An Extraordinary Evening with Stevie Kidd
March 23rd 2021,
An Extraordinary Evening with Stevie Kidd On the streets of Brighton - He took this town by Storm so much so - New York were inspired!
An Evening With Stevie Kidd in Brighton; Stevie Kidd never, ever stops. He just rolls on and on.
Matthew Wingett describes meeting up for an evening meal with Stevie Kidd - and discovering he'd nearly bitten off more than he could chew...
It's a storm-lashed winter afternoon when I meet Stevie in the foyer of the Hilton Hotel that faces the seafront at Brighton. Across the road, wild waves are pounding the shore. Here, in the hotel's warm comfort, I am struck, just as I was the last time I met him, by Stevie's big physical presence and by the driving energy inside him. It's not only the amount of energy he manifests, but also the quality of it. As soon, as I sit with him and he begins to talk, I am reminded of how his mind never stops. He keeps on and on, generating new ideas and new thoughts that amuse, amaze, challenge and entertain.
His conversation ranges wide as he talks about business and his other interests, but it soon becomes obvious when he is talking about his deepest passion of all: his passion for people. Stevie is fascinated by them. He has an eye for detail about them wherever he goes, and an agenda, too. Why? Because he always believes that most people can do better in their lives, and to that end, he will do whatever it takes to get what he calls a "shift" in them: to get them to see their lives in new ways. He uses a variety of approaches to do this, employing his own instinct and blending it with the skills he has learned from the worlds of life-coaching and from NLP. This last, Neuro- Linguistic Programming, is an attitude and set of techniques devised by life- style guru and coach to the stars, Dr Richard Bandler, one of Stevie's role models. It is specifically designed to bring about change in oneself and others.
Though Stevie always interacts with people while coming from a good place, it doesn't necessarily mean he always appears to be kind; he can be deliberately challenging and deliberately hard. Some of the "shifts" he makes are startling. I have read about them on his website, and met people who have been genuinely changed by him. What I have never seen before first-hand is how his day-to-day interactions with people also come from this same place: of wanting people to do more with their lives, and of challenging them to do better.Sitting opposite him and taking a drink in the hotel bar, I notice he is in a more assertive mood than on the previous days we have met. This week, at a training course run by Dr Bandler, Stevie has been involved in exploring different states of minds and emotions to get more from himself and from others. He describes how Dr Bandler taught him to build new emotional resources inside himself and others, and to remain focused on the outcomes he wants. Then he goes on to talk more about some of the shifts he has made in those around him.
Every single night for the last week, Stevie tells me, when the day's seminar has finished, he has stepped out on to the cold winter streets of Brighton to find the homeless, and to offer them help where he can. He isn't crudely sentimental about this work. He grades the homeless he works with on a scale of 1 to 5, from those who are just normal people who, due to bad luck, don't have a home, through to those who are extremely hard work: the hardened alcoholics and drug addicts.
In the last week, he has made connections with several homeless and has been buying them food and chatting with them, especially about the dreams these people have and what they did before they become homeless. It's interesting to note that because of the way he is - with his unstoppable enthusiasm and his inherent and undeniable moral force of personality - others who were on the course with him have also been inspired to come out with him to help, too. In fact, one of the women on his course, a New York businesswoman, Kalliope Barliss, was so impressed by what he was doing that she decided to set up a centre in New York to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving Day.
He tells me of this latest development with genuine pride, and an unflinching belief that one by one he will encourage people to find the goodness and strength inside themselves so that those who are in positions to help will act, too - as well as making changes in the underprivileged, too.
Before I entered the world of Personal Development, "Changework" was a strange concept to me. I basically thought that people had a set of beliefs and behaviours they are born with and that stay with them all their lives. No amount of counselling or guidance would really change the fundamental tendencies of a particular human being. But in the world of Personal Development, I have been astounded to see and to experience, time and again, genuine, lifelong changes occurring. People finding their feet again after being knocked flat by a divorce, the depressed finding the sunlight in their lives, the hopeless finding hope... and not because they necessarily took on a creed or an idea - but simply that they recognised that the way of thinking that got them into that difficulty was just that: a way of thinking that can be altered to something more useful.
Stevie exudes his belief in benign change from every pore. I watch him ordering a drink, taking the time to connect with our barman, Wilf - finding out what he has to say about himself and his life. He assesses and evaluates every human being that comes before him. What are the habits of mind of that person? What is his life made of? What are the emotions and feelings running in his body? Watching Stevie closely, you can see him doing this at lightning speed. He never stops. And once the assessment is made, very often, he will begin to open their minds to new possibilities and new lives. In three minutes flat, very often a stranger is hooked on what Stevie can do for them - and how they can change.
For example, he tells me of going to buy a bracelet from a local jewellery store the day before. Stevie is strong on buying keepsakes that remind him of his different big events in the different stages of his life. For him, one of the big shifts in his own life came when he went on his first training course with Dr Richard Bandler. To mark it, he bought a watch that reminds him of the powerful changes that went on in himself at the time. To remind himself of the current course, he has bought himself a bracelet. In future, when he looks at it, he tells me, it will bring back to his mind the time he spent in Brighton. When he holds the bracelet and the watch next to each other so they touch, he explains, that close proximity will fire off a double set of remembrances, and accompanying those remembrances will also come powerful emotions.
While he was at the jewellery shop, he noticed that the woman in the shop was intrigued by the importance he attached to the bracelet. And so he saw his opportunity to expand her thinking.
"You know why I am buying this?" he asked her. "It's a keepsake to remind me of this time. It has a powerful effect on me. I'm not kidding you. Feel my heart."
This is the direct approach Stevie so often takes - and the thing that is fascinating about it is that because of the strength of his personality, people go along with it. He told me how the woman in the jeweller's put her hand on his chest to feel his heart pounding inside, and was really taken aback.
"Now tell me," he continued - "What makes you feel like that? What gives you a feeling of really strong satisfaction and excitement in your life?"
The woman replied: "Well, I suppose, selling jewellery to people. Seeing them happy and leaving with something they really want..."
"And is that it?" Stevie challenged her. "They go out the door and that's the end of that good feeling?"
The woman replied with a shrug: "Well, yes, I suppose."
"Wouldn't it be good to get the feeling come back? That sense of satisfaction and pleasure that you can repeat to yourself over and again - to feed on and enjoy?"
"Well, yes - but - I mean - how would I do that?"
"Suppose that the people who bought this jewellery from you - supposing they sent you a card showing them enjoying what you have sold them. Maybe it's a wedding ring and they send you a picture of them together, smiling and happy. How would that be?"
"Well it would be great!"
"Okay, so here's what I'm going to do. When I get home I'm going to send you a photograph of me with this bracelet. Thanking you. And when you get it, I want you to ask yourself: Am I more than I am living? Because how great would it be, instead of working in a shop for someone else, and just getting by from day to day, to own a jeweller's shop of your own, and to have people send these photos in by the dozen, that you can have up all around you? That way you can get that great feeling of job satisfaction every day!"
Telling me about this exchange as we sit in the Hilton bar, Stevie relives the moment of seeing the change starting to come over her. His eyes shining, he tells me how she began to consider new opportunities and new possibilities. As he finishes relating the story, he tells me: "I planted an idea. Who knows what will come of it?"
This is so typical of the man. He challenges people's current conceptions of the world all the time, encouraging them to think in bigger, better and more life-enhancing ways.
If alchemy is the transforming of base materials into gold, then Stevie Kidd is an alchemist of the mind. He is all about change, movement and transformation. But don't think that that is only about change in other people. It is also true of himself. He won't let himself rest being as good as he is for long - he is always looking for improvement. That's why he booked himself on this course, and that's why the strap-line of one of his businesses is: "Achieving the grade above excellence."
This philosophy of never-ending improvement comes out in the next topic that he broaches as some more of his friends turn up in the bar. He pulls out his computer, to show us a short film he has had made. The film carefully inter-splices footage of the build-up to a Michael Buble concert with shots of himself preparing to go out on stage. First, we have the sight of an excited crowd queuing and holding their tickets excitedly outside of Madison Square Gardens and the general hubbub and buzz before a gig. Then we have the shot of Stevie preparing himself to go on stage: putting on a black jacket and white tie. Then we see more of the buzz of the crowd. Afterwards, there is a quiet moment of reflection as Stevie thinks to himself before heading towards the stage. Then, cleverly cut, Stevie walks on stage to the sound of huge cheers from thousands.
Here the film ends. It is neatly done, and I realise it is a perfect example of how he creates and deals with his own aspirations. In others, it could be thought of as a cute whimsy. But for Stevie, this is part of the manifestation process he has set up in himself to make his wishes come true. He is preparing his mind to go in a certain direction; setting that goal and making it so real by visualising and imagining it that it becomes undeniable. In Stevie's hands, it is so much more than a pipe dream. It is a statement of undeniable fact that just happens not to have happened, yet.
If I were to say anything about the way that Stevie sets his goals, it is this: amazing things happen in his life because he believes they will happen. He homes in on the things he wants like a laser-guided missile.
There is also something else that helps him realise those goals. He tells me about the way he is continuously assessing the interactions he has with people to find out the purpose of the connection.
"As far as I'm concerned, I always meet someone for a reason," he says. "Part of what I'm about is working out what that reason is."So, he goes on to tell me about the chance meeting he had with Jo Capello, a woman professional golfer, and how at the same time he was approached by a golfer wanting mentoring so that he could go professional. Immediately for Stevie, there was a connection to be explored. Coincidences don't just happen, they are opportunities to be seized, investigated and optimised.
Just so with the connections he has made on the course. A Canadian, Aslan, has great ideas for business connections in Canada... True to form, Stevie will be visiting him later in the year to follow up his ideas for freeing people from unemployment in Canada. With our cordial group of friends assembled, we are ready to go out in to the cold Brighton night. We step out of the revolving door into a gale that is howling in the black air. A cold wind is scything in off the sea, the waves spraying up on to the beach and roaring out from the blackness, accompanied by a crash of thundering wave-break, and the raking roll of shingle.
We walk along the seafront a while, a disparate group of business people and NLP aficionados. Stevie is animated, and genuinely excited for us to meet someone he has been talking about for much of the evening thus far.We walk East along the front, past the Grand Hotel and a little further, to an area where there is a concrete awning suspended over the pavement. A figure lies huddled on the floor here, near a concrete pillar. He is a hunkered down and shivering and a can of beer stands on the floor by his side.
He has been talking about him a lot to get the locals aware of his plight, so that they will take notice of him. A few minutes before, as we had left the hotel bar, Stevie had given us his back story: "A few years ago his wife died. He went to pot. Her ashes were spread on the water near here, and he just stays by the front for as long as he can, so that he can be close to where her ashes went into the sea." Now Stevie bends down and starts to talk with him, and a slightly disoriented figure emerges from the sleeping bag - dishevelled, and with a drinker's unfocussed smile. He is pleased to see Stevie.
Stevie is kneeling, now, on the pavement beside him in his smart clothes. He then sits beside him a while, all smiles and warmth with Charlie, showing genuine tenderness to one who seems frail and broken.
I suddenly get the sense of the genuine care in the man, like a light shining out of him. In the past I have seen him weep over the sad stories he has told me of people he has helped - the intensity in his brain and body turning over like a high- powered machine and spilling out into tears of compassion.
Now, with Charlie, he laughs alongside him as if he is a long lost brother. He introduces him to the rest of us, and the homeless man smiles uncertainly, a little bashful, but pleased to see us. I shake his hand. The touch is as cold as stone and I suspect he is in the first stages of hypothermia.
Seeing that he's in good company, and getting a sense, too, of the state that Charlie is in, Stevie asks us to keep chatting with Charlie a while. Suddenly, without explanation, he bounds off through the blustery night towards the hotel, explaining that he has forgotten something.
I kneel next to the homeless figure and ask him: Where does he sleep? What does he do in the day? Is he always here? He tells me that some nights when it's cold, he doesn't really sleep at all, waiting for the warmth of the day to melt away some of the ice in his bones, and then hunkering down in the comparative warmth of a car park. He is not really with it tonight, he tells me, because he didn't sleep last night due to the rain and the cold.
As for his former life, he tells me about how he used to work as a window fitter with his dad. But then his dad retired, and for whatever reason, he couldn't hold it together. Then his wife died of cancer, and he just lost it. I get the sense from Charlie that he was always on the edge, always a little lost, without the strong will and sense for survival that Stevie has in such huge amounts. After all, I know that from chats we've had Stevie, too, has been knocked down in the past. He has experienced the horrible deaths of people close to him that amounted to deep personal tragedies, and business disasters. He has weathered it all. Indeed, , but immediately dusted himself off and started again. Not everybody has that strength in them, and Stevie recognises their helplessness.
Stevie comes back now, striding purposefully through the night, bent against the wind, with shopping bags that he had left in the hotel. A brand new waterproof sleeping bag emerges from one shopping bag - a heavy-duty all- season quilted envelope of warmth, which he shows to Charlie with soft kindness in his eyes. Then he gets out a hooded top, and insists that Charlie stands up and gets out of his old top and into this clean one, which will be warmer and clean.
As he does this, Stevie is all smiles and laughter - and the strength of his character has Charlie responding in the same way. "Stevie is a top man," he says to me. "He's ace."
Now Stevie helps Charlie tip out the contents of his old sleeping bag. Charlie looks embarrassed, suddenly. In the bottom of the sleeping bag are his worldly possessions: a few tins of beer and half a loaf of bread. Stevie gives him the new sleeping bag, and also a poncho to keep the rain off - trying it on himself to show him how effective it is. The final touches are some toothpaste and some deodorant - along with shampoos and soaps that he has brought along from the hotel bathroom.
As he does this, another man who was on the training course comes by - Aslan, the Canadian whom Stevie intends to visit. Aslan stops to watch this peculiar group, gathered around Charlie in the buffeting wind. He watches open-mouthed as Stevie gives Charlie his gifts, and is obviously touched by what is going on.
Meanwhile, Stevie sits again and talks with him for a while, wishing him the best, and geeing up this lost soul with strong positive inputs, dropping ideas into his mind all the while - pushing to make a shift in emotional state - to give him a moment of realisation and strength that maybe, maybe he can build on.
Stevie is passionate about the homeless. Earlier that evening, he told me that he had been so taken by the amount of homeless in Brighton that at the start of the week he had got his PA, Lorraine, to send out letters to 63 Brighton councillors appraising them of the homeless situation and inviting them to meet him and discuss it. To his disappointment, he tells me, he didn't get even one response. Not even a letter referring him to homeless charities in the area. In Stevie's eyes, such apathy is shocking. But, Stevie being Stevie, he remains undaunted, continuing along his own path of spreading the care he knows they deserve.
After a while, we take our leave of Charlie and head to a restaurant for a bite to eat. We sit and talk together, and soon the banter and chatter of dinner conversation builds up in the group.
Except that this is no normal dinner. Stevie can't resist taking centre stage at the meal, questioning some of his fellow diners, pushing others, prodding and provoking, challenging and telling stories illustrative of his approach to the world and to people.
And so the evening goes on, with the group happily talking together, and with Stevie's eye over everyone, watching closely, assessing the interactions - obviously aware of what is going on around the table. At times, he responds by picking up on tiny pieces of body language and reading it very closely. But he is not confrontational or scarily analytical with this. What he does is guide and observe. It is a fascinating process to watch. At the end of the evening we are ready to leave. There have been many fascinating interactions at that table and everyone is buoyed up by the night.We head out and people make their ways to their hotels, each peeling off into the windy night. But not Stevie and I. It's about 1 a.m. and I'm intrigued by what he will do next. He heads along the front, going back to make sure that Charlie is still okay, and then heading to a bar."I need a little bit of me time to wind down," he tells me. "I have been out with the homeless for the whole of the last week at this time of night. Just for tonight I need a little bit of time to reflect on what I'm doing."So we end up in a bar in the centre of Brighton, watching the drunken interactions of the young and the worse-for-wear. At one moment, we fall into conversation with three teenage girls - Stevie chatting with one of them, myself with another - while the third floats a little between the two conversations.
Suddenly the group has gone and Stevie turns to me.
"Did you see what happened there?" he says, intensely. To be honest, I hadn't. I was just chatting away in a carefree way for a moment, and had switched off my analytical brain.
"The little one, she didn't know what to do. She saw you chatting with one friend, and me with the other. I tried to include her in our conversation, but she just demanded that they go and dance. It was funny to see her unable to cope with her friends chatting away. And it's because she has no idea what she wants to do with her life. That's what we were talking about - the future and how good you can make it. That little one, she couldn't face it. But the one I was talking to, she had plans. It was good to hear."
I know it seems obvious in hindsight, but I hadn't picked up the nuances of the interaction at all. After all, it's late - about 2 a.m. now, and to be frank, my eyelids are drooping.
But for Stevie, the changework chatter goes on. After coming out of the toilets in the bar, Stevie comes to me and says somewhat cryptically: "Tell the black guy in there that he should have let me take his picture."
Now this is one of the weirdest ones that Stevie has asked me to do yet. What on earth is he talking about?
Duly, I go in and get talking to Patrick, an African guy who is working in the toilet there as an attendant, giving people soap, spraying them with aftershave, giving them a towel, and so on. I ask Patrick what happened."So, this guy comes in and he offers me £10 if I will give him all the best lotions and aftershaves - but only if I will have my photo taken with him... I refused.""Why did you refuse?"
Patrick tells me that he refused because of his pride. He doesn't want his face going up on Facebook or on a blog somewhere. He doesn't want it known that this is what he does.
I go back out to Stevie and tell him what Patrick told me.
"Oh, really?" he says with a knowing smile. "Well, that's a good thing. And that's what I was after. We were talking about all the things he could do, and I wanted him to reflect on what he's doing here - so I thought, getting a photo of him - that would do the job... I want him to be proud, and I want him to start thinking of ways of getting out of this. That's what I left him with - because he's better than this - I know that and so does he."This really is at the heart of Stevie. It's the engine that fires him. Whether you agree or disagree with the way he does it, the fact is that he so often gets results. People really do change the way that they think about themselves and their lives under his intense exchanges with them - and they think about how much better they could be and how to become that better person.
It's the same with the work he does with the unemployed in his academies. It's interesting to notice how he believes so much in the work he does with people that he employs many of his own graduates in his distribution company - ensuring that people who were once demotivated and lost are happy and fulfilled. It is as if Stevie has "Self Improvement" stamped through him like a stick of Brighton rock.
We finish our beers and go for a walk. Stevie still has a restlessness on him, and I get the sense he is looking for something. That is what really strikes me now, as I watch this relentless figure stride out into the blustery night."There's someone else I've seen..." he tells me, determinedly. "I want to check him out..."
We stop in at a newsagent to buy a bottle of Lucozade. It's about 3 a.m. now, and the shopkeeper, an Egyptian, is a little lost by Stevie's strong Glaswegian accent. I have a quick chat with him in Arabic - just a few words I picked up while working for the British Council in Egypt - and he relaxes into a chat with both of us. He is surprised when Stevie starts telling him about how he helps people. The Egyptian's view is that there is no such thing as society any more, and he is fascinated by Stevie's counter-example.
As we leave the shop, Stevie tells me: “I'll be back to work on him.”
And so we find ourselves walking on the promenade above the beach and stop to look down at it. There are nightclubs down there, thronging with life in a melee around the club doors. "Every night this week I have walked the entire length of the seafront, checking in with the homeless, making sure they're okay," he tells me. "There's one that I've seen here, but I've never managed to get into chat with him. He's gone every time I get near." He nods down at the shingle, and the churning black waves. "Down there, I have walked back along the beach every night, checking in the boats. Sometimes the homeless sleep in them or under them, just to get away from being the cold and the rain, and from being disturbed."Suddenly, Stevie makes a beeline straight for an old iron and wood Victorian wind shelter on the promenade. "This is him," he says as an aside before we get there. Inside, we see a dark figure huddled on a bench. A man with beard and glasses, and unkempt hair, ignored by the nightclubbing girls who strut by on slender legs and stilettos, or their boyfriends with their trousers trendily looking like they're about to fall down.
Stevie sits with him and strikes up a conversation, asking him if he's okay, and whether there's anything he can do - checking in with him, checking he's okay. The tramp, whose name is Alan, seems a little confused by the approach, at first - but then goes with Stevie's chatter. Stevie is calm and respectful, checking his state, assessing whether he's a real "down and outer" or on the edge of a precipice and able to be pulled back. Alan tells us he used to be a postman, and then he lost his way. He has not long been homeless, and there is an awareness and alertness in his eyes that according to Stevie's grading system makes him a "Grade 1" - someone who could quite easily be retrieved. But Stevie isn't going to have time to work with him tonight, and he promises to come back tomorrow and buy him a sausage supper from the chip shop across the road. He gives him the bottle of Lucozade and the cigarettes, and shakes his hand.
Now we wander down on to the front, all the time Stevie eyeing the crowds of young people, seeing if one of them strikes a chord with him - just immersing himself in the press of humanity - as if to be among them is enough for him to feel some sense of mission. "I'm always like this when I'm away from home, and away from the family," he tells me. "When my wife isn't with me, I don't sleep so much. I suppose it sort of pushes me out to just talk with people - the lost, and the homeless. People I can be kind to. It's like a compensation for not having my family with me..."
As we walk along the front we hear a loud shout. It's Wilf, the barman from the beginning of the evening, yelling "Stevie!" He walks over and is keen to to introduce his girlfriend to Stevie. It is quite striking: Stevie had only had a three minute chat with Wilf earlier that evening, but it's as if they are lifelong friends.
After we say goodbye to Wilf, we walk on a while longer, and eventually find ourselves moving through The Lanes. The night is getting older now and the bars are all shutting. Even the late-nighters are empty and we see a tired barmaid sagged over the bar inside, taking a quiet moment to replenish herself. In the alternately picturesque, narrow, old and grimy streets of Brighton, the people have started to thin out. A few tired party-goers stumble home, and the streets fold themselves into shadow and blackness, where occasionally a drunk girl sits eating chips, or a bouncer stands at a door, looking aggressive. At the latter, Stevie casts a disapproving eye: "Look at that attitude. Look at that aggressive stance. I used to be a doorman, and I would never, ever have behaved like that," he says. "You don't have to act tough to be tough. You act like that and you will get in trouble. I was the happiest doorman around, and that's why we didn't get so many problems where I worked, right in the heart of Glasgow.”
Finally, the streets run out of people and Stevie calls it a night. We jump in a taxi, and start back towards the Hilton. But Stevie hasn't stopped yet. He talks with the taxi driver, asking questions about his life, and in short time the man is telling Stevie how much he hates his job. He reveals how he used to be the manager of a supermarket, but he had one major event that caused him to leave his job. The supermarket expected him to work all the time, every day. When his wife went in to hospital to have their first child, even then the employers wouldn't give him the day off. "It was a straight decision," the man, called Andy, says. "Either I carry on working for them, or I go to my wife. I went to my wife - and I lost the job. Now I am doing this."
Stevie immediately takes an interest. "I'll write to you, I bet you can find better work than this. Give me your email address and I will take a personal interest in your story. Because we all know that you can do better than this." As we go along the seafront back to the hotel, we pass the place where Charlie is sitting in his new sleeping bag. On a whim, Stevie asks the taxi driver to stop for a moment. He gets out to talk with Charlie, while I sit in the car explaining to Andy that this guy is the real deal. He cares.
We watch as Stevie sits down beside Charlie and they pass the time of day like two friends sitting on a five bar gate in the country. I can see that Andy is intrigued, and I give him a little more info about Stevie - who he is, what he does. And then Stevie comes back, and Andy gives him his email address. Stevie doesn't hang around. He prepares an email to him in the taxi and sends it off, even as we drive the short distance to the hotel.I get out of the car both tired and fascinated by the night. It's 4.30 in the morning, and I'm at last away to my bed. From following his activities on Facebook, and from the things Stevie has told me, I know that Stevie does this work day in day out. His engagement with people, his passion for the homeless - it's a rolling story fired by his unstoppable energy.
Over the next few days I will discover further outcomes from the things Stevie put in train tonight.
I will discover that Kalliope Barliss did indeed set up her Thanksgiving Day meal in New York, where she got caterers in to feed 50 plus homeless in a big unit she hired out for the occasion. Good healthy food, turkeys, the trimmings, properly laid out to give them a sense that people care - and to get a good hot meal into them.
As for Charlie, by the time Stevie leaves Brighton to return to Glasgow, he will have made sure that the locals are looking after this lost homeless man. Meanwhile, the Egyptian shopkeeper who did not believe that there was a society left in Britain will also be making sure that Alan is okay, and keeping a friendly eye on him.
And over the next few days I will receive further communications from him, telling me about his further initiatives. In a few short days, I will read that he has set up a 4 month youth programme for 16 year olds, arranged work experience for kids, set up European meetings to take his business vision overseas and got involved with a charity for abandoned kids. The list goes on. And a few days further on, he will tell me how he has started working with a homeless man in Glasgow who had once been a millionaire. These are just a few of Stevie's initiatives - his websites and the social media he is on reveal far more.
But in Brighton, this night, I consider once more this relentlessly positive figure, marvel at the energy inside of him, and how that energy drives his passion for change.
I consider, too, how important emotions are to Stevie and at the same time realise it is not true to say that he is a man built just of raw emotion. He is also a fast and subtle thinker. What ties these traits together are their intensity, which seems far greater than that of most of the people I know. Because of this, he is able to conjure an extraordinarily rich and powerful inner life that sustains him in his business and his personal life, and which has led to the flourishing of both. That inner intensity has led to what other people call his "success", but which Stevie simply regards as living life to the full.
His approach to life, his energy, his passion, his subtlety and his skill make a potent mix. Sitting in my hotel room, reflecting on the evening, it seems to me that just like the sea, and just like the tides, Stevie Kidd never, ever stops. He just rolls on and on. As Stevie entered Brighton Charlie was sleeping in the streets when he left 10 days later Charlie is walking tall.