This week marks the 20th anniversary of our sister organisation The Big Issue.
Since the first magazine was published in 1991, it has helped countless homeless and vulnerably housed individuals get back on their feet and construct a future for themselves, and not just in the UK but worldwide.
The idea was that of John Bird and Gordon Roddick who were passionate about helping the homeless and dispossessed, by providing them with the means to make a legitimate living. Big Issue vendors are not begging, they are working. They buy the magazine for £1 and sell it for £2, giving them motivation to sell the magazine, plus a weekly routine and structure, a crucial aspect in the process of transforming their lives.
A bumper 56-page birthday edition of the magazine is out now and includes John Bird talking about the magazine and a look back at the magazine’s history through its covers.
There are also celebratory stories from ex-vendors who have successfully turned their lives around, thanks to selling The Big Issue. Quotes from these stories include: “It got me into regular habits: getting up, getting to my pitch.” – Terry Gore. “I love my life now and I couldn’t have got to where I am now without The Big Issue” – Antonio Felicio. “Selling the magazine also gives you a purpose in life” – George Malone. These stories prove what The Big Issue has achieved and how it has helped so many people.
The birthday edition of the magazine also includes some special birthday messages from David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Boris Johnson, John Hurt, James Corden, Will Self, Suggs, Natascha McElhone and many more celebrity fans of the magazine.
Unfortunately, homelessness is still an issue today, a big issue, but by giving these individuals “a hand up, not a hand out” – a difference can be made.
HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY BIG ISSUE!