“Homeless.” It’s a word that conjures up many different images in the mind.  For some, it may suggest poverty and hunger.  For others, it can mean disease and sickness. There are those who view homelessness as self-inflicted. After all, we live in the 21st Century, do we not? How can this be a real problem here in the UK.

I first came across this massive challenge to humanity on my travels in the Middle East and Asia. Coming into close contact with people who struggle just to survive from one day to the next, living on the street, brought me to tears on many occasions and I did what I could to help.  Returning to the UK, my attention was immediately grabbed by the fact that this existed right here, in our own towns and cities and so little was being done to help and I mean REALLY help.

Many people make the mistake of believing that homeless people are all “dropouts, scroungers, lazy, alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves” and any one of many other labels.  The fact is that there are a great many reasons why a person can find themselves on the streets.  Some are there because they are fleeing domestic violence and abuse. Others may be there because of financial circumstances that have spiraled beyond their control. I’ve come across people with successful businesses that have gone bust, leaving them with nothing, not even their own home.  Look beyond the obvious and you see the reality.  This is a situation that could hit any one of us, any time.

Then, by chance (if you believe in chance) I connected on Twitter with a guy who shared my interest in NLP and so we began to chat.  I discovered that Ian Northcott (lovingly known as the Busking Bobby) was a serving police officer in Birmingham and working with the Princes Trust.  My commitment to working with children and young people led to me doing some motivational speaking on the PT projects that Ian was running and so a friendship grew.

What has all this to do with homelessness?  I’ll tell you.  As I got to know Ian, I discovered that he also headed up a project called Socks and Chocs. Ian, and his small team, devoted much of their spare time to providing necessities, such as clean socks, and small luxuries, such as chocolate, to people living on the street in Birmingham.  That project is now a full-blown charity operating across the country.  Truly impressive is that Ian and his team takes not one single penny out of the charity, not even expenses.

The Socks and Chocs credo is “A lot of people doing a little bit is better than a few doing a lot” and this has been proven so many times with people collecting a few pairs of socks, knitting a few scarves, donating a few sanitary items. Many doing a little is how WE can all help and we should all help because this is everybody’s problem.

I’m a professional speaker and coach with a burning passion for seeing this world become a better place for everyone, not just the privileged few.  So I’m bringing my little bit by organizing a fund-raising event in aid of Socks and Chocs.  On 3rd November 2017, a team of the very best professional speakers will take to the stage in the Midlands and deliver a day full of value to business owners and individuals.  I’m being supported in this by some really amazing people, all sharing the same passion.

Watch for news of our event and I hope you will join us so that, together, we can do more.