Olly Grender writes…Why Alison Suttie and I are sleeping out tonight

Don’t know about the rest of you but I love my bed.  Nothing makes me appreciate it more than the annual DePaul International sleepout.  

Tonight Alison Suttie and I will be bedding down in the Somerset House courtyard.  We are in a safe secure place in comparison with most people who are homeless and on the streets.

But a night sleeping out in central London is a stark reminder to us of what too many people endure – and in growing numbers.   You don’t feel safe.  You don’t really sleep.  You spend the day feeling pretty ropey.  That is just one night.

The next day I will speak in a debate in the Lords about availability of housing – what a sorry tale that has been over the decades and lies at the heart of a growing crisis of homelessness here in the UK.  Alison has seen DePaul’s work in Odessa in Ukraine and in Bratislava in Slovakia in her international work with Tuberculosis NGOs.

If there’s a bit of small change you can spare for this great cause we would be really grateful.

If you use this link you can donate to Alison’s justgiving page for this sleep out. Thanks!

* Olly Grender is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • WIll just leave this here:
    “Customers affected by the changes have a number of options. Some may start work or increase working hours to be able to meet rents above the new benefit level. Some with smaller shortfalls may be able to renegotiate their rent with their landlord and others may have resources such as savings that they can fall back on. Households which are at risk or where there are exceptional grounds may be able to stay in their accommodation if the local authority makes a Discretionary Housing Payment. However, some households may need to seek alternative accommodation either in the area or further afield if the supply of affordable rented accommodation is limited, for example, in central London. ”

    Government Impact Assessment on the LHA changes in the autumn of 2010.

    Homelessness has increased and that lies right at the door of the decisions the Lib Dems took in coalition. I don’t see any acceptance by Vince (or Tim before him) of the damage this caused – without that the Lib Dems cannot move on from the coalition. Until that happens Lib Dems can’t be taken seriously talking about homelessness

  • Richard Underhill 12th Oct '17 - 11:02am

    Paddy Ashdown used to do this sort of thing while Mrs. T. was PM.
    A Tory MP announced he was doing this but got caught sloping off home early.

  • Sue Sutherland 12th Oct '17 - 1:44pm

    I was very upset by some of the decisions the Coalition made but I accept that we couldn’t overrule the Tories on everything they did. They are being revealed in all their true horror at the moment so I realise that we did manage to stop some of their worst actions at a time when the country was reeling from an economic depression.
    The problem of homelessness wasn’t sorted under a Labour government in a time of economic growth and they certainly failed to build enough social housing, but you don’t seem to be railing against them OnceALibDem.
    So what should we do? In my opinion we should be accusing both major parties of failing the most vulnerable and developing policies that can help.

  • Neil Sandison 12th Oct '17 - 9:45pm

    Well done Olly thought you all did well in the house of lords housing debate .Lord Young made the right noises for the government but you could see his heart wasnt really in it.
    Perhaps we should rub the Govt noses in it and call for a Mc Millian scale housing programme .With a task group led by a top cabinet minister.

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