Ferry Project set to continue with £200,000 year contract to support young, single homeless in Wisbech

Ferry Project, Octavia View Wisbech, rear view of Octavia View. Picture: Steve Williams.

Ferry Project, Octavia View Wisbech, rear view of Octavia View. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Luminus will be asked to continue with a £200,000 a year contract in Wisbech to help homeless single people because no other organisation is interested in bidding for the work.

Adrian Loades, executive director children, families and adults services, says that “following recent market testing” only the Ferry Project – part of Luminus- was interested.

The director points out that other providers may have been deterred from bidding since The Ferry Project owns the building which the county uses and was unwilling to allow others to use it.

“Therefore a successful provider would be required to source accommodations units which act as a significant barrier for new bidders,” says Mr Loades.

Under the new contract the Ferry Project will provide 39 beds instead of the current 36 beds- the extras being used for mental health needs but at no extra cost.

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Mr Loades says Luminus received a two year exemption to continue with the service until April- that is now likely to continue for up to a further six years.

He says the current service “is delivering good outcomes” with the average stay at the Ferry Project 16 weeks.

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Over 40 per cent of those being supported there are in education of some sort and the same number does voluntary work.

Mr Loades says one advantage of the Ferry Project is the extra services it runs which are not funded by the county council including a community hub, a café, shops, a night shelter, a social enterprise scheme and other opportunities for volunteering.

“The council benefits from its commissioned service being part of a wider resource which it does not commission but which improves outcomes for council service users,” he says.

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