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The Radio 4 Christmas Appeal begins on Sunday

Editor's note: this blog post begins with a slideshow made by homeless photographer Jamie Winter, a member of a photography group run by The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields - SB

I once edited a Radio 4 debate about homelessness... We based it in the heart of London near Shaftesbury Avenue. The platform was filled with good people who worked hard and we drew out policy differences and approaches in the way we do at the BBC. A little way into the discussion the hall began to fill up with homeless people. Soon it was packed and the debate took a different turn as we responded to the voices of those who lived on the streets.

The atmosphere sharpened and simmered. A young woman, dark, with long hair, spoke up. I recall she said something like this: "If we took all you do-gooders and put your salaries together and split them up we could buy a flat for all of us homeless... why don't you just stop talking for once and think about that." I often think of her when it's cold - good time now perhaps to stop talking and support the Radio 4 Christmas Appeal.

Gwyneth Williams is Controller of BBC Radio 4 and Radio 7

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