Big Issue Foundation

Harley’s Story

Harley took part in The Big Step Challenge by walking 10,000 steps a day for 2 weeks and raised an amazing £541.65 for Big Issue Vendors across the UK. This years challenge is happening between 10-16th September 2018, sign up today for just £5. 

My name is Harley Cottle, I am 22 years old and I am taking part in The Big Step Challenge to raise money for the amazing work of The Big Issue Foundation.

Deciding to do The Big Step Challenge was the quickest and easiest decision I have made in a long time.

When I started university and travelling into the city, it came to my attention just how many people were homeless. Every time I saw someone new and even those I saw day to day on my commute broke my heart a little, knowing I am coming from and going back to a warm house, something I take for granted.

It is very rare that I have change on my person but on the occasions I do, I hand it over to the homeless. One morning on my commute to university, I handed a hot drink token for McDonalds to the gentleman who sat outside morrisons every day. I will never forget how thankful he was for something that cost me nothing and was so small of a gesture. I wished I could have done something more.

The day I found out about The Big Step Challenge, I was in London with my family when we pasted a gentleman, a Big Issue vendor. He said hello as I walked past and I replied as I carried on walking, aware that this was again a day where I had no change. A few steps down the road I looked at my mum, she could tell what I wanted and handed me £3. I walked back towards the vendor and brought my copy of The Big Issue magazine. The vendor was so lovely, such a happy gentleman; as he handed me the magazine he asked if he could show me the best part of this issue, of course I wanted to see what he had to show me, he opened the magazine to a page where there was a picture of him holding a sign that read ‘Your steps make a big difference’- I told him that would be the first thing I read. True to my word less than 5 minutes later I was reading the page he had previously shown me. It was about The Big Step Challenge. Having previously looked into The Big Issue Foundation, due to seeing more vendors appearing in my local area, I have a good insight into the work The Big Issue Foundation does. After reading about the challenge I decided there and then I had to be involved.

To many people, 10,000 steps a day does not sound like much of a challenge, however I have Cystic Fibrosis which has many different complications. Fatigue is an issue I suffer with because of it, and additionally, after an allergic reaction left my hips joints seized a few years ago, they tend to play up without warning leaving me in unbearable pain. Therefore, this will be a challenge for me, but one I am extremely happy and proud to be a part of.

If someone at The Big Issue Foundation knows the name of the vendor in the picture holding the sign I mentioned, could you pass on that because of him I am taking part in The Big Step Challenge, thank you. And to everyone who has supported me by donating it is so greatly appreciated, every penny donated will impact the lives of the vendors in a positive way.

[We have spoken to George, who was very chuffed!] 

Feeling inspired? You can sign up to this year’s Big Step Challenge happening 10-16th September here!

Walk 10,000 steps a day from to help support Big Issue vendors out of poverty and exclusion.

Every copy counts this Christmas

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

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