As you may know my battle with cancer was one that changed my life and thanks to my wife Sharon I am still alive today. Many friends came out the woodwork and a few weeks ago I got my annual MOT and given the all clear from cancer. I am pretty chuffed... OK I am very chuffed.
This whole experience has given me a perspective on life. I look around to see so many sad situations and I know I am a very lucky person.
The anniversary of my dad's death is 11/11 and he is always in my mind. He was a kind man with big heart and in the days we stayed in a tenement building he and my mum fed the "Gentlemen of the road' with hot soup and bread. His view was that they just needed to know someone cared.
My conscience has always been troubled when I pass someone begging on the street...are they really homeless...there are so many and it is a decision I do not feel equipped to make. The big moment was when in Glasgow recently I saw an old man who, for a fleeting moment, reminded me of my late dad. My dad was a giant of a man in so many ways, my best friend for a large part of my life and I will always remember the nights I visited him in hospital and he asked me to give him a shave. He was dying of cancer but he did not want to compromise his standards of appearance. Oh I wish I could do that tonight, shave his chin, be close to him, smell him and hear his words... "thanks son".
But the man on the street was not my dad but he probably was someone's dad. His dignity was all but lost but unlike my dad who could not be saved... we can save these people.
I walked by the old man as I held my £2.70 latte and after a few steps I stopped and returned and put a fiver in his cup. I imagined it was going to my dad.
So what am I trying to do?
I am reaching out to 1000 of my contacts and asking each of you to put a fiver in the cup. I want to raise £5,000 as my share of £30,000 to build a home for the homeless. We intend to build a Social Bite Village and put roofs over people's heads creating a central hub and supportive environment around them.
I appreciate we can all suffer from donation fatigue but lets get the Dads and the Mums off the streets... we can do this together.
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about the author
Brian Williamson is our Entrepreneur in Residence. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.