'Integral' member giving lifeline to town's homeless leaves post

Adrian Casey at the Salvation Army centre in Wisbech

Adrian Casey of the Salvation Army helped set up the 50/50 Vision venture at its Wisbech centre after speaking to homeless champion Simon Crowson. - Credit: Facebook/5050 Vision

A Salvation Army member who helped set up a joint venture to tackle homelessness in the Fens is leaving his post. 

Adrian Casey first suggested the idea to Simon ‘Spike’ Crowson of launching a project at the Salvation Army’s John Thompson Road centre in Wisbech to help homeless people and rough sleepers earlier this year. 

“It made sense to give Spike a call and start the ball rolling between 50/50 Vision and the Salvation Army,” Mr Casey said. 

“It happened at a time where we were not doing anything like this here, but Spike has the expertise in Wisbech and I think it has gone very smoothly.” 

Mr Casey, a corps assistant at the Wisbech branch, is leaving his current role to join the Chatteris centre as a corps officer next month. 

The project has become increasingly popular since it opened in March, with more people attending for hot evening meals as well as advice and support. 

Simon 'Spike' Crowson and Adrian Casey at Salvation Army Centre Wisbech

Adrian Casey (right) approached Simon 'Spike' Crowson (left) about setting up a joint venture to help homeless people and rough sleepers in Wisbech. - Credit: Facebook/5050 Vision

“We had one aim and that was to get the soup kitchen running again; we succeeded at that extremely quickly,” said Mr Casey. 

“Spike has been able to control what we have been able to do and it has moulded together beautifully.” 

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Mr Crowson said he was approached by the Salvation Army to continue his work helping homeless people and rough sleepers in the town after closing 50 Backpacks Vision in February. 

He said that without Adrian’s input, 50/50 Vision may never have formed. 

“Adrian has been integral on forming that partnership," Mr Crowson said.

“It’s a team effort and every one of that team makes 50/50 Vision happen.” 

Volunteers outside the Salvation Army in Wisbech as part of 50/50 Vision

Some of the volunteers at the Salvation Army centre in Wisbech as part of 50/50 Vision's mission to help rough sleepers and homeless people. - Credit: Daniel Mason

When this newspaper visited 50/50 Vision in May, Mr Crowson said that 12 regular volunteers were serving “upwards of 37 people a night”. 

Mr Casey said he will stay in touch with Mr Crowson about 50/50 Vision and hinted that he may call on the homeless champion if required. 

“I don’t know the situation in Chatteris but when I get there, I’ll find out,” Mr Casey added.  

“If our meal service is not needed as much and other types of support are more appropriate, we will look at different things.   

“I won’t be going back to Wisbech, but I will keep in touch with Spike.”