News Archive 

Site Search
Twitter-button  facebookbutton

 

Sign up for our
free e-newsletter


Send us your latest local news and events

 Latest News 

Pioneer of vice girl project to retire

TheresaCumbersThe director of a Norwich project, which aims to help city prostitutes establish a life away from the streets, has decided to retire.

 
Theresa Cumbers has dedicated the past 12 years of her working life towards the pioneering Magdalene Project.
 
With the support of her colleagues, the grandmother and mother of two has helped transform dozens of lives.
 
Writing to the group's supporters, Theresa said: “I will be retiring from The Magdalene Group at the end of February 2006, although I hasten to add that my links will remain with the work here in Norwich.

“I am happy to say that I will be pursuing my role as trustee of a national group, with whom I have been associated with for many years, and will continue to work strategically by committing to facilitating a network to assist groups in providing opportunities for freedom and change to people involved in prostitution.”

Last year Theresa was named Pioneer of the City by the Norwich Evening News in their Local Heroes Awards and later given the Marks & Spencer Sieff award for the East of England for her success in attracting business support for the project.
 
It was while she was a magistrate in Norwich that, along with Doreen Betts and Doreen Green, Theresa became concerned about the number of prostitutes who were appearing before the bench.
 
Concern grew as they looked more closely at the problems and abuse of those working in the streets. Volunteers went out with Theresa every week at night, taking hot drinks and with open minds as they sought to establish relationships with the prostitutes and discover from them what help they really needed.
 
From this grew the Magdalene Group project to offer support, a place of safety and opportunity for change. The project has four members of staff and many volunteers.
 
The wide range of activities includes individual counselling and support, help with housing, accompanying clients to court and other interviews, fun outings for families, basic tuition in IT and sewing skills, and arts and crafts activities.
 
The drop-in centre, near the city centre, with its comfortable sitting area is a popular venue. The ethos is one of friendship and unconditional acceptance, as relationships of trust are built up.

Although her own motivation is from her Christian faith, Theresa doesn’t push that at others. ”It has been a privilege to share part of their journey over these 13 years. I have learned from them and to see people in such a dire situation come through the other side is wonderful,” she said.

During these years 35 prostitutes, including three men, have walked away from prostitution and are rebuilding their lives.

weblink:  www.themagdalenegroup.org.uk

Pictured above is local hero Theresa Cumbers.


Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

Click here to fill out a standing order form and to add an extra 25% for free via Gift Aid

Click below to donate instantly via a credit or debit card or Paypal


 Recommended reading 

 

email envelope

Read more stories like this... Register to receive our bi-weekly email newsletter

Network Norwich and Norfolk > News Archive > Social Action Archive > Pioneer of vice girl project to retire

 Norfolk services........ 

 Accommodation.........