Pledge to help in wake of killings

TODAY, The Evening Star makes a proud pledge to the Suffolk community to never forget the tragedy of December's killings.On the day Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks joined the board of trustees of the Somebody's Daughter memorial fund, the Star reveals its determination to tackle head on the issues of prostitution, drug addiction and homelessness.

TODAY, The Evening Star makes a proud pledge to the Suffolk community to never forget the tragedy of December's killings.

On the day Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks joined the board of trustees of the Somebody's Daughter memorial fund, the Star reveals its determination to tackle head on the issues of prostitution, drug addiction and homelessness.

We vow to:

Create a sustainable refuge in Ipswich for vulnerable young people to escape from the world of vice and drugs

Continue to bolster the Somebody's Daughter appeal through non-stop fundraising

Never forget Gemma, Tania, Anneli, Annette and Paula

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And today, Town chief Mr Sheepshanks said he would do all he could in his role as trustee to ensure the Somebody's Daughter appeal, a registered charity, was successful in its aims.

He said: “The heinous events in Ipswich last December touched all our hearts and certainly united our community in support of the victims and their families.

“We also had our eyes opened to the horrors of drug addiction but more poignantly to the grim reality of the consequences.

“On a personal note I will do whatever I can to help the Somebody's Daughter appeal make a positive difference to those who are still vulnerable.”

To date, almost £18,000 has been donated or pledged to the memorial fund.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, Peter Townley, reverend of St Mary le Tower Church, and Star editor Nigel Pickover are also trustees,

Mr Pickover said: “We pledged we would not forget and we have not forgotten.

“We are determined to tackle the issues of vulnerable young people being trapped in a world of drugs and prostitution.

“The trust is going to call together all interested parties to find out exactly what kind of refuge is needed to break this cycle.”

Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at www.eveningstar.co.uk, in person at Ipswich Borough Council's customer service centre in the Town Hall, by calling 01473 433777, or by sending a cheque, made payable to Somebody's Daughter Memorial Fund, to PO Box 772, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.

Promotional posters and collecting buckets are available by calling reporter Josh Warwick on 01473 324840 or by e-mailing josh.warwick@eveningstar.co.uk

What are you doing to help? Call the news desk on 01473 324789.

Weblink: www.eveningstar.co.uk/daughter

Liz Harsant:

“We mustn't forget this appeal has been set up to help vulnerable young people in Ipswich.

“I think we should be looking to bring all the agencies together to find a suitable premises which we can take over and can be run by paid and voluntary staff.

“It would allow girls to come in to see someone they could trust who could go to court with them if they were being prosecuted, or go to hospital with them for an appointment.

“Perhaps we could have a hostel arrangement where people on hard drugs could come and stay for their rehabilitation.

“It seems to me all the organisations out there at the moment are not being pulled together enough.”

Peter Townley:

“I would very much hope that the Somebody's Daughter memorial fund will help those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

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