The Spring Newsletter is out: Taking part is being part of something

Homelessness and rough sleeping is on the increase. The recession continues to threaten the livelihoods and future prospects of far too many people. We work with the most disadvantaged and excluded individuals in the land; people who have lost more than it is comfortable to imagine: their homes, their families and their sense of themselves in the world. Despite these grim facts, the theme of this newsletter is about the hope that springs from participation. Taking part in something is being part of something. This message comes through to us again and again. Our vendors work right in the heart of the community; The Big Issue is their business. For us ‘inclusion’ extends way beyond pure magazine sales, as you will see from the articles in this newsletter. Our vendors are passionate about giving something back themselves.

Our work relies on your support. Please help spread the word and share our passion.

Read the Big Issue Foundation Spring newsletter


‘The Truth About Stanley’ Help Us Get 1 Million Views

Over 90,000 people have now watched ‘The Truth About Stanley’. This 5-star rated movie has been described as the ‘21st Century Cathy Come Home’. It has been garnering praise across the globe, most recently from the British Actor, Writer, Lord of Dance, Prince of Swimwear & Blogger, Mr Stephen Fry.

Big Issue Foundation Chief Executive, Stephen Robertson, says ‘The awareness and positive debate that this film is creating is exceptional. It has been made at a time of unprecedented demand for our services. It is our hope that this alternative view of the Olympics city will be seen by millions and prompt viewers to think differently about homeless and vulnerably housed people. We hope that some viewers will be motivated to join us to raise vitally needed funds for our services on one of our many 2012 events activities’.


Baggy’s Story

Baggy is a guide on The Big Issue Foundation’s London to Paris bike ride, having first ridden the route himself as a participant in 2008 –…


Friday 13th April Benefit Gig at The Big Chill House

Music event promoter Ashar Smith has taken the initiative to fundraise your own way and organized a gig this Friday.

A night of excellent ground-breaking music is promised, with acts including Reggae Roast, Hackman B2B Cropper, Planas and Low Fro. DJ’s from locally based creative collectives will be there to ensure the event goes with a bang.

The suggested donation on the night is just £5 and all donations from the evening will go to help The Big Issue Foundation’s 'Vendor Support Fund', which helps vendor’s to purchase items they require, with a small contribution from their savings from magazine sales.

The event is at the Big Chill House, 257 -259 Pentonville Road, London N1 and promises to be a great night. We are very grateful to Ashar and all of the guests for their support.


‘The Truth About Stanley’ Streaming Now – Spread The Word

We are proud to be streaming the ‘The Truth About Stanley’. This unique movie has been described by one critic as the ‘21st Century Cathy Come Home’ and has already been given a 5 star rating in The Independent on Sunday.

YouTube views are now climbing north of 10,000 and we hope that the film will achieve 1 million views across a number of platforms. Please take a look and help spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and in person.


It is a ‘Big Issue’ – New independent film challenges perceptions

It is a ‘Big Issue’ – Discover the realities of what it takes to sell the magazine in Birmingham

‘When I was in school the number one blaze or diss was “your mum/ dad sells the big issue” or “I heard you sell the Big Issue on weekends”. The reason I wanted to make this film was because I know how the younger generation look down on and speak badly about big issue vendors. I wanted to know why; what was the reason behind it? This is what we wanted to capture in our documentary.'
Daniel Newell, Film Maker

The Big Issue Foundation is pleased to announce the premier of a short documentary by independent film makers Daniel Newell and Richi Fingerz, funded by RSA Birmingham.

The film challenges young people in Birmingham to talk about their perceptions of homelessness and what it really means to try and sell the magazine to the public.


Film industry and homelessness charities join forces to raise awareness

Big names from the film industry, including acclaimed Kenyan actor Oliver Litondo, are working in an unusual partnership with charities, including The Big Issue Foundation, to open people"s eyes to homelessness through the power of film.

The Truth About Stanley, a heartfelt drama set on the streets of London, currently in post-production, will raise money for The Big Issue Foundation and homeless charity Anchor House. Its executive producers are Oscar-winning Trademark Films.

The Truth about Stanley stars Oliver Litondo, the lead from the international feature film The First Grader, 12-year-old Raif Clarke and Andrew Lee Potts, lead role in ITV"s Primeval. It was shot in five days in locations in and around central London in early December 2011.

Lucy Tcherniak, who won the 2008 Smoke and Mirrors 48 Hour Film Challenge for her film I Stood Up, has directed the 20-minute film. Lucy wrote the script for The Truth About Stanley with Neil Westley, who was runner-up in the 2011 Director"s Circle Scriptwriting Selection.


The ‘BIG Secret Pancake Party’ announced – 21 February 2012

It’s only February but the 2012 diary invitations are already stacking up! Forgive the (weak) pun – but the Big Issue Foundation just penned another date in the calendar… and you’re invited.

Samantha Scuffham, music promoter and musician, is hosting “The BIG Secret Pancake Party” on 21 February at the Macbeth pub in Shoreditch, London.

For just £2 entry, there will be pancakes galore, a choice line-up of hotly tipped performers (tba) and since the evening’s profits will be donated to the Big Issue Foundation, there’s a good sprinkling of the feel-good factor too.

The BIG Secret Pancake Party will also be filmed for a forthcoming BBC3 documentary on Hidden Homelessness, which explores the difficulties faced by young people who have nowhere permanent to live but do not qualify as statutorily homeless.  Samantha, who has been sofa surfing with friends and relatives since graduating with a music degree last year, features in the documentary – which is likely to broadcast in Spring.


Simon Callow’s reading of John Bird’s book released

‘A year before The Big Issue, Gordon Roddick and I published Dickens The Socially Mobile Cat, a story I had written that cheekily describes a cat who is ‘transmogrified. The cat, and this is the cheeky bit, is called Dickens, and goes through some of the conditions that Dickens went through when his father was put in gaol for debt. It seems timely to raise Dickens the Socially Mobile Cat from the backlist and put it before you’.
John Bird – Founder of The Big Issue and author of Dickens the socially mobile cat.

Simon Callow and Big Issue founder, John Bird MBE, share a heart felt passion for Dickens that goes back many years. Simon generously put in a strenuous day reading the work and making it dance into life.