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Showing posts from December, 2009

‘Tis the Season for Exaggeration and Outrageous Distortion

As a callow young Chief Executive I received some interesting guidance from members of the Worshipful Company of Chief Executives of Homelessness Charities. (No, it doesn’t exist, but perhaps it should). One piece of sage advice sticks in my mind in particular. Thames Reach had placed an advertisement in the Big Issue magazine one Christmas to try and attract donations. The image of a homeless man looking suitably uplifted by our assistance secured a single £15 return from an elderly lady in East Dulwich. A grizzled Chief Executive veteran offered this counsel: ‘Put a dog in the picture’. He went on to explain in his characteristically forthright way that ‘most people don’t like the homeless. They reckon they’ve brought it all on themselves. But they love animals’. At the time I felt vaguely affronted on behalf of the Great British Public. Even though we did have space in some of our hostels for the person and their pet and could therefore justifiably include a cute pooch in the pict