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Volunteers swap beds for pavements to help Wisbech-charity 50 Back Packs



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Eight volunteers from the Wisbech-based 50 Back Packs Charity, which helps the homeless, swapped their beds for the tarmac of the town's Market Place on Saturday night.

50 Backpacks volunteers sleeping rough ....left to right James Geddis, Sarah Thomas, Bridgette Watts, Owen Bennett, Spencer Neilly and Caleb Hamilton... (7395242)
50 Backpacks volunteers sleeping rough ....left to right James Geddis, Sarah Thomas, Bridgette Watts, Owen Bennett, Spencer Neilly and Caleb Hamilton... (7395242)

They braved the near freezing temperatures to raise awareness of the plight of the estimated 50 or more people who sleep rough on the town's streets every night.

They were joined by some of the homeless who have been helped by the charity.

50 Backpacks volunteers sleeping rough ....left to riight back Sarah Thomas, Owen Bennett, James Geddis and Caleb Hamilton....left to right front Bridgette Watts and Spencer Neilly..... (7395241)
50 Backpacks volunteers sleeping rough ....left to riight back Sarah Thomas, Owen Bennett, James Geddis and Caleb Hamilton....left to right front Bridgette Watts and Spencer Neilly..... (7395241)

Sarah Thomas, one of the charity's founders, explained: "We wanted to raise awareness of the situation and also to raise money to help fund our Grub Hub initiative which runs weekly at Bygones Cafe as well as our newly launched Thread Shed where we help provide essentials such as clothing, torches and toiletries.

"We hope to have raised between £250 and £300 by our night on the Market Place. It was quite chilly especially towards the end when we had to put the wood burner out so it would be cool enough to move in the morning.

Morrisons supermarket Wisbech - launch of food collection point for 50 back packs charity ....left to right Spencer Neilly, Debbie Thulborn and Sarah Thomas. (7371313)
Morrisons supermarket Wisbech - launch of food collection point for 50 back packs charity ....left to right Spencer Neilly, Debbie Thulborn and Sarah Thomas. (7371313)

"We had a lot of support, some people on a night out joined us for a chat and find out what we were doing which was nice. We also had some of the homeless we have helped sleep with us.

"They said they wanted to offer us support as a thank-you for the help we have given them."

The charity is always in need of donations and is particularly looking for men's underwear (which must be new), as well as wind-up torches.

Morrisons supermarket on Elm Road now has a collection bin in store for donations of essential food stuffs and toiletries - the full list of things needed is on the bin.

More details about 50 Back Packs can be found on their Facebook page or on their fundraising page: www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/50backpacks/



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