It is a famous saying that to truly understand another person’s situation, you first need to walk a mile in their shoes.
We are not for a second saying that taking part in the CEO Sleepout equates to a life on the streets.
However, it can’t help but give some insight to the plight of those who find themselves homeless.
Anyone who has been to Commercial Road, or many of our region’s other main shopping areas recently, would need to be wearing blinkers to have not noticed the explosion in people sleeping rough of late.
Yes, those who take part will no doubt be going back to sleeping in their own beds the next night.
But that’s no reason to criticise those who get involved for wanting to do something to raise awareness and money to help the homeless.
This is not some jolly – it has a very serious aim.
It is not intended as a quick vacation in the misery of others.
And much of the money raised will be going back into our community, through Pompey in The Community and The Society of Saint James. The society helps more than 2,500 people each year, providing accomodation and support for those who need it, for a range of problems from addiction to mental health.
It would be great if as many people as possible get involved and the Fratton Park sleep out.
It would send a clear message from our local business and community leaders that we do care about all of the people who live here.
This obviously isn’t a competitive event, but it would also be marvellous if Portsmouth’s sleep out bests the organisation’s previous fundraising efforts in other cities.
And who knows, maybe a night sleeping out will have a more profound effect on those who take part...