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.