Do you remember the headlines in 2017?

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I decided to capture the news headlines for the whole year of 2017. About 3 headlines every single day. 


To illustrate how we’re all being manipulated by the daily media without us even realising it.

By March I started regretting it, but I continued and have added screenshots of those headlines to a Pinterest board.

I’ve captured 1,100+ headlines about an average of 3 headlines per day. 

How did I decide what to pick?

Well I basically decided that if my eye, my attention, my internal guidance system drew me to a particular headline then that’s the one that got selected. Of course I did look out for the major ones, the big news items too. Unfortunately Donald Trump and Brexit obviously feature in abundance because there was some news on both every single day. 

I used the Apple News app to tap into the daily news and locate those headlines. 

I am delighted to nearly have completed the exercise with just 3 days left and will be taking 2018 off from even looking at the news app.

Have a look through the board and some of the headlines might surprise you. 


Crisis at Christmas 2017

#endhomelessness I started as an event volunteer with Crisis UK, Birmingham Skylight in February 2017. I am learning about the plight of the homeless and appreciate a lot more about what happens at Crisis UK. Their Christmas event across the UK, is the largest single volunteer event in Europe (circa 11,000 in one day) and I am really looking forward to being part of it and supporting those less fortunate on Christmas Day. If you’d like to sponsor me for Christmas Day, please donate what you can afford, even if it’s the equivalent of the cost of a Costa or Starbucks? Thank you so much!

Just click the preview below to get to the donation page.

So far I have been involved with the following events.

  1. 25th April, 2017 - 50th year event in Birmingham handing out flyers in the freezing cold, whilst videos playing on a massive screen just outside St. Philip’s Cathedral.
  2. 8th July, 2017 - Hodge Hill Carnival. Manning a stand where we were giving away in return for a donation knitted teddy bears and other characters.
  3. 12th July, 2017 - Member celebration event at Carrs Lane Church near Moor Street station Birmingham. Announcing the presenters and general volunteer.
  4. 5th September, 2017 - Joined ‘Volunteer Voices’, volunteer group at Birmingham Skylight, discussing volunteering, events and better information for volunteers, like the ‘Get the help you need’ cards for discussing with rough sleepers.
  5. 5th December, 2017 - Crisis member celebration at St. Martin’s Church Bull Ring, Birmingham, general volunteering.
  6. 25th December, 2017 - Reception duty, Serving food & refreshments, Cleaning / tidying duty, Setting up before guests arrive, Chatting with guests .

I am looking forward to continuing my volunteering journey in 2018 and I have some ideas of my own to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Instead of focussing on what I can buy myself for Christmas, my focus is on how can I help the homeless better.

I am grateful to Crisis for the amazing work they do and of course I appreciate too that there are many other charities working with the homeless, big 🙌 to all of them!

Michael de Groot

Together we will end homelessness

Our definition of ending homelessness

Following consultation across Britain with more that 400 homelessness experts, including 100 people with lived experience of homelessness, we have produced a definition of ending homelessness that give us tangible targets to measure the plan's progress against:

  • No one sleeping rough
  • No one forced to live in transient or dangerous accommodation such as tents, squats and non-residential buildings
  • No one living in emergency accommodation such as shelters and hostels without a plan for rapid rehousing into affordable, secure and decent accommodation
  • No one homeless as a result of leaving a state institution such as prison or the care system
  • Everyone at immediate risk of homelessness gets the help they need that prevents it happening

Streets of London - Crisis UK - Video

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Crisis UK

Buy the single on iTunes #CrisisXmas #everybodyin #streetsoflondon


Have you seen the old man

In the closed-down market

Kicking up the paper

With his worn out shoes?

In his eyes you see no pride

Hand held loosely at his side

Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news


So how can you tell me you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind


Have you seen the old girl

Who walks the streets of London

Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?

She's no time for talking

She just keeps right on walking

Carrying her home in two carrier bags


So how can you tell me you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll Show you something to make you change your mind


In the all night cafe

At a quarter past eleven

Same old man sitting there on his own

Looking at the world

Over the rim of his teacup

Each tea lasts an hour

And he wanders home alone


So how can you tell me you're lonely

Don't say for you that the sun don't shine

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind


Have you seen the old man

Outside the Seaman's Mission

Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears

In our winter city

The rain cries a little pity

For one more forgotten hero

And a world that doesn't care


So how can you tell me you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine?

Let me take you by the hand and

Lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind

Crisis UK

Buy the single on iTunes

How do you know if you are being authentic?


This article was inspired by my LinkedIn connection Rebecca Bell, who posted an update about the case of self-proclaimed titles, like ‘Thought Leader’, 'Influencer’ or ‘Visionary’.

See the post below.

The discussion has been fascinating and you can see how many likes and comments are clocking up on this topic, it really has never-ending opinions.

This topic has touched a nerve with many and it’s making me wonder why do we try and big ourselves up so much. Is it because we need that recognition to feel good about ourselves? Is it because the world around us has conditioned us to claim titles for ourselves, so we can be seen by others as important and they will believe in us?

Most of us have heard the saying ‘people buy people first’ and that means someone has to be in your company, face to face (or at least a video call) before this can take place. But because we now spend most of our time in the digital world, the non-physical, we are making up our own non-sense titles to impress and be bought by our connections and sometimes to manipulate search results too. 

Have you ever heard anyone at a networking meeting say. Hello my name is Michael and I’m a visionary or I’m a thought leader or I’m an influencer. Probably not. Recently I was invited to connect to someone who calls themselves a 'Business Maven'. Who encouraged him/her to use this title to suggest that they are maybe better than you or me, better qualified than anyone else to be an expert in the world of business?

A better description, title or headline for any of us would be:

'Have learnt everything I know from others and therefore thank you to all for the great lessons'. 

Because when we came into this world, we knew diddly-squat, nothing, absolutely nothing. Everything and I mean everything we know we had to learn from others. Sure we put our own spin on it and we create some amazing technology because we may think of a different approach to others, but really every tiny bit of knowledge we own, someone gave it to us.

So let's be more humble, grateful for what we know and NEVER proclaim that we are better than anyone else, NEVER!