Hi, I’m Sezer Sherif.
First and foremost, a huge thank you for taking the time to visit and share in this experience and cause. Your support and time will without doubt make a huge difference to those i hope to bring into the light.
Homelessness has always been a sensitive and personal issue to my heart and for many years I’ve attempted, in my own way to do my part in making a change for the better.
Some of you will know me as a friend or loved one, most of you will not know me at all. Hopefully after this we will all share a connection for the better. What almost all of you will not know is the story of my past and why I of all people have chosen to put myself through 5 days and 5 nights in one of the most frightening and isolated situations possible.
In my opinion people live three lives: Their public life, their private life, their secret life!
On a positive note, I’ve been fortunate in life to have a strong support network (my dearest mum and brother who mean everything to me) and an abundance of self-belief and drive!
It helped in my ability at a tender age, to fight my way into the financial markets in the City of London. After a lot of good old-fashioned hard work, I later became a very successful and notable entrepreneur, building and selling international businesses turning over 100’s of millions pounds, that they and I won a number of highly coveted awards for. I would rub shoulders with billionaires, A-list celebrities, pop stars and sporting heroes’. I was able to live a fairytale lifestyle most people dream of. – That was my public life!
What almost all didn’t know was behind all of that what it took to get there and the struggles, pressures and soul-destroying worries I faced daily.
In my personal life I have experienced homelessness twice…
At a young age, living in hostels and B&B’s in poor living conditions, isolated, hungry and frightened – not knowing from one day to the next where you will be, where your next meal is coming from or when a permanent home is coming.
In my working life, my failures have been as colossal as my successes! To say my decisions have taken me minutes away from bankruptcy on more than one occasion is an understatement. – This is no doubt a common theme amongst most entrepreneurs.
I’ve found myself, like most in similar situations feeling completely lost and alone, constantly questioning myself, backed into a corner seeing no way out. There were times i felt completely broken – but fought may way out.
I am a big believer that its in our darkest moments and toughest obstacles that character is either broken or built. And that a person’s character should be defined not by their words, but their actions. A legacy should be built not on all we have accumulated, but instead on all we have left behind.
Since 2002 I have given much time and effort to helping those ignored, those struggling and those lost.
I have participated in no less than a dozen charity boxing events raising in excess of £50,000. I have sponsored and mentored youth football teams supporting under privileged children in the hope to give them safety, self-belief, discipline and focus.
For the last six years I have volunteered my Christmas period to help homeless charities run their shelters and give a safe and welcoming place with help for those people that spend most of the year ignored and lost. I continue to work with Crisis, teaching boxing once a week to homeless men and women.
More recently I took part in a sponsored sleep-out for one night on the streets of London… This brought home all the memories, fears and realities that come with being homeless. All of this was until now my secret life!
It is important, I believe, to open as many peoples eyes to the silent struggles others go through, in the hope that the strong will help those that are struggling and have no voice. This is the way i see best to start how we make that change.
Thank you again, together lets make a change.
Love Sezer x