The Big Issue magazine was started in 1991 as a means of helping homeless and vulnerably housed people, giving them a means of earning money other than by begging. Initially it was a monthly magazine, sold by only ten sellers in London. In 1993 it became a weekly publication and it can now be found in cities throughout the UK. Would be Big Issue sellers have to go through an induction and are then allocated a fixed spot to sell from and five free copies of the magazine (ten in London). Once these are sold they can then buy more copies at £1 each, selling them for £2. Sellers aren’t reimbursed for copies they don’t sell, thus helping them learn to manage their sales and cash flow. The aim is to help build their confidence and self esteem by giving them more control over their lives so they can ultimately fully reintegrate into mainstream society. There is also a Big Issue Foundation which offers contact with support and services to help them fulfil their potential.
My first experience of the Big Issue was as a student in London in the very early 1990s. I regularly used to buy a copy from a seller on the corner of Wigmore Street and James Street – I guess he must have been one of the original ten sellers. He was always very cheery and chatty and I made a point of buying a copy whenever I saw him. I often see the young Big Issue seller I photographed today on his pitch in East Street in Chichester and he seemed pleased to see me when I stopped to buy the latest issue as most people were dashing past, going about their business. He was only too happy to pose for a photo so I will make sure I print a copy of this to give to him next time I see him to say thank you.
Thanks to Leah (Chossid
) for setting today’s theme. Last Tuesday’s theme was ‘Diversity’. The other interpretations of this week’s theme can be found here
The “Tuesday Inspiration” began in 2009 when Stefan and I started setting each other a photographic challenge on a… Tuesday. Very soon afterwards, we decided to open this up to other PB members, followed by the idea that we should not reveal what the subject is, so that other members could compare how different members view a single theme. The Tuesday Inspiration is not a contest or a challenge, but a group of people all agreeing to post their interpretation of a single theme on Tuesdays. Each week, one of the contributors sets the theme. There are now over 40 members contributing to the TI. We have only two “rules”: don’t include the subject in the TI title or tags and please comply with standard PB guidelines on courtesy, etc. If you would like to take part, please send me a message via this blog.