We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of much loved Big Issue vendor Kevin Headley. The 52-year-old who sold the magazine outside Hackey Wick overground station for many years died on 5th May following a suspected heart attack.
Kevin was well-known across London both as a strong advocate for many homeless organisations including The Big Issue Foundation and The Pavement. He was also well known for curating local arts events and festivals in the capital.
Stephen Robertson, CEO of the Big Issue Foundation said:
'I am very saddened to learn of Kevin's passing. He was a great friend to the Big Issue Foundation and always had a keen eye for new ideas and a passion for this local community. Amongst many things Kevin helped us to raise funds, spoke at events, introduced the Big Issue family to the world-renowned street artist Stik and used his passion for photography to record some of our events. Kevin was always trying to help others and I well remember his graduation from the 'Groundwell' project that saw him go on to help others with experiences of homelessness and exclusion. Kevin was a popular vendor who will be missed by his many friends and customers at his pitch at Hackney Wick Station and by the many people he inspired to do more despite whatever difficulty that faced them. Kevin was a man of the people who always strove do more for those around him.'
This week supporters and friends of Kevin met at Hackney Wick at the spot where he used to sell the magazine, now adorned with a Stik tribute to memorialise the man who touched so many people’s lives. Kevin was a vocal supporter of the underground arts scene in London and was responsible for introducing Stik to The Big Issue Foundation in what became a fantastically successful partnership.
Kevin was also an integral part of many events including the homeless micro-festival It’s Nearly Friday and London’s Wicked Radio. He also co-curated monthly open mic event “Bring It” at Hackney venue Grow.
“Like many of us, the team at Grow are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of friend and colleague, Kevin Headley. If you hadn't met Kevin, he was a remarkable man who dedicated his life helping others from all walks of life, in so many different ways and in many different places all over London – including his tireless effort in helping those experiencing homelessness.”
The next 'Bring It' will be this Thursday 10 May and will be held as a celebration of creativity in tribute to Kevin and also to help support his family. You can find more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/163070431045356