Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Christmas BBQ Done

WOOHOO it’s done and over and yes I’m tired and hurting, but it was worth every bit of it.

The 2014 Christmas Homeless BBQ is done and a lot of people were helped. I always say these events are not one person it’s the community coming together to help those who are hitting hard times when they need it most and this event was no exception.

Hundreds of Homeless and People in Need came and got free awesome food (5star), clothes, blankets, kids toys, toiletries, awesome knitted wears and of course all the kids and even a few BIG kids got a wrapped Christmas present from Santa.

Now I would like to mention some of the awesome people that helped make this Christmas Homeless BBQ the event it was .

A call was put out there for people to come and help with loading trucks and things on the Saturday for Sunday’s big event, Dave Hurst not only throw his hand up but coming from the Gold Coast brought a truck to load and carry it back home and then brought to the event in Brisbane. Now that’s awesome and a big help, but this guy busted his butt all day helping and stuck around when most helpers left and loaded that same truck to return again. Dave it’s people like you that keep these events going. Proud to know you mate.

Believe it or not hundreds of Homeless or People in Need come to these events come and eat a lot of food, while some even take away “Doggie Bags”. Jerome Dalton from Dalton’s Hospitality turned up and sponsored all the food and drinks for this event which they have done for many other events. Jerome your amazing mate and I’m proud to just know you because of your awesome heart.


Now there’s a groups that come every event and in my book they never get enough credit for the AWESOME GREAT things they do. Karen and the “Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy” have about 1,000 members and they are always knitting blankets, beanies and things just to come to events like this with 1,000’s of items and give for free to Homeless and People in Need. Lots of love there.

I had the chance to meet a new organization yesterday and that’s Orange Sky. These guys are awesome, they have a van and inside is clothes washing machines and driers so Homeless can come and hand them clothes and wait while it’s being washed, dried and returned nice fresh and clean, but the best thing is it’s free for them. Awesome guys and my pleasure to meet you.

Now the next person is amazing, Belinda Adams great heart even brought tears of joy to “Bernie the Polite Girl”, Belinda done one of the most unselfish things I’ve seen in a long time, she contacted family and friends and asked them not to buy her a Christmas present, but instead buy a present to be given to homeless kids and kids that may not be getting anything at all from Santa (parents). Family and friends thought it was a awesome idea and started asking the same of others.


Turning up with this huge awesome looking bus there was wrapped presents stacked far and wide inside. We asked Santa (Rod Hyatt) to join them and hand out presents and let me tell you it was golden and I’m sure made the day for many of smiling kids to have a special day that they will remember for a very long time.

Now I have mentioned some really awesome people and without being mean left the best to last, Benedikte Palings “Bernie the Polite Girl”. Now Bernie has worked so hard putting this event together organizing everything with me over the last 8 weeks and like me not asking for one coin doing it, in fact paying out of her own pocket when needed. I will say because my health is not great this event may not have happened at all if it wasn’t for “Bernie the Polite Girl” doing what she does and that’s live life with heart.

I want to add here that hundreds helped with this event to make it awesome and I wish I could write everyone’s short story but it would be too long, I will say Thank you to you and know without you it wouldn’t be the community coming together.

Here’s a few pic’s of our awesome event.

Now everyone going to say how awesome it is to help Homeless and People in Need. But I say these events are awesome but I want to open a Thrift shop that gives free clothes and things to homeless 7 days a week. If you think it’s a good idea please donate and help with the link below.


Thank you very much for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day. If you like my writing please donate in the donation button on the top left of screen.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Homeless BBQ

Yesterday I was selling my Big Issue magazines at the corner of Adelaide and Creek St when someone came up to me saying “I thought you got on your feet! What happened?” I replied “Gave it a go but failed, but the best thing is that I had a go and will get back on my feet again” with a smile, you see I think someone failing at something is not as bad as not trying at all. In fact I always say to homeless or people in need “if you don’t try you will never know”.

I have to say I’m happy and content in a huge way because I found the one thing I’m very good at and that’s helping people. I’m proud to say that I know some of the most amazing people there is and we come together to put these Homeless BBQ’s on and they really do make a huge difference in people’s lives, which we do every 8 weeks.

 I’ve been invited to many weddings from people that I have got on their feet and meet someone special to live happy ever after, well most do haha.

This Sunday the 30th of Nov we are holding another Homeless and People in Need BBQ at Musgrave Park from 10am to 2pm. But this time it’s going to be a Christmas Homeless BBQ which means Santa will be giving kids that may not get anything from their parents will get something special from Santa and I’m sure for most will bring a huge smile and I’d like to think maybe, just maybe bring that safe and magical feeling of everything is okay to be a kid to at least one and forget hard times and feel that life is good.

But here’s what I do know, 400 – 1,000 Homeless or People in Need will come and get free Food, Clothes, Blankets, Toiletries and much more including a present from Santa and helping people to not just have clothes and things but respect as well. One of the things that make our events so successful is the fact that homeless and people in need come and not one thing is for sale. We have a saying and that’s “Not one coin is exchanged at our events, because homeless don’t have money so why ask for any” even our volunteers don’t pay for their food which I might add is mostly done by Dalton’s Hospitality

 For a person that has nothing and in some cases looked down a pond this means a lot if not everything and maybe the start of a new start in life.

Bernie the Polite Girl and I do hundreds of hours for every Homeless BBQ  doing preparations for these events, and I have to say we do so much work for not getting paid that I almost every event say “It’s too much to do we have to ask others to help”  Then we smile and get back to doing everything we are doing.

So if you need help or want to help please come down and say hi this Sunday the 30th and say “Hi” or you can contact me directly from details below.

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

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wynnum the start of a Legacy

WooHoo I have done it.

This is 100% done, agreement made. I am opening a NEW shop in Wynnum that has two sides to it. One side being a Thrift shop that gives clothes to Homeless and People in Need free 7 days a week (10 items) and the second side being a Having a Go Coffee which only employs homeless and people in need after they have got on their feet and of course doing suspended coffee . WOOHOO.

This is a passion of mine, I have always wanted to be able to help homeless with clothes, toiletries, blankets and much needed things 7 days a week and be there for them when they need it most.

Homeless and people in need will be able to come and get free clothes and things while having a free coffee and something to eat. You all know of the Homeless BBQs well this is the next step.

I am proud and going to celebrate the fact its coming into action.

I know my health is bad with all thats going wrong, but the way I see it, if I start it then someone can continue it in the future and that means a lot of people are going to get huge help and really thats what its all about.

I cant do this on my own, I am asking if the community can come together to help me to help make this huge start to something great. I need everything for the Thrift side e.g racks and things, and everything for the coffee side counters, fridges, plumbers and an electrician. Plus needing signs. This wont fail because its going to be my legacy I leave for others to take over.

Can I add that this location is going to need a lot of volunteers to help give homeless free clothes and service.

I plan to open on the 1st of December, the day after our next huge Homeless BBQ event at Musgrave Park so we can help more people just before Christmas. Hey will event be able to make a change of direction for some and help them to start the New Year in a more positive way.

I have to say Im sooo excited about this WOOHOO

If you would like to join me please contact me or donate to putting this together.

St. George Bank

Grant Richards

BSB: 112879  ACC: 026900710 or I have a donation button on this blog.

Thank you for reading my blogspot and I hope you all have a great day.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

P.S WOOHOO this is going to help a lot of people. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BBQs for the Homeless and Others in Need: Caboolture and Christmas is coming!


Bells are jingling, folks! Signal Flare's Polite Team are experiencing exciting times and are in the throes of organizing our Christmas BBQ for the Homeless and Others in Need. Like last year, I have been humming “Jingle Bells” for weeks now; there's nothing quite like the anticipation of a terrific BBQ to spread some Christmas spirit for those who may otherwise not have much of it. Organizing this day and knowing it's going to bring a lot of smiles is almost as much fun as the day itself :-)

I calculated that right now we are in the middle between our last BBQ for the Homeless and Others in Need and the Christmas one, - five and a half weeks out both sides - so I figured I write about both. Before starting on the Christmas barbie, I'll write about the last BBQ first. Sunday 14 September was the first time that we headed out to Caboolture to have our BBQ there at Apex Park near the beautiful Centenary Lakes, and I would like to send out a big thank you to the Moreton Bay Regional Council for having us, and to Councillor Chippendale for his support of us with a donation from his Community Support Fund. I have to say, it was an honour to be so welcome, to meet so many beautiful people who turned out to volunteer, and to see community in action while visiting groups in the lead-up to the BBQ such as Caboolture Community Action and Friends of the Street. Yes, we spent quite some time in Caboolture leading up to BBQ day, handing out flyers and meeting community groups. On the day the presence of our valued, long-term supporters Knitting for Brisbane's Needy and Drug Arm was hugely appreciated again (Dana, you rock!!!), and major thanks to Grant's parents, Robyn and Ron, for helping out with their trailer as always, and to the Ipswich Hospital Foundation for lending us their tables and marquees plus trailer, so that we would be able to bring out our donations and to have shelter from the sun. “Care packs for Brisbane's Homeless” came out to Caboolture to hand out beautiful packs full of essentials – thank you, guys! The gifted, enthusiastic team that manned the BBQs on the day made sure we all had happy tummies and were well fed and smiling. Here is a photo of the happy BBQers and the Polite Team :-)

It was a big day, packing up trailers and transporting donations, tables and marquees to Apex Park in Caboolture, have everything set up by 10am, have a great time with Caboolture's homeless, others in need and volunteers, and then pack up and bring everything back to Brisbane. Many, many thanks to Gerhard and Rebecca who were priceless, and to James for transporting the tables and marquees back to Ipswich. The help you guys gave is invaluable. Definitely a day that was very, very worth while!

The BBQ itself, wow! New park, new city, but the sun was shining (Grant always says it never rains on his BBQs, haha) and the heart was the same. The compassion, the goodwill, the smiles, the kindness, the guests who left the BBQ walking a bit straighter than when they arrived and who felt clearly uplifted. People were so happy to have the opportunity to be kind to others and to help, and others were happy to receive that kindness and help. We received excellent feedback about our very first BBQ for the Homeless and Others in Need in Caboolture, which was so good to hear.

And, people, we have been moving fast. The Polite Team kick ass, haha! The day following the Caboolture BBQ we booked Musgrave Park, South Brisbane, for our annual Christmas BBQ – Sunday 30 November is the day! Thank you, Brisbane City Council, for approving it! It promises to be very special. We will have the support of Dalton Hospitality again, Queensland's 5-start caterers who outdo themselves every time they so generously give their time to share their beautiful foods with our guests and volunteers. We have Santa coming, and there will be a few surprises. We are planning to have some special Christmas treats, and pressies for all kids. Apart from that, of course there will be the clothes, shoes, toiletries, children's toys and much more that has all been donated by the community to give away to those who need it. Anyone who wants to help, please contact the Polite Team.

I know of at least one of my mates who is coming to the BBQ! Raymond, who has been in genuine need for several decades, is looking forward. I saw him in the city just the other day, and talking about this upcoming Christmas BBQ I saw his eyes light up. Our BBQs are a highlight for Raymond. He always keeps to himself, but he thoroughly enjoys the friendly and social atmosphere of our events. He always comes to the ones in Musgrave Park and likes to have a little chat. Ipswich or Caboolture are too far for him to get to.

There are many people like Raymond who find their way to our BBQs. Dealt a rough hand by life, people end up on the street. Living on the streets is often a very isolating experience and can crush self worth, and our BBQs provide the opportunity to connect with others, to share a meal and a laugh, to get some clothes, toiletries and other basics that many people take for granted and that make their lives just a little bit easier. Our BBQs provide equality and inclusion; it doesn't matter whether someone is homeless, a CEO of a major company or anything in between. At our BBQs people eat together and chat together, the CEO may help the homeless person find the clothes he or she needs, or may even employ someone, offering them the opportunity to tun their lives around. A start is often all they need, the rest is up to them. A friendly, encouraging word that is spoken often does wonders to the person on the receiving end. It may not happen right away, but change has often been instigated by someone believing in them. One of the most beautiful things is when someone who came to get help at one BBQ turns his or her life around and comes to the next BBQ to volunteer, give back and help others.

And so we are looking forward to our Christmas BBQ. To sharing some Christmas spirit. To sharing some food and drinks. I know it's early, but here's to Christmas and to all who make Christmas what it is – all of you!
Written by Bernie the Polite Girl for the Polite Team

Friday, September 26, 2014

Here I go again

I don’t know how to put this, but I’m hitting hard times and have to go back to selling The Big Issue again, I’m not ashamed because I can hold my head up high and say “Hey I tried and will again, people hit rough patches in life” because of my health taking a bad turn for the worst and things haven’t gone right at all, the best thing I can do is take that step forward again and start selling magazines and start-over.

Now I don’t want people to worry, I’m still going to be doing the homeless BBQ’s every 8 weeks and helping people along the way, if anything being a Big Issue guy I’ll be seeing them a lot more.

The Leukaemia I have is knocking me around a lot more and the symptoms are getting worst so I’m taking longer to get on my feet this time, but know this, I WON’T QUIT and this is only going to slow me down. Also please don’t get the wrong Idea, I have accommodation, but because of my back injuries and now these new Leukaemia symptoms I’m still able to sell the magazines.

I’m trying for this post to not be depressing, but hey I’m depressed writing it. So I’m going to write about the positives here, because I always tell people to look at the positives with everything and it won’t be so bad.

I’ll be seeing a lot more Homeless and be able to stop and chat whenever they feel like someone to talk to.

I can do a lot more of my “Pie and Cokes” buying homeless a meal and sitting with them to chat.

I’ll be earning money WooHoo well if I sell magazines. Haha

When I’m not well I just won’t go to work and I don’t have to worry about doing so many hours or letting a boss down.

In the past some of my customers became my best  mates. Looking to meet more.

I can inspire others to do the same and get on their feet. I hope

Who am I kidding, this is my only choice at the moment so I’m going to make the best of it and suck it up and be the “Best Big Issue Vendor out there” until my health gets better by doing the one great thing Big Issue was meant to be for, helping people to get on their feet. Look out world I’m coming back haha.

I’m letting you all know because if you see me selling the Big Issue magazines please stop and say “Hi” and buy a mag, it’s not that easy standing in the middle of a main corner with strangers walking past trying to not see you.

Thank you for reading my blog and I’m sure while selling Big Issue I’ll have lots of stories to write about again. Have a great day.

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Monday, April 21, 2014

Let's help some people

I’m going to be honest now when I say “WooHoo”, in my last post I mentioned about people being able to buy coffee online and have it delivered to their front door. Well let me say I’m now going to be able to help some Homeless people with hours (Training in a coffee shop) after helping them to get on their feet.

I want to say this is going to be an awesome project and I want to thank the people that did buy coffee. Remember every about 2 ½ boxes sold gives me enough to employ an ex-homeless person for an hour and get training and skills that they can take anywhere in life.

You see I use my awesome charity “Signal Flare” to help get homeless and people in need on their feet and then give them hours working in a coffee shop to get training and skills.

I’m on a bit of a natural high right now because only this morning a got a call from Robert who was homeless that I helped over a year and a half ago and he tried thank and encourage me to keep going to help that many more people. After hearing the great success he has been doing, I kept thinking of when I first meet him and I remembered saying that one day he’d make this call.

Listening to him I could have taken on 10 Loins and asked for more because I was so proud of myself. Really it’s a feeling that’s hard to explain. But WooHoo sounds close. Haha

Sorry I went off track there for a second. I’m so pumped to help people that need it most when they need it most.

I’m going to make this post short because I have to get off this computer and get out there and help someone else.

I’m fundraising by pumping coffee that people can buy online and delivered at home, help me to help a lot more people please.

Jemma Gorring put an amazing clip together to show you how great this is.

or just go to and buy some. If you want to join my team and earn money for yourself or use it to help others then sign up.

People I’m sorry I’m making this short, but I really want to be out there making a difference to people’s lives in a huge way.

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

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Evocca Collage is Awesome.

Good times are coming. To be honest I’m thinking something bad is coming because right now everything is going so great. Haha.

I was asked to go to Evocca College on Wednesday morning for a chat about Evocca coming on board and helping with the Homeless BBQ’s we do. I have to say I turned up and meet such awesome people everywhere. Tautala (“T” for short) who is their Vocational Placement Officer gave me the grand tour and nearly everyone there seemed so happy, from the teachers to the students. A really great learning environment.

They even have a community BBQ every Wednesday were they put on a BBQ just to bring out the socializing for everyone to feel more welcome. This is an awesome place.

Now most of you know I don’t write about business that much, but I haven’t told you the best part of this. Haha They asked me there because they do classes for Counselling, Community Services Work, Youth Work and many more and they would like to offer they students that onhands feeling doing something like work placement and working with real people that are in need.

Their offering help with handing out fliers to homeless in the area of when were doing our BBQ’s, helping to setup – pull down our events and of course sitting and talking to the Homeless and People in Need that come to our Homeless and People in Need BBQ’s. Yes a College that gets it, you can’t learn everything from a text book, people we are talking up to 500 students off and on through time, their Ace’s in my book.

Evocca Collage 1800 386 222 or

This is the AWESOME person putting this together so when you see her at our next BBQ (Queens Park, Ipswich on the 27th of April from 10am) please help me to say “thank you” for just being her. AWESOME.


On a different note, I’m very proud to let you all know that yes I was waiting to put a huge shop together in the Valley which will help so many people, but while that’s happening I’ve been working on building up a strong customer base and helping others to make extra money with Organo Gold which I worked out for every 2 ½ boxes earns me enough to pay one Homeless or person in need’s wages to work in the Having a Go shop for one hour. This is exciting because as I’ve said before when I’ve help them on their feet their not trained up yet and lack confidence so at times I want to employ 5 to do the same work as 1 experienced person. But as they work more they will get confidence and learn a skill set to take anywhere.

So if you haven’t bought a box yet please help me to help others and email me on or go to

Yes you can buy it in Germany, U.S.A and most countries.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day.

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Friday, March 28, 2014

Organo Gold is GOLD

I’m so excited I feel like I have won Lotto (I haven’t), I solve a huge problem I had. You know that saying “Good things come to those that wait” It’s true It’s TRUE. Imagine me doing a happy dance Haha

I’ll start at the beginning.

I’ve been doing my BBQ’s now for about 4 ½ years were we give free food, toiletries and much more to Homeless and People in Need every 8 weeks helping between 400-1,000 at a time (Need Help). I still do them. The thing I kept thinking was that yes we were doing an awesome thing but I’m a firm believer in “Give a man a fish and he gets to eat for the day, but if you teach him how to fish then he eats everyday” So I thought of a awesome idea where I put coffee shops together and then using the charity I put together “Signal Flare” and it awesome volunteers help people with everything to get people on their feet like accommodation, hair cut, clothes and really a lot of things that people need, then through the coffee shops give them training to learn a skill that they can take anywhere. But best of all they would be paid above award wages.

So in fact we would have Homeless or People in Need getting on their feet in a huge way and then getting skills they can take anywhere. An awesome idea even if I say so myself. Haha

Now the next bit I write is not in any way meant to be harsh or mean. I’m not complaining or putting any one person down. Just explaining the way it was.

“Having a Go Coffee” was born and yes it had it’s up’s and down’s like any business. But the positives of what this project could do was just too good to not do it.

The problem, Helping people on their feet didn’t mean they were ready to work, some picked up the skills and working idea very well while others umm well not so quick even though they were on good money. For example we had an awesome guy working but anything more than swiping the floor in tasks we were in trouble. I know in time confidence would come and really that was the whole idea of this project. But to stay in operation I had to hire more people to keep get the duties done to still operate as a coffee shop during busy times while I had one or two cleaning and watching. Let’s face it you need someone that can make a coffee in a coffee shop which meant extra wages.

The first store was opened and then the second. Promoting here and elsewhere people loved the idea and people would come all the way from Ipswich (40km) and The Gold Coast (90km) which was awesome but the sad fact was people were not coming in everyday. They were once in a while and because of the distance I really do understand.  

There’s my problem, I had to employ extra staff to keep open while paying for people to get their confidence and then skills. Paying above award wages on too many staff sets business’s back. I wanted to keep the workers with no skills to help them to learn their new skills and stay on their feet. Otherwise there was no reason to have the shop in the first place.

As you can understand this was a huge problem and to make this worst I came up with the idea of having a shop which gives clothes to the Homeless and People in Need for free (Like a Thrift shop but it’s all free to those in need) 7 days a week. Having a Go Coffee would be at the front of the shop selling coffee and making money.

THE SOLUTION: A lady “Janette” came to me saying she had a great idea. Through her I meet an awesome guy “Adrian”. Now I to say the first time I meet Adrian was as a volunteer at our Ipswich Homeless BBQ we had not long ago. He’s very successful as a businessman but I remember that first day him saying “People can make money but if you don’t give back to the community then what’s the point”. We form an amazing friendship and in time brought to me a solution to my problem.

He introduced “Organo Gold”. This is going to help me to help so many more people I really do thing I’m as happy as if I have won Lotto. Okay here’s how it works.

Organo Gold is boxes/ satchels of coffee which our customers that come from local or far away can buy and get it delivered to their house. It means Having a Go Coffee can make money 24hrs and still be able to support the extra staff and helping people from the one location. I had a dream of opening 50 coffee shops and helping thousands of people to get a huge start in life. You see as these people I’ve helped move on the store is still there to help and employ the next person in a huge way.

Now I haven’t enough told you the best bits about Organo Gold. But if I put it in point form people will see different things they like and some maybe not. But point form is easier for me to do it.

·         Organo Gold have their own Fundraising plans, designed to help charities to raise profits

·         Organo Gold is healthy, I know drinking healthy coffee, who thought. But it’s got Ganoderma in it which was a herb that only the Chinese Royal family were allowed to use for centuries. Ganoderma has a nickname “King of herbs” and one thing I know is the Chinese know their herb’s.

·         Organo Gold has only been in Australia for about 12 months and is in 35+ countries around the world.

·         Organo Gold has in their structure to help give back to the community with it’s members helping charities and such, to be honest Organo Gold is sending 20 volunteers to our next Homeless BBQ at Ipswich, Queens park, 10am on the 27th of April.  

·         I ask about 100 people to try this coffee and only had 4 people say they don’t like it.

·         Comes in different styles

1.      Black Coffee

2.      Cafe Latte

3.      Cafe Mocha

4.      Green Tea

5.      And of course Hot Chocolate.

This is going to save Having a Go Coffee by offering a home delivery as a extra income. It’s now looking at a huge future were I feel nothing can stop it. So if you want to earn extra money doing coffee which nearly everyone drinks or just want to buy it for yourself then please contact me on 0412 190 011 or and let’s show the community coming together to help and please have a cup of coffee.

The reason I promoted Adrian so much is because he gave hundred’s of sample’s which he donated and paid for out of his pocket so I can invite people to try this coffee. If you want to try this coffee I’ll invite you to my place or I’ll come to you and you can invite others to come for a coffee and chat. Very social.

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

Grant Richards

Grant the Polite Guy

0412 190 011

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Let's help some people

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now but to tell you the truth it brought anger, a tear of relief and yes I even felt inspired in a way I can’t explain it.

Signal Flare which is the charity I helped to put together with awesome help from smart people has jumped through all the hoops and is now able to give Tax Deductable receipts. We also got all the papers done so we can collect as a charity in public with charity tins. AWESOME. A long time coming but worth it. Thank you Tom and Bernie the Polite Girl for helping me to get this far, I couldn’t have done this without you.

So if you have too much money and want to put it towards an awesome cause that helps people, please email me on grantthepoliteguy@gmail.comsame park. You see if you crawl under the stairs there’s heaps of room and because of the bushes no-one can see you and it’s a lot safer.

I used to lay there thinking of all the good things in life and maintaining the thought that I would get on my feet and ( I know how dumb this sounds but true) think about being a “man” again.

I have done so much getting on my feet and helping so many people along the way, that I must say I’m proud of myself and I am a MAN.

I could talk all night about how great I am but really what makes me so proud is talking about all the people that I’ve help get on their feet. I have seen people cry about how their living and just wanting that break or hand up in life. I have seen these people fight their own demons to want to get on their feet. There’s not a switch that they turn on and they start working a full time job and settle down with a wife and kids. It takes hard work and working out within themselves to go as fast as they feel they can.

I have seen some get on their feet fast, fail and get back up and yes seen some fail and quit trying, but really in life we can only ever ask that someone gives their best in life and support them when they are.

I really feel that yes people make mistakes in life but when we give up on them then why should they keep the faith in themselves. I say if someone’s willing to try then the least I can do is say “I will stand by you as long as you don’t quit”. Really sometimes all a person needs is a friend or friendly support.

If you see someone that is trying in life, is it really going to be hard to say “You can do it mate I believe in you”

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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

One Man's Dream

Often people see homeless folks on the streets but they don’t really see them. To people, privileged with a roof over their heads, the homeless are often regarded as faceless, the kind of people you see in a blur but who don’t really exist, who don’t really consist of flesh and blood, who are not worth a second look, eye contact or a friendly “hello”, but who are easy targets for abuse because chances that they will report the abuse to the police are slim. Yet those people are people. With feelings and needs, hopes and dreams. People just like anyone else, really, just without a home due to circumstances unknown by passers-by, but there are always circumstances that cause people to be without a roof over their heads. And amongst those people, as amongst any group of humans, there are true gems. The gems amongst the homeless, however, mostly go unnoticed or unrecognized. This blog post is about one such gem and what he accomplished.

Once upon a time a homeless man had a dream. He dreamed of helping other homeless people, and of helping anyone who was in need. He knew from experience what it was like to be seen in a blur, to not really exist for others, to be abused, to not have his needs heard. He started to make his dream reality by helping people, one by one. From the little money he earned as a Big Issue vendor he bought food for others on a one-on-one basis, and they had a talk. He heard many life stories, and when he heard people wanting to get ahead in life, he did what he could to help them achieve that. As a Big Issue vendor he had established many contacts of people of all backgrounds, and so contacts to help people with accommodation, other help or even employment were easily made. At first he did not have a mobile phone, so he spent another lot of his little income on pay phones making contacts for others.

One day a lady gave him clothes to give to someone who needed them. That afternoon someone was wearing the clothes, and with the thrill of seeing the recipient’s joy the idea for a BBQ for homeless people and others in need was born. He collected clothes, shoes, hygiene products and anything else homeless people might need, and help from the community was instant and huge. People donated in droves. Not only clothes, toiletries and what have you, but also money to be able to put food on the table at the BBQ. The BBQ was a great success. Around 400 homeless people turned up along with volunteers, and for everybody this was a heartfelt and wonderful event.

The huge success of this BBQ inspired this homeless man to organize more BBQs like this one, and from here it grew over the years. Five-star caterers came on board (thank you, Dalton Hospitality!), donations of goods kept coming in, homeless support services came to the BBQs to help those in need in different areas, not to mention the many beautiful volunteers that assist at every BBQ. The homeless people coming to the BBQs experience that there are people for whom they are not a blur, for whom they are people of flesh and blood, who do think they are worthy of a second look, a smile, eye contact, a friendly “hello” and a chat, and it does wonders for their self-worth. They start to smile, they stand up straighter and start to chat. They become more confident and are elated with the food, clothes and other basics they can take with them for free. The BBQs improve the health and wellbeing of the homeless and therewith also improve society as a whole. There is nothing but positives coming from these BBQs, where everything is free for everybody.

The man I am talking about has built a dedicated team around him that has helped him make his long-held dream of founding a charity reality, so that more people can be helped on a larger scale. After a long and arduous road Signal Flare is now a registered charity with the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission) and with the Office of Fair Trading, and is a Deductible Gift Recipient. This means Signal Flare can receive donations which are tax deductible. This is so important because at present Signal Flare does not receive government funding and relies solely upon memberships, donations and sponsorships.

If you would like any more information about Signal Flare or would like to support Signal Flare by becoming a financial member or by sponsorship, please contact me at If you would like to donate to Signal Flare, here are the bank details:

Bank of Queensland

BSB:       124-001

AC No:  22066259

Name:  Signal Flare Inc

If you are donating, please email Tom, our Treasurer, at with your contact details, the amount you are donating and the date of donation so he can send you a donation receipt.

If you would like to see more of what we are all about, if you want to meet our very lively online community, take part in our discussions and follow what we do, please feel free to check out and Like our Facebook site: 

The team is proud at the accomplishment of becoming a registered charity (final registration has only come through last month, yes, January!) and has great plans for growth for the charity and for the different kinds of assistance Signal Flare will be able to provide to the homeless and others in need. We are a true community charity as we rely on donations of goods as well as monetary donations and sponsorships from the community, and we are proud because we can truly say that through Signal Flare the community comes together to help the homeless and those in need.

The homeless man with a dream has come a very long way since his first homeless BBQ. From Big Issue vendor to founder of Signal Flare, Grant the Polite Guy has found his niche. He has come home in more ways than one. And I am so privileged to have witnessed the transformation. What this man does, he does from the heart. He does not see the point of doing something if it is not going to help someone else. They don’t come more genuine than Grant, and he is the soul of Signal Flare, our charity. Here’s to Grant, to Signal Flare and to its supporters!

Written by Bernie the Polite Girl

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year Start

The start of a New Year. I hope everyone had a great holidays and was safe.

I’m excited about the next 12 months coming because I have so many new plans coming into place. In a few weeks a new and exciting shop will open, trust me this one shop is going to help more people in one year then I have helped in the last 4 ½ years since I was homeless. But I’ll say more about this new idea of a shop when I launch it in a few weeks. You’ll be impressed. Haha

“Having a Go Coffee” which I setup as a business that operates as a coffee shop, but only employs people that we have helped who are homeless or people in need and also sell Suspended Coffee which means people can buy an additional coffee for the next homeless or person in need that walks into the shop. Some exciting news to add is that “Having a Go Coffee” will also be doing home delivery for coffee as well. It’ll be great.

In the next 12 months I’m putting 5 shops into place





Gold Coast

Remember all locations will be a collection place for people to donate clothes and things for the Homeless BQQ’s that we do which homeless and people in need get clothes, toiletries, blankets, kids toys and things free.

On a new topic, I don’t know if anyone will want to read it but I’m starting to write a book about from having everything in life and then an accident which turned to homelessness to Homeless BBQ’s for others to everything I do now. It’ll be awesome. Haha I think I’m doing it mostly for myself because in a way I get a great feeling about what I have done and all the obstacles I’ve overcome. But the most important is I get to write about the awesome friendships I’ve made along the way.

I may never finish it of course but I’d like to think one day it’ll be done.

We are planning our next BBQ for February in Ipswich. I’ll be giving more details as I know more.

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