Last Friday night around 150 people could be seen bedding down for the night in the open air outside Pip and Jay's church in central Bristol. It was the annual Big Sleep Out with volunteers sleeping rough for one night to raise awareness and money for a range of homelessness-related charities including The Big Issue Foundation.
Here you can read all the latest fundraising and charity news from The Big Issue Foundation, keeping you up to date with our charity work to help people who are homeless across the UK. Whether it’s a message from our CEO, or the voice of someone that actually spent time sleeping rough on the streets, here you can read all the latest from The Big Issue Foundation.
We run a wide range of charity events throughout the year, so here is the best place to keep up with the progress and funds that have been raised for the less fortunate in the UK. If you are considering volunteering for The Big Issue Foundation, then here you can also see some of the ways that people have raised money in the past to get people off the streets.
Stories from those who have been unfortunate enough to live on the street are also posted here, helping to give you an insight into the difficulties that our Big Issue vendors are faced with every day.
If you are inspired by any of the stories found here, why not donate to The Big Issue Foundation today? There is a range of ways that your money can be used to help those who are homeless across the UK take control of their lives.
It was the night of Sunday 23 February outside the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre. Audience and celebrities had gone in; Steve and Easton, The Big Issue vendors, remained. They had stood for nearly an hour in the cold. Between them, jostled in the melee, they had sold just three magazines. In fact, Easton hadn’t sold any. Then, during a break, Rufus Hound popped out and bought a copy from… Steve. Meanwhile, inside on stage, Haydn Gwynne, winner of a Best Supporting Actress in a Play award, spoke passionately about The Big Issue and her experience selling the magazine as part of StageSwap.
Over recent months The Big Issue Bournemouth office has been fortunate enough to form a partnership with Lush Bournemouth. Over the Christmas period the Lush store displayed information about the Big Issue and our local vendors, and collected scarves and hats, as well as other gifts, which were distributed amongst vendors as presents.
Last week on a rainy afternoon, Lush staff were given a chance to experience an hour in the life of a vendor, selling the magazine to the public on a rainy afternoon. The two brave participants, Danika and Kira would be partnered up with current vendors Matt and Josie and attempt to sell the magazine.
Here’s what they said about the experience:
We are proud to work in a challenging area. Our small service team are highly skilled and committed to helping Big Issue vendors move their lives ahead. The challenges that face someone when they are homeless are complex and diverse. To help someone to help themselves requires our services to be open, honest and flexible; helping people set their own goals, to take their own steps away from the crisis that bought them to us.
Our services reach out from our offices to the streets. In the first 3 quarters of this year our small team have helped our vendors achieve nearly 3500 positive steps forward, +30% against the whole of the previous year at an average cost of just over £200 per achievement.
By Anna Verey
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you”, Frank Lloyd Wright advised his art students. One of the most reassuring sights to see is a Big Issue vendor standing accompanied by a faithful companion: their dog. In many lives, attachments from birth have been severed and children and babies don’t experience the affective connection that they deserve, with their mothers or caregivers. This loss of communion, trust and dependency from the very outset of a child’s life can rupture the fragile basis necessary for their stability. Our ability to feel safe in the world is violated and the lives of people who are not loved well in childhood can unravel with deleterious consequences. At the Big Issue Foundation we are privileged to come into contact with some of the most vulnerable and determined people in the UK. Discovering a healthy attachment can be instrumental in the any of our lives and it can be catalytic in the restoring of someone’s life which has been strewn with inconsistent care and broken bonds. A dog can do just this.
Market leader Property Week asks shopping centre owners to open their doors to Big Issue vendors
A debate has started on whether shopping centres across the UK should open their doors to Big Issue vendors. Right now, vendors up and down the country are restricted from sell the magazine in the dry and warm surroundings of shopping centres – but that could soon be a thing of the past.
Property Week has asked five of the UK’s largest shopping centre owners – British Land, Hammerson, Intu Properties, Land Securities and Westfield — about welcoming Big Issue sellers to trade on their under-cover shopping streets. This is something that The Big Issue has explored for years, only to be met with a general resistance.
Discover what home means to you, on a journey through the ages of life.
What does ‘home’ mean to you? We know it’s not always an easy one to answer. That’s why author and Big Issue Foundation supporter, Jennifer Kavanagh, has created her new game, Journey Home. 50% of the profits from all of the games sold will be going to The Big Issue Foundation to help Big Issue vendors experiencing homelessness get a little closer to a home for themselves.
The Big Issue Foundation presents: ‘Behind the Jacket’; a look at the people who sell the Big Issue in Bath and their hopes and aspirations. This exhibition explores the sellers’ identities, both whilst on their pitches selling, and outside of their work. Each frame is dedicated to a seller who sells the magazine with us in Bath, and is a compilation of creative work, articles, photos and information about their lives, and, occasionally, their dogs! We want to show that there is so much more to those who are experiencing homelessness.
In the run-up to the exhibition, we’ve had a lot of interest and enthusiasm from sellers. The Big Issue sellers are all keen to tell you about themselves and challenge people’s perceptions of Big Issue and homelessness. There is still a huge stigma around homelessness, to the extent that our sellers often become victims of verbal and physical abuse from members of the public. Showcasing the personalities behind the jackets is just one way that we can end this prejudice.
There’s no business like show business, except, as John Bird told his theatreland audience in a rousing address at Café de Paris, the business of selling The Big Issue!
This was the 14th annual nominations party of London’s original audience-voted WhatsOnStage Awards. WhatsOnStage has chosen The Big Issue Foundation as its official charity partner, which means The Big Issue Foundation will work for two years with WhatsOnStage Awards to raise funds, and awareness of homelessness.
Terri Paddock, managing director of WhatsOnStage, said she is keen to build awareness among audiences of what positive work is being done to tackle the stark world of homelessness around theatres. While she herself finds The Big Issue and its vendors “brilliant”, she is conscious that many who visit West End shows view us as mere extras in London’s great scene of buskers, beggars, peddlers and hustlers. This is why Terri, along with actors and other showbiz workers, has pledged to tread the flagstones in 2014 as part of Stage Swap.
Our CEO Stephen Robertson comments on the stories from our winter newsletter
Most of us can understand the benefits that arise from working: structure, a wage, social contact and friends. For us all there are times when this is not always the case but on the whole work can offer purpose and meaning. It can enrich our lives in more ways than just paying the bills, more than just proving the power of money...
Big Issue vendors are traders, modern day heroes who apply their entrepreneurial skills to begin a process of change. What starts with work - with support when needed - can literally be transformational. The journey begins with a sale and the destination is often unknown; frequently troubling, it remains your journey and that, for me, is where the power of ‘work’ really comes into play.