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Excellent post. Made me think about my default refusal to accommodate any cold callersw. Will you be giving Clive any additional minutes of your tine?


six years? that's quite a stretch.

Paul Colman

John, maybe a little more than I do now, yes.

Fresh, yeah he dropped that in at the end, I think he knew how it would make people feel.


a humbling experience, isnt it. fingers crossed clive will get more chances to lead a dignified life, and that he will have the confidence to use them. no idea what he had done, but: the wrong environment - by choice or not, one fatally wrong decision you might not even been aware of at that moment, and thats it. there you are leading a life spiralled out of normality and people looking down on you.
thanks for sharing this story.


Nice post Paul. Just realised today that you were back 'in the middle'. Clive seemed genuine with a very good sales patter.


Glad you liked it, PR.

Hi Dad, nice to see you back over these parts again.


thank you Paul.


Pleasure, Marcus.


Brilliant post and perspective.

I feel better for reading it - I mean that.

When we started our Human_2 thing, the biggest thing we found was how the homeless or disadvantaged just didn't want to be ignored.

Saying "no" to them was fine, but pretending like they weren't there was what undermined their hope, faith, belief and confidence.

I understand why you said you got a lot out of your minute with Clive - but I also think you did something for him too. I hope he gets more people like you answering the door.


thanks, paul. glad to see you're in the middle again. and in fine form.


Thanks, Rob, it's a good point - treat (all) people like people.

Be in no doubt, Lauren, the middle goes on.


It's really nice, and I think that as much as people whinge about Big Issue sellers, they are forgetting the premise: that it's selling, not begging.

It sort of plays on what Rob said too, saying 'no' is fine, but pretending they don't exist is a real killer.

So what a nice cheer up this morning.


interesting. what is this human_2 thing rob? what are you doing, and what have you achieved?
i would like to get a perspective on this. so far it is only an observation.


Hi PR.

Human_2 started off because of a situation I went through that had the same affect on me as Clive has had on Paul.

It was basically me trying to do something that - thanks to my colleagues and a couple of important clients - morphed into a pseudo lobby group against red tape for homeless people who wanted to work.

It wasn't/isn't about raising money or awareness - there's loads who do that already and do it far better than we ever could - so our focus was on finding ways to alter the system [Churches as registered addresses / References from Police etc] because we felt that was what was holding some people back more than cash or awareness. Also, to be honest, it's because a couple of our clients were pretty important and it allowed us to leverage their influence. Nothing big, but important all the same.

Has it been successful?

Depends on your definition ... on one hand it has [so far] directly helped 47 kids get jobs that would not have had a chance previously, but I also accept in the big scheme of things, that's nothing. That said, it was always about trying to change the system that stops people getting work than getting people work - if that makes sense?

It is now managed by the CSR body of one of our ex-clients alongside a charity dealing specifically with the homeless - but what Paul's experience shows, is that big gestures are not vital to make a difference, because the biggest battle is as much about belief and confidence as it is about changing circumstances and situations.

Sorry to write so much, if you want to discuss anything in more detail, please let me know and we can do it in a less public forum.

Thanks Paul for letting me 'steal' your blog for a moment.


I've just read my comment - please don't think I'm saying I did a big gesture, I didn't ... I just meant that something as simple as saying 'hello' can make a difference, even though we should/could all be aiming to do a little bit more.


thanks for this answer, rob. it really sounds too good to be true. csr projects for clients are so underexplored in the comms industry. its a great way to make money on the side. and makes us all feel a little bit better about our jobs, doesnt it.


Hi there ...

It wasn't done for a client and we didn't charge a client for it ... it was something I started with some colleagues but saw a client of ours had more capacity to manage it (read: knew what they were doing) as it fell within an existing business group they already had up and running and they kindly agreed to take it on. To be honest I have a fundamental issue with comms based CSR campaigns ... it feels it's being done for the wrong reasons, like claiming tax on charity donations, but yes, it did make me feel better about what I do for a living - which also makes me feel guilty, and I'm not even Catholic.

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