Work begins on Talitha Koum drug rehab centre

The centre will be a lasting legacy of the Suffolk murder victims

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Work has begun on a drug rehabilitation centre which was conceived following the murders of five women in Suffolk.

Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls had all battled with drug addiction before they were killed by Steve Wright in 2006.

The centre, to be called Talitha Koum is being built on a farm near Ipswich and will be a "Christian therapeutic community" which treats up to 12 women at a time.

It is expected to open next autumn.

John Cobbold, chief executive of the charity-run project, said the centre would "give women a second chance so they can come off drug and alcohol addiction and change their life for the better".

Talitha Koum project near Ipswich An artist's impression of the redeveloped farm in a village near Ipswich

Residents will receive support for their addiction and also help with skills including computing and construction.

Mr Cobbold said: "We'll teach them all the skills they need - how to cope with the stress and deal with things, and how to learn skills to be returned to the community and enjoy normal lives, whatever normal is."

He added that the centre, which is not exclusively for Christians, would cost about £750,000 to build and that fundraising to cover the costs was ongoing.

"What we do need is funding and volunteers," he said. "We're building as we go but we think this is a social action type programme and we need everyone to be involved."

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