Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming, people! I have been humming “Jingle Bells” for months now, ever since the first plan for this BBQ was there, and yes, we did it again! Also this year we have run a Christmas BBQ for the Homeless and Others in Need, proudly for the first time under the name of our charity Signal Flare. And again it was a beautiful day, Thursday 28 November 2013, in Musgrave Park under the Queensland sun. Again we saw our guests coming, we saw their excitement at finding essentials such as toiletries, clothes and backpacks, and it was a joy to see them line up for a yummy lunch. Some guests ate their lunch in groups, others sat by themselves. We saw their faces light up when they were made welcome and were greeted with a smile and friendly “Good morning”. Quite touching actually, to see how easy it was to make it a wonderful day for everyone, and everyone made it a very special day for us: it is always heart-warming to notice how people grow, come out of their shell, when you just take the time to talk with them.


 The beautiful thing is that our BBQs are not just inspiring for us, but that it also inspires other people to help others. One lady in need, for example, travelled from Brisbane’s North Side to Ipswich to attend our BBQ in September. She told me her story there and was helped - not only by me. She texted me every few weeks to let me know how she was doing, and she came again to this BBQ because she wanted to give back and volunteer. That is the most fantastic thing to experience. One of the talented artists at the Christmas BBQ enquired how she could donate things; having been at our event she saw the need and the happiness, and she wanted to help as well. Just great!

 As I said before, a lot of work has been done to get it all happening, we had a few hiccups but all went well in the end and it was more than worth it. One first-time volunteer had been hesitant about coming or not, as she thought everyone would know each other and she would not know anyone and feel the odd one out. She decided to come, had the best time and did not feel left out at all. At our BBQs everybody talks with everybody, there is a strong sense of inclusion and equality, and usually everybody leaves with great memories of a happy and positive event. For that we have to thank everybody who comes to our BBQs. They are beautiful souls, whether they are homeless, others in need, or volunteers.

The Polite Team would like to thank a lot of people for making our Christmas BBQ as wonderful as it was:
Rod, thank you for giving us the one and only Santa to join us in such a magnificent way. You spread Christmas joy to many people by being there, handing out surprises, and having many people great and small on your lap. Thank you also to the wonderful Mrs Santa!
The wonderful and generous Jerome and Dalton Hospitality: thank you for bringing your equipment, food and drinks, thank you for offering us your van to load with donations the day before the BBQ. It made a big difference on the morning of the BBQ! And thank you for lending Emily to us on both days.

Thank you Foodbank for donating sausages and bread.

Thank you, Ipswich Hospital Foundation, for lending us tables and marquees, and thank you, James, for picking them up, bringing them to Musgrave Park and returning them to Ipswich Hospital Foundation. While we’re at it, James, also thank you for picking up the bread in Morningside, returning the generator to East Brisbane and for returning our tables and marquees to our storage. We would have been lost without your goodwill.

St John Ambulance Australia – Wynnum division – thank you for attending our event supporting the homeless and others in need, and keeping us safe and looking after us. Keith, Brad and Chrissy, your presence was very much appreciated.

Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy, thank you so much for your fantastic contribution to donations and atmosphere as always. You simply rock and have hearts of gold, and your knitted products are made with a lot of love. Wesley Mission Emergency Relief Service, thank you for coming and helping people. Hepatitis Queensland, thank you for coming and distributing useful health information.

Odyssey Entertainment and Dan, thank you so much for organizing the fantastic live music for the event. Jon-Paul Schwarzes, Ataractic, Lex Woodfinger, Paul O’Daly, Skye Staniford and Matthew Furley / Houses, thank you for adding a very special touch to this event and for sharing your talents for all to enjoy.

Massive thank you to ALL our volunteers, amongst which members of the Golden Valley Keperra Leos Club and Kotahi Aroha. We couldn’t have done it without your compassion, sunny smiles and enthusiasm.

Rebecca and Gerhard, the list of things to thank you for is very long. In brief, thank you for your enormous contribution to making the event go well and to its preparations, for your passion, compassion and enthusiasm.

Thank you to our dedicated sorting team who helped us sort lots of donations on the weekend prior to the BBQ.

Big thank you to Having a Go Coffee Coorparoo for collecting donations for this BBQ on Brisbane's south side, and for holding them until we had reorganized our storage space on the north side.

And last but not least, thank you to everybody who donated clothes, shoes, toiletries, toys, backpacks and much more. Without you we would not have anything to give away to those who need it. And essentials that are taken for granted by us mean so much more to others who have gone without those essentials for such a long time. Whether you gave one pair of shoes or boxes full of toiletries (thank you, Telstra!), please know that it was all very, very much appreciated by us and by the people who got to take them.
Heavens, I hope I have not forgotten to thank anybody. If I have, please accept my sincerest apologies!

We hope you have caught on to the Christmas spirit of doing something nice for others.  It may be very simple for you but you will never know how much it may mean to the person who needs that touch of kindness on the day.

The Polite Team wishes you a great time leading up to the Festive Season!

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl for The Polite Team

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I am trying very hard to not put the wrong message across. It is true, I have hit some hard times, personal and business, which has given me some setback. I have found myself depressed and feel I need to get away for a couple of weeks to be on my own and take time out for myself.

I do want to make this very clear to everyone and especially the people I have helped that read my blog, I am not giving up, I am not quitting, I just feel burnt out and I am taking a short break. I am going to Sydney to get away from things, and I will have my phone off as I feel that I need to just find myself again.

I have given and done so much to help people, and I know people will want to call or text, and I am asking them now not to. I need time for me.

I hate putting it like this, but I feel I am wanting and needing this time for myself.

I will be back brighter, even bigger smile, and I hope you all have a good day. I am not going to lie, if you have an emergency please do call as I will always be there to help.
Yes we Coorparoo store "Having a Go Coffee" will be open, please come for a coffee.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time, a day before one of our BBQs for the Homeless and Others in Need, I posted on The Big Issue wall on Facebook, commenting on The Big Issue's encouragement of people to take paid subscriptions on this fortnightly magazine. I commented that the street vendors, who earn their living by selling the magazine, would get less sales when people got the magazine home-delivered in the mail, and that the magazine was designed to help street vendors help themselves by selling it. A lady named Bridget (whose name is not really Bridget) replied to my post talking about her life. She was a Big Issue vendor, and I won’t go into the details but she had experienced trauma at the hands of others and had had a tough life. I read her reply while walking from South Brisbane Station to Musgrave Park at about 6:45am to set up our BBQ with Grant and some volunteers, and I replied to Bridget that I was sorry she had gone through all that in her life, that I was on my way to set up a BBQ for the homeless and others in need and so that I did not have time to reply much now, but that I would reply more tonight or tomorrow.

The same evening or the next morning (I can’t quite remember) I replied more to her comment to my post on the Big Issue Facebook page and posted photos of the BBQ on Facebook, and Bridget replied on the photos: she had been to the BBQ, found some clothes, enjoyed some great food (thank you, Dalton Hospitality!) and had a great time. My surprise was huge: I had no idea she lived in Brisbane! I found a Facebook friend request from her and that was the start of a friendship.

Bridget sold The Big Issue in Brisbane and was a regular at our BBQs. Then, fast forward, while we are still doing BBQs for the homeless and others in need, Grant was opening his coffee shop “Having a Go Coffee”. A very special coffee shop that really deserves – and will get!!! - a post of its own. For those who don’t know, in brief: “Having a Go Coffee” employs only people from a background of homelessness or other hardship to help them turn their lives around, it is a suspended-coffee outlet, and 20 cents of every cup sold goes to Signal Flare, the charity that we set up but that really has been Grant’s initiative – Signal Flare, too, deserves a post of its own! “Having a Go Coffee” is also a drop-off zone for donations for our BBQs: clothes, shoes, toiletries and anything else donated for homeless and others in need can be dropped off at the shop from where it will go to our storage or straight to the BBQs.

To understand the rest of this story you need to understand the concept of suspended coffee. It's simple: suspended coffee means that you can buy a coffee but instead of having it yourself you can place a token in a jar for someone in need to have a coffee. Every generous soul can do it! Bridget regularly visited “Having a Go Coffee” to enjoy a suspended coffee. She enjoyed the coffee so much that she was often literally moved to tears because people had the goodness of heart to buy a suspended coffee for someone else, so that she too could enjoy a coffee like most people can.

Lately Bridget has been doing very well. She has been able proudly to buy a few suspended coffees for others herself and, coming from where she has come from, she was doubly proud and happy because she knew from experience what these coffees mean to people in need. To them it is much more than the ordinary coffee it is for most people: it is coffee that comes with love from another person, it shows that people care, drinking coffee in a coffee shop like other people do narrows the gap between them and others and lifts their feelings of self-worth, and because they can’t have a coffee that often it simply tastes like heaven, too!

And just a few weeks ago Bridget came into the shop, with a beaming smile, carrying bags of clothes she was donating to our BBQs. Just awesome and heart-warming. She was proud and so were we. And she knows her clothes will go directly and for free to people who really need them and are very much helped by them. Bridget is giving back to the community and it is wonderful. We applaud her and people like her. We cheer them on. They have come a long way and they show that hard times can be overcome, that people can improve their situations and deserve respect. The homeless and others in need don’t deserve the prejudice and negative attitude they so often meet: we don’t know their story and we don’t know how hard they might be working right now to get out of their situation into a better one.

To me, Bridget’s story is an inspiration. I am proud. And it all started with a post to The Big Issue… Thank you, Bridget.

I hope you will all have a great day. Give a smile or a kind word to someone on the street today; you won't know how it might lift their spirits!

Posted by Bernie the Polite Girl for The Polite Team

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Quick Post

I was walking through the city this morning and it felt so good, I must say I felt like I was home because of when I was homeless, but I must also say it felt great to remember the past because in some way I felt very proud in myself for getting on my feet and doing what I do.

A guy stopped me walking past BOQ Building and said how he heard about me on the radio and started reading my blog and wanted to say “Hi”. As good as it felt I was also guilty because I started thinking how I don’t write on here as much as what I did as a homeless person.

You see I started thinking of all the things that I can do to help that many more as I know what homeless are going through. I even started thinking that even though my new business “Having a Go Coffee” at Coorparoo is helping people, it’s not enough. So I’m proud to say I’m also working on many new projects at the same time. I won’t say what yet because I’m still working them out. But I will say, each one of my projects will help people on their feet in some way or I wouldn’t put it together.

I have in the past posted on Facebook that the shop in Coorparoo is in fear of closing because it didn’t get enough customers. Well whatever I did was the trick because people came from everywhere and the sales doubled overnight. Thank you for that, it means I can now employ more people after helping them on their feet. There’s a famous saying and that’s “the money has to go into the cash register before money can go out”. Also on a great note the Suspended Coffee’s is in the plus of 28 for the first time which means we can help that many more people. AWESOME.

I have to say I feel like I’m doing something really great knowing I’m helping so many people. Really please everyone that reads this post go out and do just one thing to help someone and see how you feel making a small or big difference to someone you don’t know. I hope you’ll feel like I do and that’s your walking on air and being proud.

I was just thinking of writing a list of all the great things I’ve done to help people in the last 2 weeks, but to be honest just once in a while I want to keep things for just me to know. I will say I’ve helped two people by paying for plane tickets to return home to their families, clothes for people that needed them, furnisher and much more. I would never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do.

I hope you all have a great day and thank you for reading my blog.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Exciting Times

I’ll tell you now I’m more excited now than ever about things with helping homeless and people in need. I done a BBQ for the homeless and people in need at Wynnum, now we didn’t get a great number of people but I did take a step back and noticed all the new people that had come to help. New charity groups came by the bus loads.

To be honest I have never worked so little putting the event together. I would very much like to thank in a huge way Pastor Lui and crew, The Kotahi Aroha crew and The Tautoko Crew for all they done.

Now one couple really went far and beyond and that’s Katey Keating-McKee and her great husband. But I’m going to write a post on this couple later (Next Post) in full detail because there awesome.

After doing the BBQ event at Wynnum Pastor Lui is now going to be doing these BBQ’s once a month at Wynnum and helping people on a regular basis. I’m going to help him anyway I can and be proud that I started something great out that way. If you want to help with this please contact me and I’ll be very happy to pass on details.


I HAVE DONE!!! I HAVE DONE IT!!! Well I have almost done it. Ha-ha. You see I posted here and sent out a lot of emails to get my first coffee cart. I raised enough to buy that cart and a lot of things I needed for it to be ready for operation. If you remember I am going to be helping people to get on their feet personally and then give them all the training needed, then given full time employment working the coffee cart. Plus 20cents from every coffee was going towards (Signal Flare) the homeless BBQ’s I do. So in fact I would be helping people on their feet and with just going to work and making coffee would in turn be helping others in the future. Awesome.

Everything was going great except I couldn’t get a lease for the cart in the city due to the fact my new business had no experience. Now one thing that keeps me going sometimes is the fact that I was homeless so I know what homeless and people in need are going through and I’ve achieved so much because of heart and the fact I just don’t give up.

Now sometimes I think some things are meant to be and happen for a reason, I just don’t understand why sometimes. Ha-ha. But this was meant to be because I just got approved for a shop lease which I can turn into a coffee shop. But the best part is it already has a nice looking counter and sink and things out back. It was a café/restaurant before. All I need to do is bring most of the stuff I was using on the coffee cart and put into the shop and away I go. Yes I’ll need tables, chairs, signs and a lot more, but I can do this. But here’s the best part, it’ll help maybe 12 full time staff which means I’ll be able to help at least 12 people to get on their feet, training and give an opportunity too.

Does anyone know where I can get free or cheap good second hand tables and chairs? I’m sure there’s going to be a few things needed but that’s the next thing on my list.

To make this even more helpful for homeless I’m going to be doing the “Suspended Coffee” which means people who have extra money can come and buy a coffee and it is put on hold and given to a homeless person.

Now to people reading this it may not seem like much, but to the 12 people it’ll be huge. I really wish you all could see my smile right now because I’m so happy just to be writing this. WOO HOO. Yeah.

I get the keys on Monday 19th of August and having a Grand Opening on Saturday 24th of August from 9am. So please add this date and come and celebrate with me for the opening of the first store.


I want to write about a guy I have been helping along the way for a few years now, James (not his real name) has been homeless for at least 3½ years that I know of. I have seen him over time become more confident in himself to the fact I am proud of him. This morning he called me and we spoke for about an hour on the phone ( I called him back so it didn’t cost him) but I have some very exciting news. James has been in touch with his family and is ready to go home and in a way start fresh.

Now I must say I was trying hard to hold back the excitement while talking to him. He told me he had to pay a debt with getting Methadone at a chemist which he insisted on paying, but asked if I could pay for a ticket for him to go back home to his family. For me this is a huge breakthrough because I have talked about him doing this time and time again. YES now he wants too. I’m so excited right now. I can’t tell you how many “Pie’s and Cokes” I bought while talking about how everything okay to go home.

But here’s the thing. I normally pay for these things myself out of my own pocket but I can’t right now because I’m pouring all the money I can into getting the coffee shop (which is not enough) up and going to help many more people. So in saying that I’d like to know who is willing to pay for a guy to go back home after at least 3½ years  of being on the streets? It would be a plane fare to Sydney and enough money to pay for train and back to the airport and enough for drinks and of course a meal. $170 maybe.

As I said I normally pay for this myself so if anyone wants to think of this as loan then I will pay them back for this after I have setup the coffee shop.

To help please email me on

I’d like to thank you all for reading my blog and I hope you all have a great day.

Grant Richards
Grant the Polite Guy
0412 190 011

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Today I would like to write about Raph. Raph (short for Raphael) was Brisbane’s first Big Issue vendor. He started to sell the Big Issue sixteen years ago and has since seen many people come and go, greeted countless passers-by, always tipping his hat, bought a meal for someone in need and didn’t make a fuss about it.

 Raph was always there. I did not know Raph that well, but the many times I saw him on Adelaide Street, near Officeworks, we always said hello. Without exception, Raph was kind, polite, he always seemed to have all the time in the world, he had the elegant manners of times gone by; who still tips their hat nowadays to emphasize their hello and their respect for a fellow human being? Raph did it every time, gracing people with his kindness.

Raph suddenly passed away this past Monday, 15 July 2013. The reactions of those who knew him showed how well he had lived his life, how he touched the lives of others simply by being there the way he was. Raph was a beacon of stability in a world of constant motion, rush and impermanence. Whatever else was going on in people's lives, Raph was always there. I am sure many, many people with me can picture him, at his pitch on Adelaide Street, Brisbane, next to Officeworks. Many people saw him every day, on their way to work or out for a day of shopping and no doubt, like me, exchanged hellos with him every time.

Raph’s passing and the community’s responses show that a life does not need to be extraordinary or high-profile to touch another life. At the end of the day, the size of our bank account, the number of academic degrees, what we did for a living or the number of worldly possessions do not matter. What does matter, and what leaves a lasting imprint on people’s hearts, is the way we stood in life and how we saw and treated our fellow human beings. Raph showed nothing but respect and kindness to anyone who passed by and took the time to say hello, and that is how he will be remembered. It is how I will remember him.

As you know, Grant and I organize BBQs for the Homeless and Others in Need. Our very next Signal Flare BBQ will be at Drevesen Park in Wynnum, Saturday 27 July, from 10am to 2pm. It is a special one. We dedicate this BBQ to Raph; he provided a meal to someone in need and we will be thinking of him and honouring him by doing the same at our BBQ and also handing out clothes, shoes, toiletries and much more. Feel free to check out the link and join us if you are free:

I have been told Raph did not like photos of himself. I am sure though, that he would not mind this photo being placed here. As a matter of fact, I am sure he would be touched to see how people pay tribute to him, at the place where he always was without fail, and to know that even more people will pay tribute to him in their hearts. One of the Big Issue vendors I spoke with today said he would pay tribute to Raph by making sure life goes on, and by continuing to live his life as well as he could. What can be a better legacy than that... Raph, I hope you are surrounded by the calm and reassurance you gave so many people by simply being there… May you rest in peace…

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl from the Polite Team 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Great Morning

Now I must say I have sat here at least 5 times to write here and something has always come up from getting a calls to help people to new news about the BIG BBQ event with the Guinness World Record.

But after today I thought I had to write because it may help others.

A lot of people don’t know but I don’t work for Buffed anymore. But that’s okay because I started thinking I’m better helping people when I’m in the streets. It’s where I talk to people on more of their level because I’m selling the Big Issue again. So of course if you want to buy a Big Issue magazine please come see me at Post Office Square.

But right now I want to write about my second day as a Big Issue Vendor. I went into the city early to just talk to homeless because to be honest just having someone listening to them is a huge thing for them. Well there I was talking to 3 people when one of them sort of pulled me aside and asked if I could talk to her later. I told her I would be around the Post Office Square all day.

Later she turned up and started talking about how to get help if she was on the streets. (Lots of talk happened) She ran away from home because she was grounded by her parents. She had a bad time on the streets over the few weeks she was homeless, although at first she thought it would be cool. But as time went on she didn’t want to contact her parents because of fear because she left home.

I offered to talk to them for her and as you can imagine her parents were worried. So worried that her mum took time off work to spend her days looking for her.

The young girl was worried about punishment because of leaving, when all her parents wanted was her safe and home.  

I won’t make this long but I will say I was embarrassed when the 15-16yr girl thanked me and kissed me on the cheek while the doors closed on the train for her to go home, to be honest I didn’t know which one felt better. Her because she could go back home and everything was okay or me because I helped make it happen. I just wish her and her family all the best. I will call in a few days just to say hi and see how things are going.

I know that people have asked me to name people I write about.  Are you kidding? Sometimes people hit hard times and at a low point in life and the last thing they need is someone saying I read about what happened to you a year ago or whatever the time frame is.

Now my morning got better. Remember I was just selling my Big Issue magazines. A guy came up to me as he had done thousands of times but this time it was different, I knew this guy well because when I was homeless he was too, the difference was he still was homeless and I guess for him he wasn’t ready to get on his feet. Now I want to point out that this guy had been homeless for the last 3 ½ years that I knew about.

He told me, he had been talking to his mum and how he’s an adult now and it was “time to get on me feet” but he was getting Methadone because of strong drug use. He’s going to organize to get his Methadone in Sydney and after talking to him I’m going pay his ticket to go home where his family want to help him to get back on his feet.

This is a long time coming to help this guy. But really it was worth waiting for him to want to get on his feet before acting because if I did something sooner it would have been pushing him into something he didn’t want to do. Waste of resources if someone doesn’t want the help.

This all happened before 10am. What a morning. WooHoo.

I have wrote in past posts that I’m doing coffee carts to help people in a huge way. Well let me say I have my first cart ready to go but the last 2 locations have fell through. Now I have an application for the 3rd location. I called today to see how that was going because I felt karma must kick in here because I have helped two people just today. Well the application is in but the results not back yet. But I do hope it comes through because this location is busy enough to employ 7 people. That means I get to help 7 people to get on their feet in a huge way (Accommodation, make-over and things) and then give them training for full time employment working the coffee carts.

Let’s just hope it comes through. The biggest problem is that I need the first location so I can say it works and have experience.

I’d like to thank you all for reading my blog and I hope you all have a great day.

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Monday, May 27, 2013

Children, homelessness and paying it forward

It all started with a huge collection of shoes coming in from the Sunshine Coast.  A lady named Sarah has a daughter who has done a shoe collection at the primary school she is attending. The number of shoes she got together for donation was enormous, and the Polite Team were lucky enough to be the recipients of those donated shoes to give to the homeless. Very humbling. And what a great way to raise your children: making them aware of those less fortunate and of their own blessings, and teaching them to give. We see those beautiful families volunteer at our BBQs as well, helping people to find what they are looking for, showing them where to go for this and that, just having conversations, serving food, and doing a great job putting smiles on our guests’ faces. Really, the generosity of people is heart-warming – just what we need as we move towards winter. There really is a lot of good still happening in the world. This weekend the shoes from the Sunshine Coast were delivered: bag after bag of men’s, women’s and children’s shoes. Just wonderful. Thank you, Shoes for Planet Earth, for putting this lady, Sarah, into contact with us! Sarah and daughter, thank you very much for your donations, brought together by the school community at the Sunshine Coast. Many people will be so happy with the shoes that will become theirs at our next BBQ event!

The shoes really got me thinking. We have always received way more adult-sized shoes than kids’ shoes, which is perhaps because people find it hard to imagine that children would go homeless. But they do. Families with children are homeless, children on their own are homeless. What chances do they have? Research shows that a lot of homeless children – being homeless in their formative years – have grown or will grow to become accustomed to homelessness and to finding homelessness their way of life, or the only life they are familiar with. They, in turn, will often grow homeless families. 

At the very first BBQ I helped organize I spoke with a man, probably in his forties, who told me he had been homeless and on his own from the age of 9. I listened to his life story and he burst into tears because nobody had listened to him before. He felt directionless, had no idea where to go or what to do. He had no one because he steered clear from the friends he used to have as they were no good. He had no contact with his family. We didn’t introduce ourselves; he had started to talk and names seemed irrelevant. We met as two human beings and that was all that mattered. At the end of the afternoon he came back to me, and told me he had made a decision: he would go to Melbourne. I wished him well and watched him walk off: a little more spring in his step.  I had never met him before nor have I seen him after; I hope he is well, that he got to Melbourne safely or that he is safe wherever he is, and in good spirits.

But back to homeless youth. The shoes that we received this weekend made me ponder on homeless children. They are a lot less visible than homeless adults. Many of them move from address to address or from this friend to that friend, they hang out in groups and they are not as identifiable as grownups. According to Homelessness Australia, 12 per cent of homeless people, or 12,133 of them Australia-wide, is under the age of 12, and 21 per cent or 21,940 homeless people are between 12 and 18 years of age.  60 per cent of children who sought help from homeless services have run from domestic-violence households, so the real number of children running from domestic violence is probably higher. They either witnessed violence at home or were primary victims of it, and hoped that life on the streets was safer than life at home. What an awful conclusion to come to for those kids. These staggering and dark numbers were just last year’s. This year's numbers are not out yet.

Our kids are our future, and their future starts where they live – whether that is in a house, in an apartment or on the streets. Childhood and adolescence are crucial in personality formation, so it is important to get it right – or as good as possible – from the start. Safety and security are a first priority, but for children on the street the levels of safety and security are minimal. On the streets those kids are much more in danger of being victims of crime than kids who are not homeless, and much more in danger of being involved in it.  Children do not deserve violence or abuse of any kind in their lives. Nobody does…

We may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems or to improve policies on homelessness, but awareness is the first step. We all have something positive to give to others. We cannot know how much our smile, words, gestures or simple kindness can touch someone’s heart, can turn a life around, can restore faith in the goodness of people, can plant a seed for a better life down the track. Even if it’s not much that we can give to others, it’s something so let’s give it. It costs nothing and it is infectious. Pay it forward!

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl from The Polite Team

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Guinness World Record BBQ

I was asked advice about helping homeless and things I do. I thought “I’d kill two birds with one stone” and write a blog post and just say a few things I do.

Firstly every person is different and I adjust to what they say more than anything. I do my ‘Pie & Coke’ which is me going up to someone and just asking if they would like to join me in having something to eat and drink. The idea is to buy the food and just sit and listen. I have found most people like to talk about themselves and homeless are no different. But listening to them I get an understanding of where there coming from.

You see people are homeless because of different reasons and only a fool would think they know the reason before talking to the person. The thing I learnt quickly was that sometimes there can be a quick fix to help people and some is a long road. In a lot of cases it’s mental health, something that’s happened to them before they became homeless or just hardship that got on top of them. All of which is very important to address before even thinking of helping that person get off the streets.

But I think one of the most important things is I don’t ever sit above them, if their sitting on the grass then so am I. I talk to whoever it is as an equal and a mate. I try to understand what they have/are going through and I always offer (only) to help by contacting or giving the correct services I think would help them. Now I’d like to say this is very successful, sure a lot of people open up and I’m able to help them in a huge way, but I can say there’s heaps of homeless people I’ve not even being able to get their names. But the way I see it I manage to give them a hot meal and drink and that in itself is worthwhile.

I think that’s why I like walking around and offering to buy someone a meal and just chat. I’m just a guy trying to be a friend/mate, I don’t ask them to come to an office which some wouldn’t, I talk to them in their environment where they feel more comfortable.

Now I’m not a counsellor by any means and I’m sure they would handle things much better than anything I’d do or say. But I do the best I can, because I was homeless and I feel I do have an understanding of what they are going through. Besides I do have a great success rate and that’s better than doing nothing.

So in fact if I was to offer advice in helping ‘Homeless People’ then I would say “take the word homeless away and your left with just PEOPLE”.  I really think some people forget that they are really just dealing with people going through hard times and in a lot of cases that’s all. Whether it’s someone with Mental health, Bad past or even hardship they are people.

Now if I really wanted to get into details I’m sure I could write a book and better yet a series of books. But in my book the biggest thing to remember is that some people slide off the tracks a bit and it’s understanding why first is the biggest step.

One thing I have learnt is that if you push for helping when they’re not ready then you may get burnt and waste resources.

Now on a different note, lately I have been doing my BBQ’s every 2 months and helping a lot of homeless and people in need at one time. But because of me having Leukaemia and recent events with me having a Heart attack and a Stroke in the last 10 months I am trying to put in place a ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ for the biggest BBQ helping homeless and people in need. You see I want to show how much help is needed because of the numbers of people coming. So the next BBQ is planned to be in November. I know it means not helping people with BBQ’s every 2 months but I really feel doing this will help many more in the future if it gets the awareness of numbers out.

I’m sure there’s a lot of people will want to come on board and help with this one and to be honest I’ll need all the help I can get. Haha So please email or call me.

I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day.

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Grant the Polite Guy and the BBQs from the Inside Out

Today I would like to write about Grant (don’t tell him, haha) and the BBQs for the Homeless and Others in Need. Grant’s vision of a better world inspires me so much to help organize the BBQs, and I feel very humbled having been asked by him to do it and to write in this blog with him. Having been homeless himself for a year and a half, he knows what it’s like: very unpleasant, to put it nicely. He knows what it’s like to have only a bag with everything you own in it; he knows the feeling of having that bag stolen multiple times and to end up with literally nothing over and over again. He knows what it’s like to not know where your next meal would come from, to not know where you would sleep tonight, to not be able to sleep tightly because you have to mind your environment at the same time for your own safety. And that is only the tip of the iceberg. With all this life experience, he wants to help other people stop going through what he went through. When he was still homeless he already organized these BBQs for other homeless people and others in need. Not for himself, as while being homeless himself, he never took any donations from his own BBQs.

Over time, organizing these events has become and is becoming bigger and bigger as we go, so are the BBQs themselves, and we, too, are growing in what we do. Again, I feel privileged to have been asked by Grant to be a part of it. The Polite Team rocks, and I am so proud that we get this done each time with little more than a lot of heart, passion, and enthusiasm.  

Our next event, in under three weeks from now, will be in Ipswich, which feels like a bit of an adventure to me. When we planned this BBQ we didn’t know any organizations in Ipswich, or even where to go to contact the homeless and people in need there. We were very grateful to have been invited to a meeting in Ipswich regarding homelessness and housing, and we met with people from organizations there who showed a lot of goodwill and support for us to have our BBQ in Ipswich, to spread the word to their clients, and to come to the event to provide assistance and information. We do believe our event would be very helpful in the Ipswich area, and we are expecting large numbers of guests.

I am looking forward to the day when a convoy of utes and trailers will turn up at our storage space in Brisbane when the kookaburras have only just started laughing, and will be loaded up with goods that have been donated by the good people of Brisbane to let the homeless feel they are part of the community. Then the convoy will be travelling to Browns Park in Ipswich, where marquees and tables will be set up, and the first load of donations will be displayed: the clothes, shoes, toiletries, sleeping bags, blankets, children’s toys, canned foods and other items. The first guests will arrive very early and will help us set up. Dalton Hospitality and staff will arrive and set up their mobile kitchen and equipment. When all has been set up the homeless organizations will arrive, take their places and set up their stalls, informative materials and banners, and at 10am we will kick off.

It is always a thrill to see an event that we largely planned with the help of our computers and telephones become a successful event for real, in the park: touching to see our guests come in, to see happy and smiling volunteers, to see the hustle and bustle and feel the great atmosphere. So many people in such a good mood who will soon go on to enjoy a meal, socialize, find clothes and other items they love, and find assistance they need. Nobody is pushing to get things first. These people’s lives have taught them compassion. Their faces brighten up when you just show them a smile and show them they are human beings just like the rest of us. At these events everyone is equal. Whether you are homeless  or a CEO of a major business does not make any difference at our BBQs where everyone is equal, and everyone interacts on an even level. Many of our guests are very thoughtful of others. “I am careful not to take too much because other people may need it more” is something we hear a lot at these BBQs, and without exception those words are spoken by people who themselves have close to nothing.

And at the end of the event we will break down the marquees and tables again, the convoy of utes and trailers is back, and will be uploaded with those marquees and tables, and with any donations that have not been taken. The park will be spotless again come 2pm. Back to the storage space in Brisbane it goes, and once everything has been unloaded it’s time to kick back with drinks and snacks, and to look back on an event that undoubtedly was worth all the trouble and that had gone perfectly.

Because of Grant I have been touched by the plight of the homeless and have been given the opportunity to do something to help, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to hopefully touch their lives in a positive way. Grant is the heart and soul of these events, and I am proud to organize these events with him, and to make them reality on a close-to-zero budget.

It may come to no surprise, then, that I have nominated Grant in Sunsuper Dreams, which is a competition where the winner will receive $5,000 towards their cause. If Grant wins the competition, our new charity organization Signal Flare (about which you will hear much more very soon) will use the money to support the homeless. More important than the money is the fact that Sunsuper Dreams is about the best dream for a better world. In a world that’s full of politics, false pretences and ulterior motives I believe Grant’s passion for helping people for no other reason than simply to help people when they need it the most sets a great example of how the world could and should be a better place. Wherever you are in the world, your votes will be counted, so please follow the link, and if you like what you read please vote for Grant and share the link with your family, friends and other networks:

Thank you all very much for reading and voting, and watch this space for our next blog post!

Bernie the Polite Girl from the Polite Team 

Sunday, April 7, 2013


This post is going to be all “Heart”

Bernie the Polite Girl and I did a post on Facebook for people to come and help sort some of the clothes that we had for the next BBQ event. Mostly putting all the male clothes in the bag marked males etc. Well 6 people answered the call to come and give up there Saturday and give a hand. Rod, Pauline, Dave, Denise, Tom and Troy.

These guys turned up with wide smiles and ready to be put to work helping. We all started going through bags and sorting damaged clothes and putting the good ones into their right bag. The atmosphere and heart coming from everyone was awesome with fun and jokes, but most of all we all knew we were doing a lot of work to help others for later. I must say I was proud to not just be there but to just know these awesome people.

The time came for us to finish bagging clothes and we just sat and had a few more laughs before everyone went home. For me this was one of the reasons I started doing BBQ’s, it shows the community coming together to help with no reason but to know there helping people in need. Two of them (Dave and Denise) travelled from the Gold Coast, can’t make the next event because of plans already which will be the only event they haven’t been to since I started 3 years ago. But they showed up full of heart ready to help here without ever seeing the end result of a homeless or person in need using them clothes. Their ACE’S in my book and always will be.

Now writing about Dave and Denise reminded me of a story I was told a while ago which at the time gave me hope and inspiration. Dave’s mum and she neighbour went to the store to buy a lot of toothbrush’s to donate at our BBQ, going to the checkout the young lady working the cashier asked why so many toothbrush’s. Dave’s mum explained about the BBQ’s and about how they were donating them. The cashier (In the Gold Coast) asked them to wait a minute and ran off, Came back with $20 and asked if they would get more to donate from her.

The next time Dave’s mum went back to the store the cashier did the same thing. This is someone that will never meet the people who gets the toothbrush’s, but she knew they were going to people in need. The sad thing is I don’t even know her name to mention on here. But hearing about someone like that really inspired me to do so much more because others are too.

One thing that makes me so proud and that’s that I go on Facebook, Twitter or walk through the city and I hear from all these people wanting to help or about what they’re doing to help homeless/people in need. To think I know such awesome and great people really inspires me to do so much more because I feel like I’m not alone trying to help.

I want to thank you all for reading my post and I hope you all have a great day.

Grant the Polite Guy

Grant Richards

0412 190 011

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm Back

Well to say I’ve been busy is an understatement, ha ha that’s for sure. I’ll write a recap about what’s been happening.

I made a request for people to make donations for coffee carts which were around $5,000 to build. I am proud to say the first one is being built right now. Just AWESOME. Thank you to all those who did donate and those who will.

To donate please do at

St Greoge Bank.

BSB 114879

ACC 467524908

The next homeless BBQ has been planned for the

28th of April  

Browns Park, Ipswich

10am to 2pm

Now this BBQ is going to be no different than the others, We’ll be collecting beforehand to hand out Clothes, Toiletries, Food/Drinks, Blankets/Sleeping Bags, Tin Food, Kids Toys and things like that. But the one need that is more important is handing out fliers before the day and helpers on the day. To donate these items please come on the day or contact me on 0412 190 011,

A lot of people have said that they haven’t seen me for a few weeks, Well two weeks ago I have a mini stroke. I spent almost a week in hospital and I’ve been taking it easy for the last week. In fact I’m starting to think I’m invincible because in the last 12 months I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, had a mild heart attack and now a mini stroke. I remember the Doc saying “One day you’ll lean down to tie your shoe laces and just drop.” I know this is serious but I smiled and said “I have too many people to help before I go mate and besides I don’t have laces on my boots.” So if you don’t see me as much I’m trying to take it easy or doing treatments/tests.

One thing I love to do is work on projects that help people. While I was homeless I thought of an idea about an educational DVD, when young girls get their period for the first time. For some, this can be very nerve wrecking if they don’t have a lot of information about the changes to their body. So while homeless, it seems so funny now, but I would put coins in a pay phone and call lots of different sanitary-item companies asking them what information they send young girls. I remember going to an internet café trying to find an educational DVD for young girls for when they get their period for the first time. Got nowhere fast, so I decided to make one. I wrote the script, I used a doctor and a nurse to present on the DVD, it turned out AWESOME! It covers great things like health and hygiene, changes to the body,  how to use and dispose of products, what is a period, and everything young girls need to know. I know, it seems weird, but a homeless guy thought of this and the DVD is very successful and is going to help a lot of people in the future worldwide.

To check out the new website that I have, please go to

I was inspired so much because of helping people using these DVDs I am now going to be doing an educational DVD on important things like bullying, manners and politeness, sex education (the birds and the bees), sexually transmitted diseases, contraception. And many more.

 I would like to thank you for reading this blog post. I will be writing more regularly, but as I said my health has been bad and I am sorry for not writing as much. I hope you all have a great day, and if you could help promote this current DVD I have, I believe it will help even more people.

Thank you again,
Grant the Polite Guy
From the Polite Team
0412 190 011

Friday, March 1, 2013


It’s been almost two weeks since our fantastic BBQ that was enjoyed by many including ourselves. The event does deserve and will receive a blog post or two of its own, but today it’s time for some BREAKING NEWS that I will talk about here, but there is a tiny bit of an intro first:

As you, readers of this blog, know, Grant is all about helping others. His ways of helping have always been very immediate, either one-on-one or on a larger scale. One-on-one, Grant is the inventor of the “Pie n Coke”: buying a homeless person a meal and talk with them to see if he or she wants to get on his/her feet, and to check out how he can help them best if they do. Other kinds of individual help he gives are, for example, finding accommodation for people, or organizing food vouchers or job-interview clothes for people. On a bigger scale Grant helps through the BBQs for the homeless and others in need. He organized several of these by himself, and since last year I have been absolutely humbled by having been invited by him to help him organize them and to write this blog with him. While Grant and I will continue to help in this way, he has found a way also to help people beyond the Brisbane area. Drumroll……………………………….

Grant always has many brilliant ideas going through his head, he wakes up with ideas, has ideas in his sleep, and as a Dad of a little girl who is growing up fast, he came up with the plan of producing a series of educational DVDs on topics that every growing-up young person will encounter on their way to adulthood. These topics would be presented by experts in the field in a format that is age-appropriate, comfortable and empowering.

So that was a plan that Grant had, producing educational DVDs. And when Grant has a plan, it doesn’t remain just a plan. He finds ways to have it materialize, he works hard at it, and he does carry it out.

Now, HERE IS THE BREAKING NEWS: another drumroll………………………………………..

I have the absolute, huge honour of introducing to you Grant’s first educational DVD: “YOUNG LADY STARTER KIT”. This DVD addresses a girl’s first period: Changes to the Body, What is a Period, Health and Hygiene, Products and How to Dispose of Them, Questions and Answers. A great, informative and succinct DVD to watch for girls by themselves or with their parents or other trusted adults. This DVD, where the topic is presented by Doctor Heather and Nurse Netti, will invite openness, normalize menstruation, and make communication around the topic a lot more comfortable. It is aimed at taking away emotional unease through information, at giving young girls an understanding of what they are or will be going through, and at preparing them by providing them with more insight to go through their physical changes more confidently and comfortably. For a sneak preview of the DVD, follow this link

The release of the DVD a little earlier this week went together with the release of a beautiful website that went live at the same time, and that has been very amazingly generated by Jared Smith (a BIG thank you to you, Jared!). Lacking skills in the technology department, I of course find the generation of most things online amazing, but this website really is beautiful. I am not exaggerating J The DVD “Young Lady Starter Kit” can be ordered in hard copy or downloaded through this website. To check it out and explore the website, please follow this link . This website will develop, grow and transform along with the DVD series.

And generating the website is not all Jared has done. He has set up a Facebook page too, to go with the DVD series and the website, also called “Young Lady Starter Kit”. To explore and Like please follow the link . Like the website, this Facebook page will develop, grow and transform with the DVD series.

One of the things Grant says is “If it’s not helping people, I’m not doing it”. Having been able to help people only in the Brisbane area so far, with this DVD series Grant adds another, new, way of helping in different ways, reaching out to places beyond Brisbane as well. He has been working on this DVD idea for a long time, and I have to say it has been very exciting to see this project come to fruition step by step. It is fantastic to see the first product of his hard work being released. Do check it out, people, and know that more educational DVDs are in the pipeline!

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful day!

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl from The Polite Team

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Homelessness and the law

Everyone knows that the homeless are doing it tough. But perhaps not everybody thinks about how they are doing it tough. I thought I’d write today about something that I have only recently learned myself, and that had my mind boggling. It has to do with laws and rights, with being homeless, and with getting fines because of being homeless.

Talking to homeless people, I heard stories about them raking up fine after fine for things I could not even imagine. I found that quite horrific, and I went to research these things a bit. I must say I found it hard to believe what I heard people say about why they got fines. I guess I did not really want to believe how heartless or callous society or the legal system is in some areas, but at the same time I knew it must be true. Then doing some reading and finding out for real, in black and white, that the people I spoke to had it right was quite painful. Homeless people by law (yes, how else) can be fined for vagrancy, loitering, begging, sleeping in public spaces or camping. As the University of New South Wales stated, “the law has typically added to the disadvantage of people experiencing homelessness” .

As a matter of fairness, I should add that there are also laws that can be used to the advantage of homeless people and that have been mentioned in the same article, such as anti-discrimination laws (Equality Rights), renting, boarding house and accommodation regulations (Accommodation Rights), and social security laws (Standard of Living Rights).

However, because of the position they’re in and because of the way they are often treated by others, many homeless people do not have the sense of self-worth and trust in their fellow man to make the law work for them. They often do not know that there are actually laws they can call upon, and finding legal advice often is a daunting process for them. Therefore, as great as those legal rights of Equality, Accommodation and Standard of Living are, and however applicable to homeless people, they will not often feel they are in a position to make use of them or to get legal help, or they are not familiar with their legal rights.

I hear that Big Issue vendors get spat in the face about once a week on average. Add that to the low income they earn by standing outside for hours on end trying to sell their magazines to hurried passers-by (which I experienced myself a few months ago), and you can grasp where those feelings of low self-worth and lack of trust come from. They often do not feel that they will be believed, listened to or taken seriously if they would make an official complaint even if their issue is something that really should be addressed.

Homeless people often get fines for the above-mentioned things, such as vagrancy, loitering, begging and sleeping in public spaces, but where else but in public spaces can you sleep when you are homeless and the shelters are overloaded already? And when you don’t have a home or a job to go to, how can you not loiter? For many homeless people the fines and enforcement fees pile up. They can amount to thousands of dollars and increase the longer they remain unpaid, and there is no way they can pay them. For non-payment of fines, people’s drivers licences get suspended, which in many cases makes it harder to find work and get on their feet. How can society help more? Just a question…  

For anyone interested in the issue, please click on this link:  It is published by the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service and dates from 2006 (so not the newest and perhaps also not the latest) and is based on New South Wales.

For anyone interested in legal help for homeless people, here is the link for the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service: . They are an excellent law organization specialized in helping homeless people or people at risk of homelessness. I am proud to say this organization will have representatives at our BBQ of 17 February.


Just a little something about the guy I wrote about, who was finding his way back up again after a setback. He is still going strong, still sells the Big Issue, and is hoping to make the day very special when his little boy turns a year older later this month, not too far away from his own birthday. The last time I spoke to him, a couple of days ago, he was in good spirits, and really looking forward to the birthdays. I hope they will be very special days for him and his little boy…


On a different note: last time I tried to encourage you to vote for Grant to become the Volunteer of the Year 2012 with Heritage Bank. It does not look like Grant is going to win, so could I please ask you to vote for the wonderful KAREN CROKE? She founded and heads Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy, a terrific group of dedicated people who help the same people we help by knitting all things knittable and donating them at our BBQ, at many other events and in many other ways. If Grant is not going to win, Karen has our wholehearted votes. Yours too? Karen is currently in second place. With your votes SHE CAN WIN THIS!!!Here is the link: 

Have a great day and be safe. Talk to you next time!

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl from The Polite Team 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bruce: an Inspiration to Us All

Walking in the city, I saw Bruce. Bruce sat in his usual area, on the footpath but out of the way of passers-by, with all his possessions next to him: his sleeping bag and a couple of small bags with his clothes. I went to sit next to him and we had a chat. I sat on the ground, just like him, but he offered his bag of clothes for me to sit on because he figured it would be more comfortable. I declined and said I was perfectly fine sitting on the ground.

Now Bruce is someone who would never harm a fly. He would give, and has regularly given, his last dollar to a charity, a hospital or a church. He feels he has everything he needs because he has his clothes, his sleeping bag and most meals, what more could he possibly want. He says there are so many people in greater need than him who would be helped by his funding of these charities, hospitals or the church. A man with very modest requirements for himself but with an observant eye for what is lacking in society: care for people who are doing it tough.

Bruce told me Grant had given him some money a little while ago when he was broke, and he wanted to do something in return. Like Grant, he wanted to do something for someone else, and he asked me to take his sleeping bag and give it to a homeless person or bring it to our next BBQ for the Homeless and Others in Need. He had only bought it recently, and showed me the receipt to show me that he honestly paid for it (haha, you gotta love Bruce!). He said he had slept in it so perhaps I should check it out and see what I think. He said it was too warm for him to sleep in, there was no need for him to have a sleeping bag. I said that the colder months would be coming soon, he would need his sleeping bag, but he insisted I take it and give it to someone else.

I suggested Bruce think about it. I said both Grant and I were in the city regularly, and if he still wanted to donate his sleeping bag in two days time, we would take it then. But Bruce was adamant I take it now. I offered him some money for it, but he did not want any money. He just wanted to do something for someone else because Grant had done something for him.

I asked how he was going to sleep without his sleeping bag, and he replied “Oh, I’ll be alright. I’ll sleep on a piece of cardboard or something”. Accepting a homeless man’s sleeping bag to give to someone else was something I struggled with, but then, who am I to deny him to help someone else… I could see it was his wholehearted desire and decision to give it away, and who am I not to respect that. I still protested, saying I thought he should keep his sleeping bag, but he did not want to hear it, and so I ended up finding myself taking it to give to someone else who needed it more than Bruce.

I asked him where he was going to sleep tonight, and he said he wasn’t sure, perhaps he would just sleep where he was. I asked if it was an OK place to sleep, and his face changed from happy and involved to drawn and worried. I said “It’s not an OK place to sleep?”, and he shook his head. I checked if he knew a better, safer place, and again he shook his head. We didn’t go into things too much, but we concluded things were better during the day. A little while later I left to get on with my day, walking away from Bruce with his sleeping bag in my hand to find it a new owner. And Bruce went on with his day, too, right where he was sitting: a man with no home who had just given away his own sleeping bag so that someone else could be helped. People who have the least often are the most generous…


Just a brief aside about our BBQ. Our BBQ for the Homeless, Flood Victims and People in Need is coming up on Sunday 17 February. Donations of clothes, shoes, toiletries, toys, small household goods etc and/or soft drinks can be dropped off to The Polite Team at Post Office Square, Brisbane, on Friday 15 February between 7AM and 2PM. If you have larger things to donate, such as furniture, please contact Grant on 0412 190 011.


Something completely different now: the Polite Team has been very involved in fund raising for several causes. Firstly, we have joined forces with others as Team Polite People to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation by participating in the World’s Greatest Shave, so that others may be helped better. Yes, in March both Grant and I as well as Denise and Dave will shave back to a Number One. I include the link to our Team page here so you can tax-deductibly donate if you wish – we hope you will! We hope to raise a lot of dollars for the Leukaemia Foundation and that we will not be walking around with no hair for nothing! We do need donations, so please support us if you can:

Secondly, Grant has been nominated to be Heritage Bank’s Volunteer of the Year for 2012. 2012 was another year in which Grant tirelessly helped the homeless and others in need, both on a large scale with his BBQs and on a one-on-one basis, as well as raised awareness through this blog and through talking with people. A Big Issue vendor, Grant selflessly spends much of his money on helping others, and his enthusiasm gets many people inspired and on board. Winning the competition would give him $1,000 towards the coffee cart project he is ready to start, and it would give Grant’s charity organization Signal Flare a very welcome injection of $10,000 towards the BBQs and other forms of large-scale help for the homeless and others in need. All you have to do to vote for Grant is click! If you would like to give him your vote – and he needs a lot of votes to beat the current Number One – here is the link:
First like the page, then click on “Vote Now”, go to R for Grant Richards, scroll down to Grant’s nomination and vote. Lastly, don’t forget to reply to the confirmation email or your vote won’t count. Please note: the competition closes on Friday 15 February.

That’s about it for me now. Please all take care and be safe, and watch this space for more updates.

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl from the Polite Team