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10 June 2024

Our Rural Homelessness Podcast Launched!

We have successfully launched our new podcast. It is called 'The Rural Homelessness Podcast' and can be heard on your favourite podcasting platform such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube and many more. 

Or you can listen on the podcast's dedicated website that you can find by CLICKING HERE.

Matt McChlery, our podcast host, asked Keith Smith (Director of the Ferry Project) why we have launched a podcast focussing on Rural Homelessness.

Keith Smith explained "The Ferry Project is a homelessness charity and that we're based in a town called Wisbech is situated in North Cambridgeshire. It's right on the border of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. And a third of the town is in Norfolk, two thirds of towns in Cambridgeshire, and four miles up the road is Lincolnshire. So we're riding that niche at the top. So, Wisbech itself is a very rural area. It's a reasonable sized market town of about 30 ,000 people, but surrounding it are just miles and miles of farmland. And historically, Wisbech has always been one of the agricultural areas of Great Britain. And our experience is that we started Homeless Charity because there were lots of homeless people in the area."

"And now, 25 years on, it's our 25th anniversary this year, we're finding that we're supporting 300 people a year who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. And yet when I talk to people about homelessness, whether that's in government or other charities or people on the street or whoever, everybody automatically starts talking about somebody who's homeless on a street and starts talking about urban centres and so on. Where many of our clients are actually found homeless in fields. We've found people who were sleeping in trees, literally balancing on branches of trees to keep safe. We find people in woods hiding under hedgerows, all sorts of situations they can be in. And yet there's a type of general feeling that the countryside doesn't have homelessness, that is an urban problem."

"So we started the podcast because we want to just share with the people of England, just the fact that actually homelessness is rife across the whole of the rural sector of Great Britain. And that probably when you're driving through the Lake District, you pass wooded areas or hedgerows where people will be sleeping rough tonight and people just don't see it and they just don't assume it."

"Governments over years have channeled funding into urban centres. They don't channel it into rural communities. Services are very sparse in rural communities. So people who are in need, then move from their rural community where maybe they've been brought up or have been living, and they go to the urban centres where everybody says the homelessness problem is."

"What we're hoping to do is just to get people understanding that there is homelessness in rural settings, that actually if money was invested into those rural settings and the services offered were the right services, that actually people would love to stay in those rural settings and would like to prefer to be supported there. And we just want to readdress this misunderstanding that homelessness is an urban problem. We want people to realize it's a country-wide problem, including the rural parts of Britain."

The podcast is hoping to post an episode twice a month on the first and on the fifteenth of the month - so subscribe and join this important conversation.

Our Rural Homelessness Podcast Launched!


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