The Big Issue has put 30 of its vendors in charge of the magazine to mark the title’s 30th anniversary.
Complete creative control has been handed to some of the men and women more regularly seen selling the magazine.
This week’s special edition includes articles, interviews, artwork and poems from vendors across the United Kingdom, with a front cover designed by Rich Rowe, a London-based Big Issue vendor and artist.
The special edition features a conversation between Clive, a Big Issue vendor and writer based in Plymouth who obtained his GCSEs this summer aged 58, and Doctor Who actor and Big Issue ambassador, Christopher Eccleston.
The actor also provided the voiceover for The Big Issue’s new video.
He said: “I believe buying a weekly edition of The Big Issue is an acknowledgement that we care. It was a pleasure to take part in this video for The Big Issue’s 30th Birthday as it showcases the important work the organisation does, and what it means for the vendors who are a part of it and why supporting the work they do is so important.”
Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, said: “In the very first edition I said I wanted to see the magazine written by vendors – and 30 years on, here we are. I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the 30th birthday of The Big Issue.
Assign a subscription to a vendor and they will get 50% of the net profits, helping them top up their income from street sales. Celebrate our birthday by buying a subscription from one of our vendors and make our birthday special for them. Visit https://t.co/yRBs5yVSiv pic.twitter.com/fful4MzWCO
— The Big Issue (@BigIssue) September 24, 2021
“We have had countless contributions from our vendors over the years and I’ve always found that the quality of the work that they produce, is equal to anything anyone else could produce. I think this is a fantastic issue and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”
Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue, said: “Thirty years on, The Big Issue remains a vital part of the lives of thousands of people.
“Those people The Big Issue is here to help have been at the heart of everything we’ve done through the decades.
“And as we celebrate our 30th birthday we felt a proper way to mark the occasion was to give an entire edition of the magazine over to our vendors, offering them the platform to share their passions and pastimes, show their incredible artwork and tell us what they think our readers should know.
“We hope you enjoy this special edition. It won’t be another 30 years until we do the same again.”