Petition launched to keep 50 Backpacks open

Simon Crowson, known to all as Spike, runs 50 BackPacks in Wisbech, an organisation that has played

Simon Crowson, known to all as Spike, runs 50 BackPacks in Wisbech, has announced the service which supports the homeless will discontinue. Picture; HARRY RUTTER - Credit: Archant

Almost 150 people have already signed a petition to keep a service for the homeless open in Wisbech.

The petition was set up by Vickie Shears after 50 Backpacks Vision announced it was to discontinue its work.  

Simon Crowson, known as Spike, who leads 50 Backpacks Vision revealed the news in a Facebook post earlier in the week.

He said he was has faced “yet another onslaught from a select few local councillors” and “is tired of the constant battles”.

The text on the petition outlines how Mr Crowson at 50 Backpacks Vision:-

  • Feeds the homeless daily with hot meals and drinks
  • Homes the homeless and sometimes helps them find somewhere to stay overnight
  • Provided food parcels to those unable to leave their homes during the coronavirus lockdown 
  • Helps low-income families and single people with essentials 
  • Supports those who want to turn their lives around if they have issues with mental health, drug abuse, homelessness and alcohol.

It said: “Spike does all this by receiving donations and setting up go fund me pages. He’s clearly a charity but is told he cannot have funding.

“A lot, even in high places, slate Spike and his work which is unfair. If things don’t change and the slating does not stop, or he is still refused funding, 50 [Backpacks] will have to close its doors for good.

“This will be a massive lost to Wisbech, the homeless won’t get help or be fed, and the many many people and families he helps will be back to square one and struggling.”

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The petition also calls on funding for 50 Backpacks to be approved.

“... if it wasn’t for Spike and his small team people would struggle, the homeless wouldn’t have that one main hot meal a day.

“Please sign, show some support and make the people higher up see 50 [Backpacks] is indeed a charity and 50 is needed by people in Wisbech.”

Cllr Samantha Hoy, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said previously in a statement: “...the council will work with any group but they must be registered and have DBS checks in place because taxpayers’ money and vulnerable people are involved."

Click here to sign the petition.