Hopefully, this initiative will kick-start real action so that we can get people housed in warmth and safety and create opportunities to assist them get back into playing an active part in our communities.

We take much for granted in our privileged lives and tend to be far removed from the isolation, fear, frustration with the vicious circle and lack of hope that comes with being outside of the system and largely ignored by the public, whether out of prejudice or embarrassment.

If by spending a night out in the elements (which seems such a small gesture given the conditions that the homeless face every day, day in day out) we can start to raise real awareness of this societal issue, which needs to be addressed with real action not just words, then that is probably going to be some of the best use of my time this year.

Jon Close