Anyone who wants to be successful in business needs to stay ahead of the game, that's why I've built my career around innovation. From the early days of competing in equestrian competitions and progressing to training and selling horses, I then learned the ropes of internet marketing and set up my own company in my garden shed...
This was day I became homeless. It was a chaotic day. I was carrying several bags, and was not sure what or where I was going. I went to a café, had a coffee and decided to see what happened. Not much of a plan, but I had never been homeless. Eventually, that night, I slept in the A & E Department at St George's Hospital, Tooting.
My starting point as Chief Executive was what if this could be a place where the pleasures and needs of one group may facilitate the dreams of others? And that this should be at the forefront of all our organisational decisions, from the training we offer to the members that join, the networks they bring with them, the cultural programming we create and the suppliers we choose to work with.
On 4 March 2014, I witnessed a group of police officers forcibly move on some homeless people around Newland Avenue in Hull, the heart of the city's student population. Their only crime was being homeless, which I don't feel is a crime, and certainly doesn't justify the treatment they received. I felt helpless, and had to carry on home, angry...
Fictional American universities, generic sports teams, and punk bands that thrived three generations ago; these are the sort of things that should be on teenagers' t-shirts. So when fashion retailers try to elevate off-the-shelf edginess to silly new levels, you suddenly remember that it's idiotic adults who are in charge.
Ever since the coalition came to power in 2010, they've carried out reform after reform under the sanctimonious presumption that we've got to 'trim the fat' off of Britain's social safety net... Less than a year into the implementation of these callous reforms, that same, self-inflicted shot in the foot has landed us on the precipice of a humanitarian disaster.
George Osborne has announced the Conservative Party would cut housing benefit for under-25s after the next election as part of £25billion spending cuts, removing a vital lifeline for many homeless young people who are already struggling financially. Such a move would be catastrophic for the 6,000 homeless young people Centrepoint supports each year.
There will be many people who read the headline on this article and think 'it's not my problem.' Yet the majority of us are only a paycheck away from not being able to pay the mortgage. The journey from home-ownership to rough sleeping can be a short and brutal one. So spare a thought for the homeless this 2014. It could be you.