First Speak Out Lambeth Mission flyer (The birth of Groundswell)

Groundswell Timeline / 1992

Speak Outs originated in 1992 when Mike Connelly (aka James Nelson), following a trip to the States, had an idea for a rather ambitious international conference involving people from the UK and the USA, which he wanted to run at The Lambeth Mission on 31st October 1992.

Mike advocated strongly to CHAR, who agreed to have a “conference” for single homeless people in London on the same date and same venue. They also got Cardboard Citizens involved and decided to call it a “Speak Out”. This was then followed by a second Speak Out in March 1993 at McNaughton House, after which Speak Outs took on a life of their own.

“Mike got someone to produce a leaflet for his proposed conference and spoke of nothing else to us! It didn’t quite turn out as he’d envisaged, but thanks to his enthusiasm and commitment we ended up with the Speak Out format, which proved a great success.”
Jon Fitzmaurice, CEO of CHAR at the time.