Lord Lieutenant Julie Spence - the Queen’s representative for Cambridgeshire - pays tribute to the work of homeless charity 50Backpacks
PUBLISHED: 14:03 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:04 22 September 2020
“I know you made a real difference” the words of Lord Lieutenant Julie Spence – and the Queen’s representative – in a hand written message to Wisbech homeless charity 50Backpacks.
She told 50Backpacks leader Simon ‘Spike’ Crowson: “A special thank you for supporting the homeless and those down on their luck in Wisbech- I know you made a real difference”.
Ms Spence wrote: “The innovation, collaboration courage and selflessness shown by so many across the country has been truly inspirational and uplifting
“As her Majesty the Queen’s representative, I would like to thank you for the wonderful contribution you have made to the county during these extraordinary and challenging times.”
Mr Crowson was delighted that the work and his team of volunteers both before, during and since the coronavirus lockdown had been recognised.
“Wow,” he said. “To receive a special thank you from a representative of Her Majesty the Queen is an honour and shows just how much we have achieved.
“This is for everyone that volunteered for 50 Backpacks and who have exceeded beyond all comprehension in helping our community by putting themselves at risk to help others.”
Wisbech councillor Dave Patrick said: “Well done, Spike. You and your team have fully earned it.”
Mr Crowson said his organisation was made up entirely of volunteers and was ready to step in again and help more people if we return to a full lockdown.
“To the people of Wisbech, I say ‘don’t panic,’” he said.
“If we do return to full lockdown, we’ve got your back; just as we did before.
“We have the contacts, plans and provisions in place to take care of our elderly and most vulnerable. Hopefully, this will not happen but if it does, we are ready.”
50Backpacks used the church hall at St Peter’s which became a centre not only for helping the homeless but supplying 4,000 food parcels to isolated residents.
“It was three-month roller coaster but with the help of my amazing team we touched the lives of thousands of people in one way or another,” said Mr Crowson.
He said 50Backpacks was especially proud that after 11 months of “constant support and life coaching” they had been able to rehome their 20th person this month.
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