As we move into 2017, we wanted to share some of the wonderful activities, events and inspiring stories that made last year so special for us. We have so much to reflect on from 2016, and here are just some of the amazing highlights we’d like to share with you:
The BIG Stories
This year we celebrated many more inspirational stories from our Big Issue vendors. Early 2016 saw Big Issue vendor Carlos hold a photography art exhibition at Roast, a landmark British restaurant in London’s Iconic Borough Market. In April Birchington-On-Sea vendor Richard started his 8 month challenge of growing a beard for The Big Issue Foundation. May saw the heart-warming inspiring story of June drive’s for self-improvement. In the summer, we celebrated Marc handing in his Big Issue tabard to work full-time on his Vinyl record business. In the autumn, Oxford vendor Sean told us why he was doing this year’s Big Sleep Out again and why female vendor Rose Fu took on The Big Knitathon. This winter, we celebrated the two Paul’s, Paul Logan and Paul Jones. Paul Logan shared his story about his Corporate Vendor Placement Programme, at Simmons & Simmons, the big law firm at Moorgate and his new pitch inside Liverpool Street station. And Paul Jones shared his heart-warming story of going back to Leicester to spend Christmas with his estranged family, having recently mended fences and healed old wounds.
The BIG Events
This year saw our most successful Sleep Out yet when 80 supporters slept out at St John’s Church, Waterloo, raising over £23,000 to support Big Issue vendors. We had another brilliant Night Walk event, featuring James and Bob, raising over £58,000. Our biggest individual fundraiser this year was Melissa Scott, who raised almost £4,000 climbing Kilimanjaro for TBIF.
The BIG News
In January 2016 The Lead London Home Campaign launched which called for pledges from all mayoral candidates to lead the way on tackling homelessness. This was being backed by over 20 homeless charities in the capital including The Big Issue Foundation.