During the past few years of my degree I’ve been lucky enough to interview some pretty remarkable people.
Whether it be for an article, over the phone for the radio or in person for a spot of telly work, I’ve managed to speak to some absolutely cracking humans.
On Monday afternoon I interviewed someone whom I thought I’d never get to speak to.
He was someone I’d passed multiple times and almost completely blanked because I was concentrating on something else.
His name is Caspar. He sits outside Buchanan Galleries and paints pictures on pieces of cardboard in order to raise money to spend his night in shelter.
To give you some context, on Monday we were set an assignment to produce a ten minute news programme, complete with national news stories which were all sourced, filmed, scripted and edited by ourselves.
Ellie and I decided to cover a story about an expected rise in homeless crisis calls in the run up to Christmas and decided to interview homeless people for our package.
Caspar was the first person we met and hearing his story almost reduced us to tears. He lost his job, was thrown out by his landlord and has been on the streets for six months.
He struggles to make £15 a day which pays his way into a hostel. If he doesn’t reach his goal, he sleeps on the street. But he wasn’t bitter, sad or angry. He knew he had a problem which he had to fix and, instead of doing nothing about it, he used the last of his money, bought a pen and paper and drew pictures.
He was making the best of what he had. I think we could learn a lot from Caspar.
Even in the worst of situations, it’s possible a little optimism could brighten someone’s day.