OPINION: Sleeping rough in Wisbech on Christmas night

Simon 'Spike' Crowson (right) and a friend Terry Wood in Wisbech throughout Christmas night and into Boxing Day morning to turn the spotlight on the growing problem of homelessness. 

Simon 'Spike' Crowson (right) and 50 Backpacks volunteer Terry Wood slept/stayed out on the streets in Wisbech throughout Christmas night and into Boxing Day to turn the spotlight on homelessness. - Credit: Archant

On Christmas night I was on the streets of Wisbech for 12 hours with Simon 'Spike' Crowson so that we could find out for ourselves what life can be like for some every night. 

We did it also for 50 Backpacks vision on QD steps from 7pm till 7am to raise awareness of the homeless in the town.

It was really cold and to be honest soul destroying. I was with Spike but at times I felt very lonely and vulnerable. It was only for 12 hours but it felt like weeks.

The isolation of sitting on QD steps for me was very thought provoking because as some people walked past it seemed like you did not exist.

I was well wrapped up and even had a sleeping bag around me; two hats, four tops, a snood and the cold was biting. That was just for 12 hours.


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I don't know how homeless people do this all the time. I thought I was tough but that would break me if I had to do that all the time.

I work at 50 Backpacks Vision and have worked with the homeless for a number of years and realise that it could happen to anyone.

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I have faced a number of issues in my life i.e. alcohol and drug addiction for 25 years and many times in prison, but that is all in the past.

All it takes is someone to believe in you and talk to you as a human being, and show that we are in this world to be kind, honest and caring for people who have got lost and are struggling.

So the next time you see someone who is homeless or struggling talk to them on a even level and show kindness, compassion and love.

I have worked with Spike for a number of years and he is a remarkable human being who gives his time, money and everything to help the homeless (don't tell him I have said that ha).

So to end, please support 50 Backpacks Vision in anyway that you can.

Kindness, humility and love is priceless.

Stay safe and think of the less fortunate.


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