#VendorWeek 2019: Notable figures face off in street paper selling challenge for Big Issue North

To celebrate #VendorWeek, Big Issue North joined street paper colleagues in the US, Australia and mainland Europe in putting on another instalment of their annual selling event.

However, this year, there was a competitive edge to the proceedings as notable figures from across the worlds of politics, music and sport faced off against each other, accompanied by trusted Big Issue North vendors, to see who could sell the most copies.

On Monday, two political heavyweights went head-to-head. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Merseyside Mayor Steve Rotheram, were vendors for the evening at Manchester Oxford Road Station and on Liverpool’s Basnett Street, respectively. The final score saw Liverpool take home the win 19 copies to 7.

On Thursday, Lord Mayor Magid Magid of Sheffield took on Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McLure. After McLure took the lead, Sheffield’s mayor stormed to a convincing 26 to 16 victory.

Leeds was the location of Wednesday’s celebrity selling as Yorkshire Cricket Club wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall swapped the field for the street, donning the classic street paper vendor vest.

Edna Robinson, chair of The Big Life group and Big Issue North Trustee Mark Fitzgibbon also took part during the week.

As always, all money from guest vendors’ magazine sales went directly into the pockets of the regular vendors who accompanied them.

It was the fifth time Big Issue North had hosted a selling event during #VendorWeek, and it was a success as always.

Fay Selvan, chief executive of Big Issue North, said: “This year’s Big Sell promises to really cast a light on the challenges our vendors face. It’s great to see people from all sorts of fields give their time to support vendors, and experience the reality of selling on the streets in all weathers.

“I’m proud that we’re doing the Big Sell for the fifth year running, joining other street papers around the world in raising awareness of the challenges facing the people who sell such magazines and hopefully boosting their sales. And for those people doing the Big Sell with a competitive edge, may the best salesperson win!”

This was the second #VendorWeek in a row that Mayor Andy Burnham had spent time learning about the work of street paper vendors. He told Big Issue North last year: “It brought home how hard it is for people selling Big Issue North. It’s so hard when people just walk past. But overall, more people than I thought came up and bought one – the people of Greater Manchester are generous. It also brings home how valuable Big Issue North can be as a lifeline for people in need.”

Read more coverage of #VendorWeek 2019 here.