“A nicely decorated area sends the message that people care.” Ferry Project homeless shelter is given a make-over by Wisbech Grammar students

Ferry Project night shelter at Wisbech is given a make-over

Ferry Project night shelter at Wisbech is given a make-over - Credit: Archant

The homeless night shelter at Luminus Ferry Project in Wisbech was given a “fresh lick of paint” by pupils from Wisbech Grammar School, who volunteered during half term to give it a make over.

The redecoration was arranged by grammar school pupil, Maddie Booth, who is the Lions Young Ambassador for the East of England.

During half term, six pupils went each morning for three days to repaint the walls at the night shelter at Octavia View, a fourteen-bed facility for the homeless in Fenland.

Luminus Ferry Project Director, Keith Smith, said: “As a result of the work very kindly done by the Wisbech Grammar School pupils, the shelter is now a much nicer place to sleep in.

“This is important as many homeless people already have low self-esteem and confidence due to being homeless.

“If the shelter is grubby and poorly decorated it sends the signal that we do not care.

“A nicely decorated area instead sends the message that people do care and they are not in this alone. This helps our clients feel more supported.”

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The night shelter is open for clients from 9.30pm to 8am, 365 days a year.

Clients are provided with supper and breakfast, use of shower facilities and toiletries, washing facilities for clothing, hot drinks, a clean bed and bedding, warmth, security and support.

Originally serving seven to eight people a night in its first four years of operation, the night shelter’s usage has now increased to 12 a night.

The facilities are regularly cleaned and carefully managed, but over time the paint work had deteriorated.

Luminus Ferry Project relies on funding in order to keep this vital service open, and so when the generous offer to repaint the shelter came, it was gladly welcomed.

The redecoration also came at an important time as the number of homeless people is on the rise.

Since Christmas, the night shelter has been at almost full capacity (98 per cent), and there have even been emergency cases where it has to fit as many people as possible for a night.

For example, one recent evening, under the severe weather emergency provision organised by central government, 22 occupants had to be hosted at the shelter.

For more information about Luminus Ferry Project and how you can help visit www.ferryproject.org.uk.

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