Croydon and Sutton GLA member Steve O'Connell spends a night on Wallington High Street

Croydon Guardian: Steve O'Connell beds down for the night Steve O'Connell beds down for the night

A top politician spent a night sleeping rough to find out how it feels to be homeless because he "needed to experience" their discomfort.

Croydon and Sutton's Greater London Authority member, Steve O'Connell, spent Saturday night trying to sleep rough in Wallington High Street.

The initiative was to raise money for homeless charity Shelter and so he could get an impression of the reality facing many Londoners every day.

Mr O'Connell said: "I needed to experience the sort of discomfort some people in these boroughs and across London face.

"I tried to sleep but we couldn't get any sleep.

"It was alright for me because I was able to go and get in my own bed the following day - but that's not the case for everyone."

Mr O'Connell and his party raised around £300 for Shelter.

Comments (3)

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9:34pm Tue 2 Apr 13

andrewss says...

Publicity stunt?

From a councillor that was taking home £118k in allowances for one year?

Maybe he should sell his Kenley home and use the proceeds to sell homeless charities or make a large donation instead?
Publicity stunt? From a councillor that was taking home £118k in allowances for one year? Maybe he should sell his Kenley home and use the proceeds to sell homeless charities or make a large donation instead? andrewss
  • Score: 0

8:18am Wed 3 Apr 13

Paul Scully says...

No. He was supporting an initiative organised by Elliot Colburn who arranged everything and raised £380 for Shelter. I'd rather encourage politicians to keep doing stuff like this and find out more about the issues through discussion at the same time rather than read a briefing and pontificate on the matter.
No. He was supporting an initiative organised by Elliot Colburn who arranged everything and raised £380 for Shelter. I'd rather encourage politicians to keep doing stuff like this and find out more about the issues through discussion at the same time rather than read a briefing and pontificate on the matter. Paul Scully
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Sat 6 Apr 13

Elliot Colburn says...

I'm so happy of how successful the event was! The donations kept coming in and we raised over £400 for Shelter! It was really insightful to experience the situation from the view of the homeless, and it gave me a real feel for how exposed and vulnerable they must feel. I would like to thank Steve for helping me advertise the event, and for being really supportive!
I'm so happy of how successful the event was! The donations kept coming in and we raised over £400 for Shelter! It was really insightful to experience the situation from the view of the homeless, and it gave me a real feel for how exposed and vulnerable they must feel. I would like to thank Steve for helping me advertise the event, and for being really supportive! Elliot Colburn
  • Score: 0

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