26 February 2014

The Big Sell-Off: In quotes, pictures & videos

30 guest vendors took part in the first-ever Big Sell-Off in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which took place as part of International Street Paper Vendor Week. The vendors took time out of busy schedules at the top of their professions to find out, just for a day, what life is like for vendors selling The Big Issue on our city streets. For all the guest vendors involved, The Big Sell-Off proved to be a very worthwhile and often surprising experience.

Alan Bissett (Photo: Jamie Simpson/Herald & Times)

“Today has made me more understanding of the vendors' everyday tasks. Especially today as the weather isn’t good, the public may not feel at their cheeriest.” - Alan Bissett, writer

Gordon Sloan (GHA, Wheatly Group)
Gordon Sloan (Photo: Laura Redpath)

“It made me realise how difficult it is to sell things. Everyone is pleasant enough but they rarely make eye contact with you as they walk by.” - Gordon Sloan, Chair, GHA, Wheatley Group

Greg McHugh
Greg McHugh (Photo: Laura Redpath)

"In society we see Big Issue vendors all over the place; we see homeless people and it's easy to walk by. It is worth reminding the wider public that homelessness is still a massive issue.” - Greg McHugh, actor

Lord Provost Donald Wilson
Rt Hon Donald Wilson (Photo: Sam Shedden)

"I think we need to keep it in people’s consciousness, keep it in the front of people’s minds because homelessness is one of the worst curses of a modern society and everybody is entitled to a home.” - Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of Edinburgh

“I enjoy being a Big Issue vendor because I like being out and meeting other people.” - John White, The Big Issue vendor

John White and Paul Brewer
John White and Paul Brewer (Photo: Sam Shedden)

“INSP is not just a charity, it’s a social enterprise. At PWC we are very enthusiastic to support social enterprises that combine business skills and ability with charitable purposes and that is a sustainable model for getting funds to the right causes.” - Paul Brewer, Consulting Partner, PwC

 "Today is important because you get to put yourself in the vendor’s shoes." - Humza Yousaf MSP

Humza Yousaf MSP and Florian 'Anakin' Ciobanu
Humza Yousaf MSP and Florian 'Anakin' Ciobanu
(Photo: Mark Simpson)

"Sometimes it takes over 11 hours to sell 12 copies. I think this type of awareness is great." - Florian 'Anakin' Ciobanu, The Big Issue vendor

Patrick Harvie MSP
Patrick Harvie MSP (Photo: Stewart Ross)    

“Today has certainly given me a new appreciation, it's a lot of work for just a few sales.” - Patrick Harvie MSP

Sandra White MSP
Sandra White MSP
(Photo: Luciano Graca and Andrew Revill)

“I think it is very, very important to make people aware that there are so many homeless people in our towns and cities throughout Scotland.”- Sandra White MSP

Carmen Marlena and Angela McCracken
Carmen Marlena and Angela McCracken
(Photo: Calum McMillan)

“Supporting The Big Issue is an excellent way of helping people who haven’t got jobs and stability, and helps them help themselves.” - Angela McCraken, Partner, Levy & McRae.

Guest vendors who had been out on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh on Thursday 6th February, joined The Big Issue vendors and other invited guests at Glasgow City Chambers that evening to talk about their experiences of the day and to reflect on the importance of the work of The Big Issue and INSP. A mini awards ceremony also recognised those guest vendors who really went the extra mile during the Big Sell-Off.

Thanks to our event sponsor Glasgow Housing Association (part of Wheatley Group).

Thanks also to Stephen McIlkenny, Mark Simpson, Gillian Furmage, Calum McMillan, Euan Leopold, Bobby Rae, Luciano Graca, Andrew Revill, Laura Redpath, Stewart Ross, Anne Austin and Sam Shedden from Strathclyde University's MLitt Digital Journalism course for their coverage of The Big Sell-Off 2014.

24 February 2014

‘Green-friendly enterprise helps save biggest Caribbean wetlands’ republished

The Big Issue Korea
The 18 communities in Cuba’s Ciénaga de Zapata, the largest wetlands in the Caribbean, have long survived on the abundant local hunting and fishing and by producing charcoal. But that is no longer possible, due to climate change.

Now residents of the Zapata swamp are learning how to use the environment responsibly as the wetlands have been deemed a biosphere reserve. The enterprising residents are now making a better living while reducing the damage to nature by making solar water heaters from plastic bottles and fishing only for exotic invasive species.

This optimistic story by Ivet González of IPS was translated and published in The Big Issue Korea’s world news section.

It can still be downloaded here.

„Grüne Unternehmen retten das größte karibische Feuchtgebiet“ erscheint in Korea

Die 18 Gemeinden im Nationalpark Ciénage da Zapata auf Kuba, dem größten Feuchtgebiet in der Karibik, haben lange von der Jagd, Fischerei und der Produktion von Holzkohle gelebt. Wegen des Klimawandels ist das aber nicht länger möglich.

Jetzt lernen die Bewohner des Zapata-Sumpfes, wie man die Umwelt verantwortungsbewusst nutzen kann. Das Feuchtgebiet wurde zu einem Biosphären-Reservat erhoben. Die Bewohner verdienen jetzt mehr Geld als Unternehmer, während sie gleichzeitig den Schaden reduzieren, den sie der Natur zufügen. Sie produzieren Wasserkocher mit Solarantrieb aus Plastikflaschen und fischen nur nach exotischen Arten, die in das Ökosystem eingedrungen sind.

Diese optimistische Geschichte von Ivet González von IPS wurde übersetzt und ist in der World News-Sektion des Big Issue Korea erschienen.

Hier können Sie den Artikel immer noch herunterladen

The Big Issue Korea

17 February 2014

‘Daniel Radcliffe: acting, awards, and press invasion’ republished

Shedia (Greece)
At just ten years old Daniel Radcliffe was catapulted to fame and fortune after being cast as boy-wizard Harry Potter in the hugely successful film adaptions of J K Rowling’s best-selling novels.

But three years after filming the final Potter film, Radcliffe is looking to distance himself from the role and prove himself as a serious actor. His latest role is playing the famous beat poet Allen Ginsberg in a movie called Kill Your Darlings. Radcliffe spoke to Sylvia Patterson of The Big Issue (UK) about growing up in the lime-light and his love of acting.

This illuminating piece on the notoriously press-shy actor was given four pages in Greek street paper, Shedia.

It can still be downloaded here.

Daniel Radcliffe: Über Schauspielerei, Auszeichnungen und die Presse

Mit nur zehn Jahren wurde Daniel Radcliffe auf einen Schlag reich und berühmt: Er spielte den Zauberer Harry Potter in den erfolgreichen Verfilmungen von J K Rowlings Bestseller-Reihe.

Aber drei Jahre, nachdem die Dreharbeiten zum letzten Potter-Film beendet sind, versucht Radcliffe, sich von dieser Rolle zu distanzieren und als Charakterdarsteller zu beweisen. In seinem neuesten Film, „Kill Your Darlings“, spielt er den berühmten Beat-Poeten Allen Ginsberg. Radcliffe hat mit Sylvia Patterson vom Big Issue (UK) über seine Jugend im Rampenlicht und seine Liebe zur Schauspielerei gesprochen.

Der daraus entstandene Artikel gewährt seltene Einblicke in das Innenleben des medienscheuen Schauspielers. Die griechische Straßenzeitung Shedia widmete ihm vier Seiten.

Sie können den Text immer noch hier herunterladen.

Shedia (Greece)

10 February 2014

‘He Ain’t Lager’ republished

Photo: Angela Catlin
The Scottish author Irvine Welsh wrote an exclusive Christmas story to feature simultaneously in street papers worldwide.

Called ‘He Ain’t Lager’, the short story follows Trainspotting psychopath, Francis Begbie, who, while in jail, has found love and a new career as an artist. On a trip home for Christmas Begbie reveals his new softer side (and new fiancé) to his family, including his homeless brother Joe.

Irvine Welsh is an ambassador of INSP and has previously described the street paper concept as "one of the great social achievements of the last 20 years".

The article caused a media frenzy when it was announced, going viral online as well as being reported in national newspapers. It was translated into 8 different languages (a hard task for our translators due to Welsh’s writing in Glaswegian dialect) and published in 32 street papers around the world, including The Big Issue UK, The Big Issue in the North(UK), Apropos (Austria), The Big Issue Australia, Bodo (Germany), L’Itinéraire (Canada), Strassenfeger (Grermany), Lice v lice (Macedonia), and Megaphone (Canada).

Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year for the homeless and the extra sales brought by the story helped street paper vendors immensely.

The full short story can still be downloaded here.

„Nicht der Typ Lager“ erscheint in 32 Straßenmagazinen

Der schottische Autor Irvine Welsh hat eine exklusive Weihnachtsgeschichte geschrieben, die gleichzeitig in Straßenzeitungen auf der ganzen Welt erschienen ist.

Called ‘He Ain’t Lager’, the short story follows Trainspotting psychopath, Francis Begbie, who, while in jail, has found love and a new career as an artist. On a trip home for Christmas Begbie reveals his new softer side (and new fiancé) to his family, including his homeless brother Joe.

Die Erzählung mit dem Titel ... begleitet Francis Begbie, den aus „Trainspotting“ bekannten Psychopathen. Während seiner Zeit im Gefängnis hat er die Liebe gefunden und eine Karriere als Künstler begonnen. Bei einem Besuch zu Hause an Weihnachten zeigt Begbie seiner Familie, zu der auch sein obdachloser Bruder Joe gehört, seine weiche Seite und seine neue Verlobte.

Irvine Welsh ist Botschafter für INSP und hat das Straßenzeitungskonzept als „eine der größten sozialen Errungenschaften der vergangenen 20 Jahre“ bezeichnet.

Die Ankündigung der Erzählung führte zu einem Aufruhr in den Medien. Die Nachricht verbreitete sich rasend schnell im Netz. Überregionale Zeitungen berichteten darüber. Die Erzählung wurde in acht Sprachen übersetzt (keine leichte Aufgabe für unsere Übersetzer, da sie im Dialekt von Glasgow verfasst war) und in 32 Straßenzeitungen aus der ganzen Welt übersetzt. Dazu gehören The Big Issue UK, The Big Issue in the Nort (UK), Apropos (Österreich), The Big Issue Australia, Bodo (Deutschland), L’Itinéraire (Kanada), Strassenfeger (Deutschland), Lice v lice (Mazedonien) und Megaphone (Kanada).

Weihnachten ist für Obdachlose mit die schwierigste Zeit des Jahres. Die zusätzlichen Verkäufe durch die Erzählung halfen den Straßenzeitungs-Händlern immens.

Die komplette Erzählung können Sie immer noch hier herunterladen.

Strassenfeger (Germany)
Megaphone (Canada)

L'Itinéraire (Canada)
Lice v lice (Macedonia)
The Big Issue Australia

Bodo (Germany)
Apropos (Austria)

Vendor Week #INSP2014

International Street Paper Vendor Week (3rd – 9th February) was a global programme of events and activities aiming to shine a light on enterprising street paper vendors and challenge perceptions of poverty and homelessness. Vendor Week was organised by INSP (the International Network of Street Papers) – the Glasgow-based charity that supports The Big Issue magazine and over 120 other similar projects in 40 countries worldwide.

A whole host of activities took place around the world, including The Big-Sell Off in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This event, along with other similar events across Europe, Australia and North America, saw guest vendors out on city streets swapping their usual roles to experience, for a short time, what life is like for the thousands of vendors who spend each day selling street papers.

Maree Aldam, INSP’s general manager, said: “There are all kinds of brilliant events happening around the world this week – from an arts and film exhibition in Macedonia; to a vendor Skype meeting between Canada and the USA. It’s a great opportunity for our network to raise awareness of the 14,000 inspiring people who are selling street papers this week. 

"This year’s Vendor Week is particularly special to us as it’s INSP’s 20th anniversary this year, so we’ll also be celebrating the 250,000 vendors who have changed their lives by selling street papers over the past 2 decades.”

As International Street Paper Vendor Week 2014 comes to a close. We look back over an exciting seven days of events and celebration of street paper vendors.

8 February 2014

The Big Sell-Off

For the past two days, celebrities, politicians, business leaders and media executives have been selling The Big Issue on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh to raise money, and experience first-hand what it's like to be a street paper vendor.

On Thursday, comedian Greg McHugh, the BBC’s Shereen Nanjiani, ex footballer Ally Dawson, Baroness Helen Liddell and Edinburgh’s Lord Provost all joined business leaders and media executives to sell the magazine in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as part of ‘International Street Paper Vendor Week’.

Yesterday, Glasgow politicians Sandra White (MSP for Glasgow Kelvin), Patrick Harvie (MSP for Glasgow & Co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party), Humza Yousaf (MSP for Glasgow & Minister for External Affairs & International Development) and Anas Sarwar (MP for Glasgow Central & deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party) also braved the cold and raise money.

Maree Aldam, INSP’s general manager, said yesterday: “Our first-ever Big Sell-Off was a fantastic success on many levels. We raised money for INSP and The Big Issue and we raised awareness and understanding of the amazing job that the real street paper vendors do, buying and selling the magazines. It’s is a real, entrepreneurial job and it’s one of the toughest jobs out there.

“I’m so grateful to the guest vendors who took part. Many of them commented on how tough and humbling the experience was. Even the famous faces became invisible to passers-by at times, and many experienced some of the same negative treatment that the real vendors do, day in day out. I’m confident that this week will help to change attitudes to Big Issue vendors and their colleagues around the world. Whether you buy a magazine or not, it doesn’t take much to look a person in the eye and think of the courage that it takes to do this kind of work.”

The Big Sell-Off event was sponsored by Glasgow Housing Association (part of the Wheatley Group) and Chair of GHA, Gordon Sloan was one of the guest vendors who took part in yesterday’s event in Glasgow.

3 February 2014

‘GalGael: Viking longboats fight unemployment’ republished

Strassenkreuzer (Germany)
Viking longboats are helping to tackle mental illness and unemployment in a unique project in Glasgow, UK. Amongst the wood shavings and machinery noise of the GalGael Trust boat-building workshop, long-term unemployed people are learning new skills to get them back into the work-force while building communications skills and alleviating the depression that often comes with unemployment.

The prestigious workshop – where the 2014 Commonwealth Games baton was carved – trains its participants to build traditional boats and skiffs, as well as to sail them.

The article, by Callum McSorley of INSP, was republished by German street paper Strassenkreuzer, The Big Issue Japan, and Real Change in Seattle, Washington, USA.

It can still be downloaded here.

„GalGael: Wikingerschiffe gegen Arbeitslosigkeit“ erscheint in Deutschland und den USA

Wikingerschiffe helfen in einem einzigartigen Projekt in Glasgow, UK, beim Kampf gegen psychische Krankheiten und Arbeitslosigkeit. Inmitten von Sägespänen und dem Maschinenlärm des GalGael Trust Schiffbau-Workshops lernen Langzeitarbeitslose neue Fähigkeiten, die ihnen helfen, auf dem Arbeitsmarkt wieder Fuß zu fassen. Dazu verbessert die Arbeit die sozialen Fähigkeiten und hilft, mit der Depression fertigzuwerden, die oft mit der Arbeitslosigkeit einhergeht.

Der prestigeträchtige Workshop, dessen Teilnehmer schon die Staffelstäbe für die Commonwealth Games 2014 bauten, vermittelt außerdem Fähigkeiten im traditionellen Schiffsbau und im Segeln.

Der Artikel von Callum McSorley von INSP erschien in der deutschen Straßenzeitung Strassenkreuzer und im Magazin Real Change aus Seattle, Washington, USA. 

Hier können Sie den Artikel herunterladen.

Real Change (USA)
Real Change (USA)