Youngsters call for community spirit

TODAY is the day we can all start to make a difference.A youth project in Ipswich is calling on everyone in and around Ipswich to rally round, offer support and recapture a sense of community spirit.

TODAY is the day we can all start to make a difference.

A youth project in Ipswich is calling on everyone in and around Ipswich to rally round, offer support and recapture a sense of community spirit.

The Suffolk Young Person's Health Project is launching a new appeal for volunteers who want to vulnerable young people.

It comes after the focus was switched to problems experienced by troubled children and young adults in the community in the aftermath of the town's red light killings.

Project trustee Joan Carlyon said: “We should be encouraging people in Suffolk to be committed to young people. We should all be in it together.

“I can't believe that after everything that happened in Ipswich in December, we can't get enough people together and deliver help.

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“People can do as little or as much as they like from helping once a year at an event, to holding a coffee morning and donating the makings, or from knitting us something we can sell to being a representative for us in their work place.

“I think if done properly, it could have huge cross-generational spin-offs. It's a chance to get youngsters involved in old people's homes, get neighbours doing jobs for each other, generally rebuild community spirit.

“If we help our young people early, we can turn out good citizens and make changes for those whose lives are heading in the wrong direction.”

The project has been running in its base in Lower Brook Street for two years. It opens daily, on alternate Saturdays and some evenings and its help includes counselling, advice, life skills training, employment training, behaviour management, health information and substance misuse advice and support.

It now needs around £200,000 a year to survive and is coming to the end of its lottery grant.

Mrs Carlyon, who chairs the project's funding group, said: “Our aim is sustainability. I'm completely driven by the fact we can't let lack of funds stop us from existing and growing.

“It's a struggle as there are so many needs out there and we know we are only helping the tip of the iceberg, but why can't more be done?

“We were obviously trying to solve these problems before the killings but now perhaps more people will recognise it and help us continue.”

If you would like to get involved, call Cherry or Kristelle at the project on 0845 310 8450.

N Do you think enough is done to help vulnerable young people in Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

If you would like to help the project there is a fun day being held at St Clements, Foxhall Road, Ipswich, on July 8 and volunteers are needed to do a range of jobs.

THE Evening Star is doing its bit to help vulnerable young people in Ipswich through it's Somebody's Daughter appeal.

It was launched to remember the Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell who were all victims of the red light district killings.

Thousands of pounds have already been pledged to the fund, running in conjunction with Ipswich Borough Council.

The proceeds will be used to help vulnerable young people in Ipswich. Outline plans are underway to build a refuge in the town to try to break the cycle of drugs and prostitution.

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.

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