NOTHING surprises me anymore about our current government, but the comments by Suella Braverman about homelessness, and sleeping in a tent, being a lifestyle choice were a new low.

I am neither shocked nor outraged about the current Covid enquiry, as anyone who has even a passing interest in the news knew exactly what was going on at the time. Neither am I surprised that the King's Speech contains legislation that neither addresses the cost of living crisis, the NHS or climate change.

However, to suggest that our most vulnerable citizens choose to sleep in a tent in this weather made me feel sick. As a volunteer at Homeless Not Hopeless (a Keighley based organisation that delivers outreach work in Bradford and the surrounding area) I have witnessed many times the awful conditions that some people have found themselves in. Due to factors such as losing a job, being unable to pay the rent or mental health issues, people who are just like you and I find there is no safety net to catch them. Universal credit can be withheld, mental health support services have been slashed to the bone or are non-existent and housing waiting lists stretch off into infinity.

From helping 40 people a week four years ago we are now one of many organisations, using donated items and volunteer time, to help feed, clothe and provide some support to over 200 people a week. To look into the eyes of people who are the victims of chance and bad luck is deeply upsetting and makes you wonder how such a rich nation has let so many people down. We know that it could happen to anyone of us and that if we don't stand up to be counted then who will?

As winter draws in we are facing a crisis and our supplies are always a few weeks away from being totally depleted. If you would like to help us then search for Homeless Not Hopeless on Facebook or email us at info @ to see how you could help. It will not be Suella collecting tins of tuna in Whitehall or Rishi opening his Heated Swimming Pool as a Winter Shelter, but you could make a difference.

Antony Silson

Sutton in Craven