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Mair Talbot, a former vicar, spends her evenings driving around Norwich's red light district. When she sees a woman who looks as if she might be a prostitute she stops, rolls down the car window and offers them a cup of hot chocolate. "That usually goes down quite well."

She is the head of the Magdalene Group, a charity set up in 1992 to help the increasing number of women in Norwich who had been drawn into prostitution. Once Magdalene have made contact with a woman, they invite her to come to their afternoon drop-in sessions, where she can talk through her situation with a trained counsellor or just have something to eat and somewhere safe to rest. "We try to find out what they are looking for, whether they want to change their lives," says Talbot. She stresses that they do not try to persuade anyone to change. "You can't change someone's life for them, you can only help them do it once they have decided to."

What the group can do is help a woman build the motivation to change. They ask how she would like her life to be a year hence, and at every meeting she is set a small goal that works towards this. They are in regular contact with about 50 women.

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