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.