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Norwich charity celebrates 20 years tackling sexual exploitation

PUBLISHED: 06:24 17 June 2015

The Magdalene Group, Norwich that amongst other things offer a befriending service to children who are at risk or are being sexually exploited online. Pictured left to right Adele Sutton, Siobhan Ashwell, Suzi Heybourne, Claire Wyatt and Sara Plastow. Photo: Steve Adams

The Magdalene Group, Norwich that amongst other things offer a befriending service to children who are at risk or are being sexually exploited online. Pictured left to right Adele Sutton, Siobhan Ashwell, Suzi Heybourne, Claire Wyatt and Sara Plastow. Photo: Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014

A Norwich-based group which tackles sexual exploitation in the city has marked its 20th anniversary with a fundraising tea party in the Bishop’s garden.

The Magdalene Group, based in King Street, offers a variety of front-line projects aimed at raising awareness and preventing the sexual exploitation and coercion of women and young people.

A tea party was held in the Bishop’s Garden in Bishopgate yesterday evening to celebrate the milestone anniversary and help raise funds for the charity so it can carry on its work in the city.

Suzi Heybourne, chief executive officer, said: “This is a small charity that’s been incredibly innovative in terms of being real in today’s world as to how we respond to sexual exploitation from street-based outreach to working with online sex workers and ensuring that our young people, who are being groomed, have a service that they can respond to in order to prevent slipping into sex work in the future.

“That’s the real message for me.”

Earlier this year we reported how the Magdalene Group’s ROSE Project - which seeks to tackle child sexual exploitation - was to be awarded almost £70,000 to help it cope with rising demand.

It was announced the project was to receive £69,206 from Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner after successfully bidding for a slice of a £4.85m government fund for organisations supporting survivors of sexual abuse.

The ROSE Project, which stands for Reaching out on Sexual Exploitation, was established in May 2013 due to the high demand and gap in service provision in Norfolk to offer a prevention and early intervention service to children and young people.

Is your organisation celebrating a landmark anniversary? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk


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