Big Issue Foundation

BIG ISSUE VENDOR FEATURES IN “I AM LONDON EXHIBITION”

George, who usually sells the Big Issue outside the BBC broadcasting house, is featuring in Historic England’s new ‘I am London’ exhibition. The exhibition aims to explore London’s identity through prism of its inhabitants and historic buildings. He will join a diverse range of other Londoners including Professor Lord Robert Winston, a beefeater, a 7/7 paramedic and a DJ, all of whom are sharing their own experiences of the city by selecting an historic place or building that is particularly significant to them.

George AndersenGeorge, who usually sells the Big Issue outside the BBC broadcasting house, is featuring in Historic England’s new ‘I am London’ exhibition. The exhibition aims to explore London’s identity through prism of its inhabitants and historic buildings. He will join a diverse range of other Londoners including Professor Lord Robert Winston, a beefeater, a 7/7 paramedic and a DJ, all of whom are sharing their own experiences of the city by selecting an historic place or building that is particularly significant to them.

George’s story

Until a few years ago, George worked for the NHS in Scotland, and had saved up enough money purchase a semi-detached house with his partner. However, following the financial crash, he lost his house, job and partner, and after tragic deaths in the family, he found himself on the streets of London, “totally unprepared”, with only a light-duty sleeping bag.

He had originally travelled to London to find work and develop his newly established business (editing medical articles by authors for whom English was not their first language), but the high travel costs and the death of a cousin with whom he had been planning to stay left him impoverished and homeless. A big city can be isolating to anyone without a support network, and George was “a stranger to London, I didn’t know anyone or anything.”

However, working with the big issue has helped to get him back on his feet, and has given him the space to focus on growing his business, and he is now “looking forward to the day when I will be buying The Big Issue rather than selling them.”

The exhibition

George has chosen All Souls Church as his historic location, revealing the part that it and the city as a whole, have played in his experiences of homelessness.

It is not the only part of the city that he feels represents important aspects of London’s ethos and role, though. Reflecting his scientific background, George says that the buildings that represent scientific progress, both historical (such as Darwin’s Down House), and modern (such as the Francis Crick Institute) exemplify London’s identity as “a world centre for hope and a better future… it is motivating to be surrounded by such sites that have striven to improve the human condition.”

His ultimate choice of All Souls Church for the exhibition was partly due to the range of services offered by the church to those experiencing homelessness in central London, such as ASLAN (All Souls Local Activity Network). This an example of the way that the city, through “its provision of hope to the most marginalized in society” has come to be seen as “the gold-standard for care of the homeless”.

If you would like to see London through the eyes of George, and 58 other Londoners, visit the exhibition, which is located near King’s Cross and runs until early September.

About the Exhibition:

  • Location: Window Galleries 3 and 4, Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross N1C 4AA
  • Dates: 11th July- 04th September 2016
  • Times: 10am – 8pm, Monday to Sunday
  • Price: free

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Fabulous Fleecy Fundraising
Big Issue Foundation

Fabulous Fleecy Fundraising

Vendor Updates: Summer 2022
Big Issue Foundation

Vendor Updates: Summer 2022

‘Unknown’ to be staged across UK during a month long tour this Autumn
Big Issue Foundation

‘Unknown’ to be staged across UK during a month long tour this Autumn

Putting His Best Foot Forward
Big Issue Foundation

Putting His Best Foot Forward

Most Popular

Read All
All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays
1.

All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays

This Twitter bot is exposing celebrities taking three-minute private jet flights
2.

This Twitter bot is exposing celebrities taking three-minute private jet flights

Will free school meals and vouchers be offered over the summer holidays?
3.

Will free school meals and vouchers be offered over the summer holidays?

Estate agents caught saying they don't rent homes to people on benefits
4.

Estate agents caught saying they don't rent homes to people on benefits

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.