you need help as soon as possible.

He added: “A lot of people keep it stored away for a number of years then they get the help, but the damage is already done.”

Stalls selling handbags, bracelets and precious stones were on sale in the hall. Pictures; WILL JEFFORDStalls selling handbags, bracelets and precious stones were on sale in the hall. Pictures; WILL JEFFORD

Tickets for the event cost £25 and included an afternoon tea with sandwiches and cakes – with all proceeds going to charity.

Independent companies also purchased space to sell their goods with the money being donated to Fresh Start – New Beginnings.

Fundraising manager Patsy Johnson-Cisse said: “It’s hard to fundraise because we cannot show where people’s money is going because we have to protect people’s identities.

“We are putting children back together. We are rebuilding children’s futures.

Ipswich Town's U18s are top of the league under Kieron Dyer's management. Photo: ArchantIpswich Town's U18s are top of the league under Kieron Dyer's management. Photo: Archant

“We are giving them to tools to rebuild and write the next chapter of their lives. That is why this event is so important.

She added: “I think that the day is going brilliantly.

“The students are doing a brilliant job serving.

“We have put a lot of work in and our speakers are so special to actually talk about their experiences.”

Kieron Dyer launched his autobiography in February this year. Photo: ArchantKieron Dyer launched his autobiography in February this year. Photo: Archant

Suffolk New College’s marketing manager Craig Shimmon, whose students prepared and served the finger food, said: “We are constantly looking to work and support the community, therefore, when we were approached to play a part in supporting this great local charity via this event, we felt compelled to support them.

“Our hospitality and catering students pulled out all the stops to help ensure this afternoon tea did the charity and this important occasion justice.”

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