This December, INSP launches a unique digital advent calendar, which celebrates the world’s street paper vendors.
Each day in the run up to Christmas, INSP’s website will have a new ‘window’ for you to open. Behind each one is a message from a different vendor.
“This is a perfect way for us celebrate the holidays,” said INSP Chief Executive Maree Aldam. “Over the next 24 days, we’ll give you an insight into what Christmas means for our vendors. Their stories will warm your heart.”
Maree added that INSP was delighted to have received so many messages from the world’s street papers.
“It’s lovely to see such a range of vendors represented,” she added. “The vendors you’ll hear from in the INSP Advent Calendar are aged from 17 – 80; they come from 24 different street papers and from four continents.”
Street papers offer homeless and unemployed people the means to earn an income. Vendors buy the papers and then sell them on to make a profit.
Christmas is a particularly important time for vendors, and many of those featured in the calendar used the opportunity to thank their customers.
“The gifts and cards my customers give me are always special, and make for the best Christmas mornings. I hope everyone spends every day like it’s Christmas,” said Denver Voice vendor Brian Augustine.
“I want to thank my customers for the support they gave me and tell them I love every single one of them,” added Elisabetha-Maria Iancu, who sells TagesSatz in Göttingen, Germany.
Big Issue vendor Paul Squires said that without the UK street paper his Christmas would be bleak. “I would be on the street, unable to pay my bills. And that might mean I would be back on drugs. Without The Big Issue, I would be devastated.”
This year, Paul will be cooking dinner for his friend. But first he’ll be volunteering – dishing out Christmas dinner at the same Plymouth drop-in service for homeless people that he used to feed him before he found The Big Issue.
“We have to remember people who are less fortunate than ourselves at this time of year,” he explained.