Matt Stockdale - Philantropist, proven entrepreneur, provider of non exec director services and business adviser. 

Homelessness - a growing problem 

Sleeping rough in doorways and alleyways in town, ever tried it? I hope you never have to.  
With a growing number of people homeless in the UK, the plight of the homeless is now starting to touch us all. Following the Big Sleepout in January, I decided to go the extra mile, to sleep rough all weekend in Northampton town centre. No food, no water, no money. My aim was simple, to help raise awareness and much needed funds for the Northampton Hope Centre.  
I have to say, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 
The Hope Centre is a drop in centre for the homeless, providing much needed support and advice to over 100 people every day.  
Please watch my story... 

Space Weather - what does it mean? 

Space Weather--the popular name for energy-releasing phenomena from the Sun and its effects on planetary systems. Space weather conditions can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems and endanger human life or health. 
The government have placed a risk referred to as ‘Space Weather’ onto the National Risk Register (NRR), an ‘invisible’ public document that is intended to inform citizens of potential risks to society. The risk was assessed by officials in the Cabinet Office as being moderate to high; this followed a House of Commons order to publish the findings and recommendations of a Defence Select Committee hearing. 
Against the recommendations of the report, the government has elected not to nominate a single department or minister to be responsible in the case of a severe space weather event, despite the fact that other countries are proactively warning their citizens. Read More.. 
So what is this risk?  
In summary a severe ‘space weather’ event as they are referred to will play havoc with the national grid system. Ground induced currents will burn out electrical transformers whether they are on or off, which means a complete failure of the national grid. Read More.. 
Useful Space Weather Links: Read more... 
Many of you will know that I launched At Cost Energy but due to ill health I was not able to continue with the venture. At Cost Energy was about selling energy at the price it is bought from suppliers, plus a very small overhead to cover the costs of running the business.  
At Cost Energy was set up as I believe gas and electricity are a necessity to live, not a luxury! I challenge why ANY company should be allowed to profit from something that in my opinion, is a basic human right. As the name suggests we were to offer gas and electricity AT COST, no hidden extras, no flashy London offices, no pretty water feature in reception, no shareholders, no director bonuses, just the same gas and electricity you use currently, but AT COST! 
I hoped At Cost Energy would allow me to fulfil my passion to help people, starting initially with energy, with the view of reducing fuel poverty in the UK.  
My belief that energy is a basic human right has NOT changed, however what has changed is my ability to change the industry on my own. I have always maintained that public pressure will bring about the change necessary to reduce energy costs, not me. you really care about the rising cost of energy? I mean, really care? At what point will YOU actually do something about it? 
If you feel strongly about the cost of energy, then quite simply…do something about it! Petition the people in your street and collect their signatures, involve your MP, involve your local newspaper and radio station…just ring them tell them what you’re doing and why. All we need is ONE motivated person in each street in the UK, and before you know it we’ll have one of the largest petitions the country has ever seen. 
Go on, what are you waiting for? If enough people get involved, I pledge to pick up the gauntlet once more. 
I left school with little more than a swimming certificate, destined to become an unemployed statistic, one of life’s failings. I managed to get through my early teenage years, but it wasn’t without encountering some tough situations, so how, given my upbringing did I change my life? On reflection, I actually give credit to the efforts of the police at the time, without a father figure in my life, they helped me realise that my actions had consequences. 
My respect for the police, or should I say the officers I met, was borne out of mutual respect and empathy. The advice given was practical, motivational and inspiring. They were able to relate to me, using their skills of ‘feel, felt, found’. The message got through and my self-belief grew. I knew that one day I would be successful and during my early career I contemplated becoming a Police Officer.  
Becoming a Special Constable in 2003 I had many opportunities to relate to troubled young people. Their attitudes soon changed when I relayed my childhood story, how the police influenced my life and the success I now enjoy. Alas the constraints and pressures on modern day officers means that ‘old school’ style policing is disappearing. We’re losing sight of the fact that behaviour breeds behaviour. During my 7 years of front line policing in Northamptonshire I experienced the good, the bad and the very ugly in terms of policing performance. Read More.. 
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