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HomeNewsFrom Wealth to Homeless: Man seeks help outside Northwood supermarket

From Wealth to Homeless: Man seeks help outside Northwood supermarket

On one hot, sunny June afternoon, Dominic spends his time outside Northwood’s Waitrose asking people for money to get him a bed for the night. It is eight months since he has had a bed of his own in Moor Park, an affluent area of Hertfordshire near the London border.

The son of a stockbroker, his story has seen him going from growing up in a £4 million house in one of London’s most prosperous suburbs to sleeping on the streets. The change has caused him to see a different side of life to the one he grew up with, however in the predominantly Tory area of North West London, Dominic says his views on politics remain unchanged.

“I got to vote Conservative because basically that’s how my family have always voted. I basically vote for who my dad votes for, because that’s what I do, stick to one party and that’s it,” he said.

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Indeed his opinions match pollsters’ predictions for the area which is part of the Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner constituency. Election forecasters Parallel Parliament gives the Conservatives a 54.6 per cent chance of retaining the seat in July.

While neighbouring consistency Uxbridge and South Ruislip, former PM Boris Johnson’s old seat, teeters on the edge of flipping to Labour, the Tories’ healthy majority to the north might just save them in Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner – despite Keir Starmer’s party targeting it.

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When asked if he thought Labour had a chance in the constituency Dominic said he didn’t think so adding: “This [area] is probably 70-80 per cent Conservative. Northwood and Moor Park, where I grew up, are more affluent areas so they are definitely more conservative.”

Despite his conservative leanings, Dominic says he isn’t worried by a Keir Starmer government but says he thinks Rishi Sunak has been treated a little unfairly by the public. “I think he’s quite a character. People have such mixed feelings about Rishi Sunak but I think he’s good,” he said.

“People say he doesn’t stick to what he says but I think he’s obviously an extremely intelligent and wealthy man and he’s certainly got people talking.”

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Dominic’s family life exposed him to not just sympathy for conservative politicians but to the politicians themselves. He said: “I’ve met David Cameron twice in Cornwall actually. My dad’s got a holiday house down in Cornwall as well, right by the sea. David Cameron and Gordon Ramsay are actually our neighbours. He’s a nice bloke, quite tall.”

Despite his shift in fortunes, Dominic says his family’s ties to the conservatives will see him mark his ballot for incumbent David Simmonds – however, he says his experiences on the street have changed his perspective on life.

He said: “Eight months is a long time [to be homeless], especially over winter, one time I woke up freezing with only a cardboard box over me. I was so cold. I tell you waking up shaking – there is something really macabre about that.

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“There are things you miss; light switches, duvet, heating, carpets, just a bed – when it’s all taken away. When you have all the home comforts taken away it’s quite scary.”

Dominic has also seen some shocking things in his months on the street including someone being fatally stabbed by a drug dealer over a fiver. “After he did it he looked at me and you know when you lose your stomach, that feeling, he looked at me and I thought ‘I’m gonna die’,” he said.

Although he managed to escape, Dominic says the horrific experience was eye-opening. He added: “I’ve lived and breathed it, from complete riches to complete rags.”

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