A seven-foot angry sun and a Glasgow music icon were among the guest vendors selling The Big Issue in Glasgow yesterday for INSP’s #VendorWeek.
David Shrigley-designed Partick Thistle mascot Kingsley and Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch led a team of guest vendors, including famous faces, media figures and business leaders.
#VendorWeek promotes the worldwide network of street paper and the 11,000 hardworking vendors who sell them each day.
Very popular with press photographers and selfie-takers, Kingsley nevertheless said it was tough to make a sale.
“It was eye-opening that, even as a seven-foot sun, just how invisible you become to people when you are selling The Big Issue,” he said.
Stuart Murdoch agreed that it was a tough job, but said he had enjoyed the experience.
“It feels good to be part of something that’s going on worldwide,” he added. “I think ever since 2008, since the crash, there’s been a trickle-down effect and the homelessness situation has got worse. The phrase that comes to my head is ‘there but for the grace of god go I’.”
Herald and Times editor-in-chief Magnus Llewellin agreed that the homelessness situation has been getting worse in Scotland.
“The impression I get is that homelessness is getting worse. I live in central Edinburgh and I’ve noticed in the last year to 18 months far more people living rough in doorways. That’s not acceptable,” he said.
He added: “It’s been great to be out and about meeting people and realising how much they love The Big Issue. I think I sold 12, which I think is quite a good record. It’s fantastic to know that I’ve been part of a worldwide effort for such a good cause. It’s lovely to know that there are people around the world doing something similar.”
The #VendorWeek events across the UK also act as a fundraiser for INSP to enable them to continue supporting street papers.
The star fundraiser on the day was John McLeish, managing director of award winning digital marketing agency EQTR.
He said: “Whether it’s The Big Issue or another street paper I think it’s important to give people a chance to improve their lives.”
The Big Issue’s deputy editor Vicky Carroll also took a break from getting out next week’s issue to sell the magazine for an hour outside Sauchiehall Street’s Poundland, which is just round the corner from their editorial office.
“Street paper vendors of the world I salute you,” she said. “Selling The Big Issue for INSP #VendorWeek is far harder than writing it!”
#VendorWeek continues today with Scottish wrestler Grado selling The Big Issue in Glagsow and stars of the Edinburgh Rugby squad selling in Edinburgh. More details here.