I was attending a business event in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago, and as I was rushing back to New Street station to catch my train, I realised I’d lost my way and asked for directions.

I was advised to walk through the underpass, and on my right was a large double bed against a support column.

A group of homeless people stood around at the foot of the bed, making preparations for the evening.

I walked briskly and earnestly, uncertain of the directions and did not want to miss my train back to London. But the image stuck in my mind as it was cold that evening.

It snowed a week later. As I looked out of my window the following morning after the heavy snow, my mind cast back to that group under the bridge, and I wondered how they’d managed during those cold and wet evenings.

This year for many reasons, it will not be a happy Christmas for some and for others like myself, we will continue as before.

If you’re in the warmth and surrounded by friends and family, I’d like to encourage you to spare a thought for the unfortunate few.

For those who cannot or will not visit families for a myriad of reasons, let’s take a moment to be thankful for what we have and recognise that things could be a lot worse.

I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year.