Cash boost for Ferry Project Wisbech and Change, Grow Live thanks to £340,000 grant to help Fenland’s rough sleepers get off the streets

PUBLISHED: 11:56 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:56 30 January 2020

The Ferry Project in Wisbech is one of the services that will receive a share of £340,320 of funding to tackle homelessness in Fenland. Three of their team members are pictured. Picture: SIMON LEHER.

The Ferry Project in Wisbech is one of the services that will receive a share of £340,320 of funding to tackle homelessness in Fenland. Three of their team members are pictured. Picture: SIMON LEHER.

Archant

Four services that help to tackle homelessness in Fenland - a place where rough sleeping has doubled since 2010 - are to continue until March 2021 thanks to £340,320 of funding.

The money will pay for four extra beds at the Ferry Project's emergency night shelter in Wisbech as well as continuing the running of its 'homeless day HUB.

Change, Grow, Live's outreach service will also get a share of the cash while there will also be a new role created - rough sleeper co-ordinator - to cover the whole of Fenland.

Fenland District Council received the money thanks to a Rough Sleeping Initiative grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The initiative was launched in 2018 to "ensure local areas were given the boost they needed to provide these vital services for those living on the streets", said an FDC spokesman.

According to the Government, the numbers of rough sleepers are 32 per cent lower in areas that have received funding through the initiative.

The Ferry Project homeless day HUB is open seven days a week and provides specialist support for all rough sleepers in Fenland, including help with finding accommodation, work and training, mental health support, help with debts and benefits, as well as homelessness prevention advice.

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The 'outreach service', which is run by Change, Grow, Live, locates people sleeping rough and provides them with help and support.

Cllr Samantha Hoy, Fenland District Council's portfolio holder for housing, said: "I am proud of what has been achieved so far and really pleased that the outcomes have made a significant impact on vulnerable members of our community.

"We remain committed as ever to helping people rebuild their lives and ending rough sleeping once and for all."

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: "No-one should have to face a night on the street and we have a moral duty to support those who need help the most.

"It is encouraging to see more people getting the support they need, but there is always more to do.

"We are focusing relentlessly on this issue and our efforts have already led to the first nationwide fall in rough sleeping in a decade.

"The areas funded by our rough sleeping initiative have seen rough sleeping numbers fall around a third more than they would be without this vital programme, but we need to go further.

"That is why we are providing this funding so vital work can continue as we set out to end rough sleeping once and for all."

The funding will run until March 2021. Further discussions between the MHCLG and the council will take place over the next few months regarding continued funding in 2021/22.

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