Big Issue North gets big name guest sellers
High-profile people from the world of politics, music, the arts and business are joining forces to sell Big Issue North alongside its regular vendors this week, including Maxine Peake, Lemn Sissay MBE and the Bishop of Liverpool The Rt Rev Paul Bayes.
From 1-7 February 2016, Big Issue North is taking part in #VendorWeek – an international event organised by INSP (International Network of Street Papers).
During the event, people across the world give up an hour of their day to sell their local street paper, raising money for INSP, helping vendors boost their sales, and raising awareness of the challenges faced by those for whom selling the magazine is a daily reality.
This is the second year that the event has taken place. Last year saw famous faces such as the Bishop of Manchester, Hilary Benn MP, and Dan Haggis from The Wombats sell the Big Issue North alongside vendors.
Fay Selvan, chair of Big Issue North and INSP, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with #VendorWeek for a second year and hope that it will once again keep the needs of people selling Big Issue North magazine in the public eye and boost sales at traditionally quiet time of year.
“During last year’s Big Sell the participants gained a real insight into what it is like to sell Big Issue North. Many were surprised by how much hard work it is and how many skills are required to sell the magazine to the public in all weathers. We hope this year’s participants will also have a valuable experience of spending an hour with their vendor mentor, selling Big Issue North.”
BBC Radio Manchester’s Allan Beswick said about #VendorWeek in February 2015: “Selling Big Issue North – probably the hardest job I’ve ever done in my life to be honest. […] It reminds you of the driving force [vendors] must have to do this. It takes some neck. It’s alright for me but for them it’s their daily grind. This is their everyday on these streets. It’s also bloody cold.”
INSP Chief Executive Maree Aldam added: “#VendorWeek is an international event that celebrates the many thousands of hard-working and inspiring vendors who sell magazines like Big Issue North in 34 countries worldwide. The event is also a chance for the INSP network to raise awareness of the amazing work of street papers in supporting people out of poverty and homelessness.
“During #VendorWeek, ‘guest vendors’ will take to the streets across the UK to try their hand at selling the magazine. We are so grateful for their support in helping us to raise awareness of the enterprising and innovative street paper concept and to raise funds to support INSP’s work around the world.”
The money guest sellers make while selling Big Issue North will go to the vendor whom they sell alongside.
Many guest sellers have an Everyday Hero sponsorship page where people can donate to pledge their support to INSP, the UK-based charity which supports street papers around the world to start up, grow and develop so that they can provide homeless and unemployed people with a way to earn an income and improve their lives. Supporters can sponsor their favourite guest vendor here: vendorweek.insp.ngo
Last year’s #VendorWeek events in the UK raised more than £11,000 for INSP enabling them to support and develop over 110 street papers in 34 countries, each of which create employment and training opportunities for homeless and unemployed people.
Clint Boon, (Radio) DJ, musician (The Inspiral Carpets)
Dave Power, CE of One Manchester
Ian Munro, CE of New Charter Group
Kate Green MP, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston
Lemn Sissay MBE, author/broadcaster/Chancellor of University of Manchester
Matthew Gardiner, CE of Trafford Housing Trust
Maxine Peake, actress
Bill Addy, CoE Priest, CEO of Liverpool BID Company
Bishop of Liverpool The Rt Revd Paul Bayes
Ian Prowse, front man of Amsterdam, musician
Keith Mullin, lead guitarist in The Farm/lecturer at LIPA
Mik Artistik, poet, musician & artist