The city of Bristol in the south west corner of the UK has got a lot going for it.
Lots of waterways and restored industrial buildings, elegant Georgian squares,
and more rejuvenation of old buildings into new residences and places for leisure than you would ever think sustainable for what is only the UK’s 10th largest city
Throw in some trendy pubs, innovative workspaces
and a lot of new building and you have the complete package.
But success is a magnet for both those who can benefit from a fast paced economy and those who just aspire to it.
There is a worryingly large homeless population on the streets who by fate, misfortune or poor judgement are on the wrong side of the success story.
I was in the city briefly this week and was struck by how there are people who will have (albeit to varying degrees) skills and talents that could play a part in this city, but are unused and not developed.
Why, well inevitably the homeless who are drawn here are caught in the trap of poverty, sometimes alcohol and substance abuse and are therefore marginalised. As we inevitably move towards a post Brexit Britain with a diminished workforce, we need our young people as contributors and when I see these people I don’t just see a scruffy, maybe unkempt individual but an unused talent and someone with something to give.
Bristol is trying to help..there are schemes where you can donate small sums of money to assist people getting back on board.
I commend these schemes as they are far more effective than direct donations of money to individuals.
The £3 less in my bank account won’t impact my life, but I hope how it is used will play a small but important part in someone else’s.
But personal contact is important too… my daughter will often give a free coffee that she gets awarded by her mobile phone company to a homeless person. A small gesture, but human touch also goes a long way.
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