Ipswich: Iceni saved...to keep saving lives
IPSWICH: A leading Ipswich charity, which helps people fight addictions, is today celebrating after being saved from the axe.
Hundreds of members of the public have generously donated �70,000 to help The Iceni Project secure their future.
And today comes the icing on the cake as the government announces a �128,000 grant to ensure the charity can survive another year.
The charity, which gained nationwide acclaim for their work helping to tackle street prostitution in the wake of the Ipswich murders, has battled against the threat of closure ever since the majority of its funding was slashed last November.
But the team, led by co-founder Brian Tobin, are celebrating today as the money was awarded to them as part of the second round of Transition Fund payouts.
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With pledges of support from Ipswich Borough Council, �40,000 over the next two years and �40,000 secured from Suffolk County Council the charity has secured a total of �278,000.
The fund, announced in the Spending Review in October, is designed to help the charities most vulnerable to spending cuts, prepare for opportunities created by the government’s Big Society agenda.
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Over the last five months dozens of former clients, helped by the charity, have come forward to back the Evening Star’s Save Iceni, Save Lives campaign.
Mr Tobin said the news had left him “lost for words”.
“It is fantastic, I don’t know what to say, the support we have received has been overwhelming,” he said.
“We are safe for another year, and more. A lot of the money we have had pledged was dependant on us securing this money from the transition fund.”
Minister for civil society Nick Hurd, who met with Mr Tobin, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, and a party of supporters from Ipswich in November, announced the grant.
Mr Gummer welcomed the news, praising the charity for their hard work.
He said: “This is fantastic news and it is thanks to a lot of people, The Evening Star, the ministers who I have been lobbying heavily and most of all the leadership of Iceni.
“Right from the start the team at Iceni have believed in what they do and have been prepared to fight for it.”
n Are you pleased Iceni has been saved for another year? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters @eveningstar.co.uk