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Our CEO pens letter in Worcester News reflecting on the last 7 years since Cardon died

Dear Editor

I write this as someone who knew Cardon Banfield personally, and then campaigned tirelessly to get answers when he was found seven years today (July 5, 2016).

Cardon Gideon Banfield was 74 when he was found in a tent partially mummified by the Worcestershire Cricket Ground on New Road.

When Worcester News broke the news of his death in October 2016, I still vividly remember where I was and how I felt when it broke - I was at my flat in Shrub Hill and I sat on the sofa in the kitchen frantically Tweeting my shock, disgust and sadness.

The impact was felt both personally and as a campaigner.

It was to be the start of a campaign to get Justice for Cardon which took it’s way across the pond to the Caribbean where his family found out what had happened a few months later.

Ever since then, his death has sent ripple effects across Worcestershire and the UK. Since 2016, Cardon’s name has frequently been named in the printed press, TV, radio and published books.

And whilst the tragedy is still as sad as it was the day he was found, it has never deterred the need to get answers and solutions to stop something like this happening again.

I am extremely pleased to say Worcester City Council, Worcester Diocese, St Paul’s Hostel, Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board, Worcestershire County Council and other organisations have since worked really hard to try and prevent rough sleeper deaths and self-neglect across the county - and I pay deep tribute to all of them.

Death is always hard, but it’s important to know how to try and prevent it - and where it can’t be stopped, to make sure everything is done to try and prevent it.

The Cardon Banfield Foundation, launched as a charity on the July 5 2020, is working with partners in Worcestershire to make ‘partnership working’ not just a buzzword but instead a means of effective action.

In the name of Cardon, we want Worcestershire to become the gold standard that we can promote to other councils and the homelessness sector in general.

We believe that Worcestershire’s positive work can be a positive influence in every corner of the UK.

Whilst you may have disagreed with my tactics and protests over the last few years, it’s important to not lose sight of why us campaigners did what we did - and that’s to stop another rough sleeper death happening ever again.

Us as a collective have all learned - and are continuing to learn - from Cardon, Remi Boczarski, and Joby Sparrey’s deaths: We must do better, by working together.

Today I encourage you to take a minute to reflect on losing Cardon Banfield to the heartbreaking circumstances he went through, and how we can all do better at responding to homelessness.

Cardon, you will never be forgotten.

Hugo Sugg Chief executive, Cardon Banfield Foundation

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