Have you ever looked at a homeless person and wondered how they got there? What was the turning point in their life which led to their misfortune?
I have, many times. I also used to dismiss these people believing that it was of their own doing and sometimes out of choice. I'd avoid them in the street and look away if they came near. I pretended that they weren't there.
Some years ago I had the privilege of working with a housing association in Newport and my whole view changed. I got to hear real stories, to understand the issues and see the consequences. I saw people trying desperately hard to change their lives but they just kept getting kicked. Kicked by society, by a lack of respect and a complete lack of love. This experience gave me a completely new view of the homeless and those that help them.
I learned that I can't even begin to image how it must feel to be abandoned or ignored by society. How it must feel that every time I reached for a hand up people would walk past. Yes, there are people that didn't help themselves but when all hope is gone why would you?
It's for this reason that I'm taking part in CEO Sleepout. A charity event taking place in Cardiff where business owners from across Wales will spend a night under the stars. The aim is to raise at least £70,000 for local homeless charities.
I admit that a night in the grounds of Cardiff Castle will hardly be the same as living on the streets but quite frankly, I'd sleep in a 5 star hotel if it meant raising this much money for these types of charities!
So here's the plea. I need your donations. My personal goal is to raise £1000 with anything beyond that being an absolute bonus. Please, please, please, give what you can. Here's the place to donate.