The transformation from pitching a tent at a rugby club to pitching up at 50 Backpacks

PUBLISHED: 18:08 29 June 2020

Peter was left with no option but to pitch a tent at Wisbech Rugby Club after splitting up with his partner.  - Picture: WikiMedia/Geograph/For Reuse

Peter was left with no option but to pitch a tent at Wisbech Rugby Club after splitting up with his partner. - Picture: WikiMedia/Geograph/For Reuse

WikiMedia/Geograph/For Reuse

From camping in a tent to living under a roof, better times are back for one young resident thanks to 50 Backpacks Vision.

Peter was left with no option but to pitch a tent at Wisbech Rugby Club after splitting up with his partner.

The 24-year-old, who has a six-year-old daughter, decided to sign up to The Ferry Project (TFP), which he has been in and out of since moving to the area from Huntingdon four years ago.

After seeing that Simon Crowson, known as ‘Spike’, set up the 50 Backpacks charity, Peter was intrigued to see how his former key worker at TFP was getting on in his new role.

“I was going there, having some food and then found out they had a ‘room to rent’ scheme, which is you rent a room in shared accommodation,” Peter said.

“When I was told he has rehoused a few of my friends from TFP into a room to rent, I thought this might be my shot.”

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Within a few days after Peter spoke to Spike about the scheme, he was offered a shared house in Wisbech with his new partner, which aside from having a roof over his head, has had other benefits too.

“I have mental health issues and don’t take medication. I didn’t have to feel like I need medication because now I feel happier,” Peter said. “There are a few people there, but it’s a lot better than what I hoped. We’ve been in this place for nearly three months now and it has been continuously happy.”

Having been bullied as a child during a tough upbringing, Peter now hopes he can build on the platform that 50 Backpacks have provided, something he could not be more grateful for.

“It’s made me feel over the moon. Simon has made me realise it doesn’t matter how many bridges you’ve built, you can always build more,” he said. “I’d never bite the hand that fed me. Simon has helped me through thick and thin.

“Every story has a happy ending, so don’t think everyone is against you. Some people do want to help.

“I can’t thank him enough in words. He’s made a big impact within a couple of months.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Through our time at 50 Backpacks we encountered many stories similar to Peter. Collectively they offer a compelling study into homelessness and hope. If you have a story to share, contact daniel.mason@archant.co.uk.


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