Vendor City Guide: Edinburgh

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. In the midst of the worldwide renowned Edinburgh Festival, otherwise known as the Fringe, vendor George Whyte talks about the Scottish capital.

Life on the Streets: Prone to loss

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. People in extreme poverty are experts on loss, whether it be their belongings, their privacy, their dignity or anything else.

Our vendors: Sonja Stockhammer (Apropos, Salzburg, Austria)

Sonja Stockhammer isn’t a woman to beat around the bush; nor is she a chatterbox. But through her judicious choice of words she paints a vivid picture of her life and loves. When she met Christina Repolust for an interview, Sonja talked quickly and eloquently about her love for her horses, dogs and cats, her experiences as a street paper vendor and her feeling that anything is possible.

Two halves, two street papers

Representing INSP at the 2019 Homeless World Cup, Tony Inglis had a day to take in as much of the tournament as possible. With a number of the national teams represented being affiliated with street papers in their respective countries, he took it upon himself to ensure that he supported them all at least once over the course of the day. It presented an intriguing match clash which happened to bring out the best in what the event has to offer – fair play, camaraderie, friendship and excellent football.

Our vendors: Alunita Nicola (Surprise, Winterthur, Switzerland)

Alunita Nicola is from Romania and she now works as a Surprise vendor in Winterthur, Switzerland. The thing that motivates Alunita is her desire to provide a better life for her son than the one that she has had: Alunita experienced a challenging upbringing in Romania before first travelling to Germany at the age of 19. Now living in Switzerland, Alunita is working hard to support herself and her son and is optimistic about what she can achieve through hard work.

“A once in a lifetime experience”

INSP caught up with two of the younger players representing their country at the 2019 Homeless World Cup. Angela Ntoumanoglou, from Greece, and Jungho Kang, from Korea, are only teenagers, and both participate in street football for different reasons, though both agree that getting to play at the tournament was a once in a lifetime experience.

Life on the Streets: The proliferation of private guards

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. Some Street Roots vendors welcome added security; others say private guards – who are not police – overstep their bounds.

Our vendors: Linda Pelletier (L’Itinéraire, Montréal, Québec, Canada)

Linda Pelletier is a L’Itinéraire vendor who sells the paper from her pitch at Marché Maisonneuve in Montréal. She has faced many challenges in her life and now considers herself as one of the many “beautiful feathers” at L’Itinéraire. Here, we learn more about her experiences earlier in life and her journey through trauma to self-acceptance. Now, aged 64, she can appreciate the beauty within herself.

Soccer and street papers: Players from Surprise’s street soccer project are Switzerland’s representatives at the 2019 Homeless World Cup

Not everyone knows that street paper organisations have myriad social projects that go alongside the creation and sale of the publication itself. Sport programmes are increasingly popular and at the 2019 Homeless World Cup several of the competing nation teams were chosen from such projects. INSP caught up with Axel Woltmann, one of the players on the Swiss team, which stems from the country’s street paper organisation, Surprise.

From hostels to the football pitch and beyond

Ex-RAF veteran Gary Godfrey moved back to Glasgow, Scotland, last year and onto couches and hostels after battling substance abuse and alcohol misuse. Now, he is captaining his country in an international tournament, about to move into an apartment and start a new job. INSP spoke to him between matches at the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, Wales.

Summer Front Pages: A round-up of July’s street paper covers

Here’s our round-up of the bold, bright and beautiful covers being sold on the streets this July.

How one goal inspired Michael Sheen to bring the Homeless World Cup to Wales

Acclaimed actor turned activist and social enterprise advocate Michael Sheen is an ambassador for the 2019 Homeless World Cup being held in his home country of Wales. He told The Big Issue why he spearheaded the bid for the tournament to head to Cardiff.