Crisis UK - Homelessness Charity Resources and Reports

Crisis Plan.png

I have been a volunteer with Crisis UK in Birmingham since February 2017. I am very impressed with their research and campaigning to end homelessness in the UK. They have a fantastic learning programme to help 'members' (our term for homeless individuals) get off the street, out of hostels, B&B's, sofa surfing, stop sleeping in cars and other places and back into employment and a decent house to live in.

I am creating this blog post with a series of links to reports and resources to assist anyone to understand homelessness better. This way I can just share this link and you can learn more by downloading the reports or listen to the radio programmes, watch the videos etc.

I hope the resources will prove useful for you and your friends and family to better understand the plight of the homeless and maybe you can share a few minutes to create awareness in your network and community, donate a few pennies, spend a few hours per month donating your time for the many charities that exist across the UK.  I appreciate your interest and curiosity to learn more. I will continue to add further resources as I become aware of them, so make sure to bookmark this page.

  1. Join the #everybodyin campaign and pledge your support.

  2. 10 year plan to end homelessness in the UK executive summary

  3. 10 year plan to end homelessness full report

  4. Rough sleepers’ experiences of violence and abuse on the streets of England and Wales

  5. An examination of the scale and impact of enforcement interventions on street homeless people in England and Wales

  6. The creation and use of better evidence for a world without homelessness - Centre for Homelessness Impact

  7. Understanding the models of Housing First in England

  8. The picture of Housing First in England

  9. About Housing First England (website)

  10. Homelessness and Addiction: Getting Clean & Off the Streets

  11. A home for as long as someone needs it, as well as meaningful work in our social enterprises, by Emmaus.

  12. The big idea that can help end homelessness.

  13. The Stingray, a model and platform to utilise and repurpose unused and derelict public houses.

  14. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 - All you need to know.

  15. Counting the deaths of homeless people around the UK

Snobbery with Violence

Jack and Marion de Groot (Carter) on their wedding day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jack and Marion de Groot (Carter) on their wedding day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Snobbery with Violence

News article clipping, date unknown, but assumed to be in 1947 the year of Indian’s Independence from the UK. By Marion Carter (my mother) who was 17 in that year. I discovered it in a small book of authographs owned by my mother.

On the dawn of India’s Independence, the Anglo-Indian communities all over the country were busy with trunks and packing cases, and the air was filled with the news, ‘We are going Home’.

‘Home’! Where is our ‘Home’?

Some apparently think it is in England, I wonder what the English think of that. True, we may enter England at will, the same way as any other native of this land and on arrival we shall be received with the same peculiar welcome…the thinly disguised colour bar. (definition: a social system in which black people are denied access to the same rights, opportunities, and facilities as white people.)

Can England be the home of any self-respecting Indian? And what are we, if not Indians? We were born here, our ancestors were born here and neither we nor they have ever seen the shores of England. Yet we are going ‘Home’?

Some of us, of course, well, deserve a bit of our own medicine which will be liberally administered to us at ‘Home’. For generations we considered ourselves superior to other communities, because we could claim to some English blood. Even assuming that all the foreign blood is English, pure certified English. The Lord only knows why this should be assumed and how the Dutch, Portuguese, American and other blood managed to evaporate from our veins, why should that makes us superior and can that make England our ‘Home’?

If by the same token the inhabitants of England with mixed blood decided to go ‘Home’, what a glorious exodus that would be! The Royal Family would scatter to Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Holland and Spain. The astonished countries of Denmark, France and Italy would be over-run by returning exiles. Typical Englishmen and English-women returning ‘Home’ would become a menace to all Europe and every continent would get is share until only a few poor Celts would remain in the highlands of Scotland and in the hills of Wales. But the natives of England consider themselves English and will not desert in a hysterical flight to strange and foreign shores but will remain English and stay in England where they belong.

Why should we Anglo-Indians consider ourselves closer to a strange country than to the land which nourished almost all our forefathers. Good reasons there are none, but there is an obvious explanation. India is a land of snobbery. Everyone is trying to be ‘superior’ to his neighbours and tries to convince himself that there is something that makes him so. With us it is our mixed blood. It sounds idiotic.

Family de Groot - Amsterdam - Marconistraat

Family de Groot - Amsterdam - Marconistraat

Colour Shame

Could there be anything more ridiculous than that a whole race should be ashamed of its own colour? And those who are a shade lighter should look with contempt on the others as their inferiors? What incentive will there be in Indian society for intellectual advance for the betterment of the mind, when what really counts is the colour of the skin? From Europeans we could expect no better, but that a colour bar should develop in India among Indians, is a disgrace to our ancient civilisation.

Those who have no light complexion to boast of, find other ways of establishing their superiority. There are those who are proud of never having done a stroke of work in all their lives. What an asset they are to their country! Some simply can not get over having been born into a high caste and consider it great condescension to be occasionally courteous to anyone a step lower. Some who made or inherited great wealth look down sneeringly on those who are poor and so it goes on.

Indians are busy snubbing while being snubbed. What nonsense it all is, these multitudinous Aristocracies!

The Caste or Parentage Aristocracy, The Much Money Aristocracy, The Idleness and Uselessness Aristocracy, The Mixed Blood Aristocracy, The Government Official Aristocracy, The Light Pigment Aristocracy, etc.

There is a superior and high caste, but not of birth or money or any of these things, but of mental quality. One who is more honest, more tolerant, more kind, more cultured, in the true meaning of the word, is the superior Aristocracy on earth. These Aristocrats can save our country, the other can only lead it to destruction.

Written in 1947 by Marion Carter (de Groot) mother of Michael de Groot. Posted on Medium by Michael in 2018, 71 years later!

Marion was born 23rd August 1930 and deceased 24th February 1996 aged 65. Marion was a heart-disease sufferer for many years. I never heard her speak much of her Anglo-Indian heritage, she was very much the European and embraced everything Dutch and English. And of course after many years in the Netherlands we did and she did eventually come to live in England, something she allegedly resisted against when you read her article. Rest in peace Mama.

When I was 15 - Daydream Fantasies

Grandfather de Groot and Michael de Groot in Surinam 1974

Grandfather de Groot and Michael de Groot in Surinam 1974

Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen! That was Mike at the drums, with his own interpretation of ‘Dreams’! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Michael will you join us? We were discussing the preposition.

Back to reality and the stuffy classroom with my classmates grinning at me, while the flush of being elsewhere with my thoughts, slowly spread over my face and added to the general hilarity!

Once upon a time there was a young man who had learned to play the piano, a little, then discovered the rhythm of the beat and the joy of rolling drums. That was going to be his instrument and he worked at getting the rhythm , the rolls, the crescendo and the final crash to a perfection that finally got him the much coveted position as lead drummer in his favourite group’s orchestra. He travelled the country till he was proclaimed the star of the show, only to be banged down to reality with a preposition.

Reality! A long hard road to achieve the impossible or was it just possible that one day the tables would be turned and I would be up there taking a bow to the deafening applause, thinking I was dreaming again and that I would be brought back to the classroom where my classmates were clapping their hands to draw attention to the teacher and the work on hand!

There I go again, it is so hard to concentrate and stop this habit of using the hum of the teacher’s voice to lead me to those wonderful places away from the dull drab life that I lead. How can I learn to be interested in the uses and abuses of the English language when there is so much more excitement in the sound that I can bring forth with just a flick of the wrist on those beautiful skins? I must stop, I must stop. My passport to reality is proficiency in English which will eventually lead to making my fantasy worlds of the past, the living world of today! Dreams do come true, especially if they have been day dreams!

From early childhood, we are encouraged to concentrate and every lesson in a school classroom is directed at the student in such a way that it makes it impossible not to do so. But not all of us are blessed with those very gifted powers of being able to keep our minds on the subject that is being taught, especially if it is of no particular interest to us or the teacher is unable to hold the interest of his or her students. It is so easy to let the world of fantasy surround you with those tempting delights, which are far more exciting than the reality of the classroom, that the younger student, the less disciplined the mind and the easier the flight from reality.

The business of growing up consists of filling the mind with knowledge that will enable one to meet the demands of the adult world where what you know is more important than what you are. There is no time or need in your waking hours to dream of flying like a bird, you can fly! Or being famous, you can become famous and world renown, all you have to do is hi-jack a plane or train or kidnap a child or a businessman and you are famous! Write a book? Easy, just collect all your wildest fantasies together and fill them with enough obscene words and you can top the best-seller book list.

Day dreams are fast becoming a luxury that only the very young can participate in, or those who have suffered from the pressures of modern life and have to go to a group therapy session so that they can be encouraged to let their mind wander and enjoy once again the fantasies that have been crowded out by the reality of our world today.

Has climate any affect on national character? When I was asked this question, the first picture that came to my mind was that of happy laughing people in sunny Spain. So that I would say that as far as my experience is concerned, I do think that the climate affects the people of a country and also the character. Astrologers turn to the stars to find good and bad omens in our lives with the help of the position of the moon and the sun and we Europeans living in the northern hemisphere are certainly influenced by the changing position of the sun. When spring arrives in Europe, we look forward to the longer hours of daylight and are walking with our heads up and a smile on our faces, because we know that soon it will be time to enjoy more of the sun.

Bright sunshine, light and warmth, the ingredients for growth and happiness. Dull days, cold and darkness, the characteristic recipe for sitting together trying to discover the meaning of life. Although we in Europe have the opportunity of having the time, in winter, to think and talk of all aspects of life, we envy our neighbours in the sunny countries who have the sun all the time, because we know that the fact that the sun is shining gives them more freedom, they live a carefree life.

So my answer to the question of whether the climate affects the national character, would be yes most definitely.

From a piece of work that I submitted to my course in Amsterdam, learning how to write business English, in preparation for us to move to the United Kingdom. My mother (Marion) assisted me greatly with writing this article at the time. My dream when I was 15 was to become a drummer in a band. I did learn to play the drums and did indeed become a drummer in a small unknown, very short-lived new wave/punk band in London. We even recorded a very poor demo on my father's reel to reel tape player. I still have the recording and it pleases me from time to time to listen to my own mastery on the drums.

Michael de Groot

I've moved to Medium


I've got 3 publications there so far. Medium allows me to be freer then I am able to be on either my own website blog or here on LinkedIn. There are other writers there who write great stuff, so I'm learning much more too. It allows me to have different publications, it feels a bit like having a book there, the book of me. I really enjoy being on Medium. Hope to see you there.


This is a daily blog post, quite short and to the point. It's basically about stuff I notice across the digital and the physical, which makes me want to make a statement.

Michael and Josh

This is our daily cartoon series. Well we publish on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I try and look out for topics in the daily news and take some sort of spin on it.

Staying Alive UK

Well this one was basically a copy cat from this blog, so not been updating that much lately. Will have to think where this one goes in the future.

Hope to see you all there!





How many leads are you really converting?


Current reality is likely to be fantasy. The fact is that the four horsemen, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are the winners. [Scott Galloway's book The Four Horsemen:]

Their engines are huge, their pockets are even deeper and you have very likely spent a big junk of your earnings with these 4 mammoth organisations.

They are buying up all their competition whenever they pose a threat and will own the internet space for many a year to come, you might as well get used to it.

The only way you are competing on the internet is by spending on ads with Google and Facebook and at this time Facebook is the winner.

Facebook will make $60 billion at least from mobile ads by 2020, that's just in a couple of years time.

You are hoping that AI and automation will save the day and actually it probably won't. The only way you have a chance is to become super personal with your customers and potential buyers. This means spending more on the front end with training your employees to become outstanding communicators and making sure you retain them for longer.

Millennials will rage quit at the drop of a hat, so you better know what they value about your company and make sure you deliver this to them daily.

Lead generation is going to be a much hotter topic in years to come and you will be experimenting with many snake oil providers before settling down with something that you feel happy with.

Remember the customer knows when she's being sold to

The best organisations are becoming better at storytelling and linking al their teams together and sharing the same message.

Here on LinkedIn in by the way is where this can be most effective. The trouble is most organisations ignore this potential and their employees LinkedIn profiles are a mess. Sorry to be so direct, but it's true.

When your employees have to become better communicators they actually have to become better storytellers. Their own story and that of the company they work for. A perfect blend of the two will create trust and loyalty.

Better get started...

Purgatory: the place to which Roman Catholics believe that the spirits of dead people go and suffer for the evil acts that they did while they were alive, before they are able to go to heaven. Humorous: an extremely unpleasant experience that causes suffering.