A homeless man approached my friend and I. We were sat outside a cafe enjoying coffee and catching up over orange polenta cake in the autumn sunshine. My friend asked him how long he had been sleeping rough and how he came to be in this position.

What followed was a heartbreaking story of relationship breakdown and a speedy spiral to a life on the street twelve weeks ago. He said all he did was cry for the first few days.

Homelessness can be defined in different ways. There are those that are rough-sleeping on the street and those that are sofa surfing at friends and relatives. But, however it is described, everything that I have read recently suggests that it is on the rise.

My own perception from walking around Cardiff and indeed a recent visit to London, suggests evidence in support.

A while ago in Swansea, a homeless man approached my son and simply smiled at him and said very softly, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are’. That night, my son got upset and asked me where that man would be sleeping. I replied that hopefully he would find somewhere safe but it was a meagre answer to a massive question. A bigger question followed, when my son asked why a country as wealthy as the UK has so many homeless people. Trying to explain that to a nine year old is tough.

My friend told the man about ‘Bigmoose Coffee Co’, a coffee shop in Cardiff that was initially set up, according to their website, after spending time taking tea and coffee to homeless people over a two year period. They talk about serving great food and drink whilst ploughing profits back in to supporting vulnerable people.

My friend had been there and said what a great ethos the place had and encouraged the man to see if he could access some advice or support there. It sounds an amazing place with phenomenal values.

The man in Cardiff made me realise that we are all vulnerable, to rotten luck or bad decisions. None of us can take anything for granted, because without that crystal ball telling us all is peachy on the road ahead, none of us know how our path of life will progress and where we will end up sleeping along the way.

I talk a lot in this column about cherishing and helping one another and ourselves. That was always part of the initial remit.

The purpose was to explore all aspects of Penarth and the surrounding area and look at life as I see it. It isn’t intended to be particularly provocative or political and I think it is neither of these to say, we can all do our bit in whatever way we can to help and be kind to someone, partly because it’s the decent thing to do and partly because none of us know when we might need to be on the receiving end of such support.