The formula is simple but challenging. Becoming a vendor gives people who are homeless or sleeping rough, in temporary accommodation, in danger of losing a home or unemployed and facing financial crisis the opportunity to sell a weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine to earn money. We are unique because our service users are working.
They say meditation soothes the soul. That said, the chance to stare out onto a river and watch the ripples roll by is as therapeutic as any yoga reverie. Homelessness in contrast, walks hand in hand with the perils of chaos; as questions are left unanswered, decisions are left uncertain and fear and worry create insomnia at night.
The Oxford Angling Club is the medium between these two contrasting bearings. The opportunity to spend an afternoon (or morning) staring out onto the river, patiently playing the sport installs a sense of serenity into the lifestyles of those unfortunate enough to have fallen into this destructive cycle, as Phil Fletcher (a familiar face in Botley) elaborates, “Just sitting there waiting for the fish to bite, gives you time to think about things and put stuff in perspective.”
From the 13th to 19th May people across the country will be hosting their own Big Night Ins for The Big Issue Foundation.
It’s an event where anything goes and is completely up to you from film nights and fancy dress parties to 9 course meals if you can organize it, it can be part of Big Night In. The idea is simple, you invite your friends round for a night in, and they put some money in the pot to attend and all the donations go to The Big Issue Foundation.
World renowned street artist Stik and The Big Issue Foundation recently teamed up to open people’s eyes to homelessness in a very artful way.
The aim of Stik's project was to cut out the art dealer and make some limited edition posters available exclusively through Big Issue vendors, in The Big Issue magazine. Formerly homeless himself, Stik wanted to give something back to the homeless community and funded the printing of the artwork.
The issues containing the posters hit the street and created an immediate buzz and signed posters appeared on eBay for £400.
More importantly word of the posters created an interest from the broader public, who began fl ocking to vendors, creating that all-important engagement that has been at the heart of The Big Issue's work for so long. “I have loved the fact that I have been walking around actively seeking Big Issue vendors," said one commenter online. “Can I just say, I must have passed Mark and his dog everyday for almost two years, now I know him - what a lovely, lovely man.” said another.
Stik toured the offi ces and streets of London, Birmingham and Bristol to meet our vendors, sign some posters and add few personal drawings to the covers to make some very special magazines. He even found time for an interview.
Friday 11th January 2013 changed my life forever. It was on this awful day my brother Wayne, along with his friend Ian were killed in Birmingham City Centre. Wayne and Ian had simply been out selling their Big Issues when they were attacked.
My brother was a happy person and intent on putting his life back on track turning to the Big Issue Foundation for the opportunity to earn his own money. Without organisations like the Big Issue Foundation the people who are homeless can be seen as a burden to society and people are often overlooked and not treated as the human beings they are. Now I feel it’s my turn to give something back.
Four Big Issue sellers have achieved NVQ qualifications at the City of Bath college to prove they really are something to shout about.
A group of Big Issue sellers in Bath have gone back to school – to brush up on their customer service skills.
Four vendors have achieved a Level 2 NVQ qualification in customer service in the workplace at the City of Bath College. With the aim of building on their business and communication skills, Steve Ellis, Cathal Quinn, Brian Jones and Jon Brown (left to right in picture) spent around seven months completing the NVQ.
“We don’t have a shop front, we have to attract the customers ourselves to get sales,” said Brian, 48, a familiar face in Bath who sells the magazine near McDonalds.
The winner has been announced. The Big issue had nearly one hundred entries to the competition. Thank you to everyone who supported this unique collaboration.
The Big Issue Foundation is happy to announce that Juan Miguel Sánchez is the lucky winner of a signed non-folded ‘Look’ Stik print.
Juan has shared his story of how he got his four posters.
London Graphic Centre launches Big Issue ‘Street Lights’ exhibition - curated by Andrew Jeffery from London Graphic Centre and Emma Field from The Big Issue.
'Here We Are' is an exhibition of work by people who have been, and some who still are homeless, brought together through the Big Issue's ‘Street Lights’ project.
On display in the entrance space at the Covent Garden store are ten pieces ranging in style across painting, illustration and collage. The work is incredibly expressive and much thought and skill is exhibited here.
“A very long 2 years from being homeless to where I am now”
Being born and brought up in totally different places and with different family circumstances, Joel and Nurjahan share something in common; both have been homeless and had to live on the streets.
Stik’s Big Issue/Big Issue Foundation project has ‘opened eyes’ across the country.
World renowned Street Artist Stik’s project has reached out and touched the lives of 100’s of people across the country. Deliberately cutting out the art dealer, his limited edition posters have only been available through the hands of Big Issue vendors. Formerly homeless himself, he set out to give something back to the homeless community. As soon as they hit the streets, the comments started coming in...