I am working on this forthcoming event for the Big Issue Foundation, do take the time to have a read of the info below and do join up if you want to make a real difference to homelessness in London.
There was a fantastic documentary on BBC4 last week – On The Streets. Nothing to do directly with the Big Issue but very compelling and insightful stuff, worth a look if and when you have the time: On The Streets
THE BIG ISSUE PRESENTS
The Big London Night Walk
Friday September 30th 2011
Celebrating 20 years of giving homeless people ‘a hand up, not a hand out’
A night walk? For the Big Issue? To help empower homeless and vulnerable people across the UK?
What better way to continue the celebrations of 20 years since the magazine hit the streets and The Big Issue Foundation charity was founded.
On Friday 30th September 2011 London The Big Issue will host the third annual The Big London Night Walk, but this year it will be bigger and better than ever before, with all sorts of exciting new activities and entertainment on offer.
1000 people will be walking 25 kms (just over 15 miles) through the night to help raise much needed funds for The Big Issue Foundation, and YOU could be one of them. Not only is this an opportunity to raise some hard cash, but this is also a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded people and Big Issue vendors alike. You will also learn about the admirable work the The Big Issue Foundation carries out along the route.
So what exactly is in store?
* 25 kms walking through the night
*London as you’ve never seen it before – watch the city awake
* Access some of London most inspiring organisations and buildings
* Meet and chat with vendors
* A special Big Issue London Night Walk podcast created by poet Charlie Dark to narrate your walk will be available to download prior to the event
Did You Know?
* There will be information hotspots on the route where participants’ questions about The Big Issue will be answered. Areas will be soaked with bright LED lights tagged with insights and information around issues of homelessness and the work we do, all answered by TBI founder John Bird and a select team of vendors.
* The assemblage of valuable information will be published in the magazine/on the website following the event. 1000 questions by participants of The Big London Night Walk will inform and educate 1 million readers. The email address to send your question is available on the website once you’ve signed up to take part – HERE.
HOW HAS THE BIG ISSUE FOUNDATION CHANGED THE LIVES OF ITS VENDORS?
Stephen Robertson, CEO The Big Issue Foundation
« Nearly 40% of new vendors are sleeping rough when they join us. Many have not had a place to call their own since their teens. Bedding down on the streets for a night is dangerous and distressful on all levels. People can be beaten up, urinated on or simply unable to rest because of the fear of what may happen to them. Extreme cold, rain and snow all contribute towards dramatically higher rates of ill health and disease. Thanks to our work and our ability to connect vendors to opportunities, the frequency of rough sleeping decreases rapidly as a vendor begins to run their own small business, reducing the need to beg and commit low level crime to support the most basic of human needs. Thanks to our vendor support work virtually all vendors find alternatives to the street sleeping within their first few weeks of vending »
* The average life expectancy on the streets is 42 years
* 1 in 3 vendors have been mugged on the streets for all their takings
* From 2003-2008 there was an 80% increase in homeless women
The Big London Night Walk – it’s time to step up and see the light
This walk is about getting people together and seeing the city in a whole new light, with friends. To find our about reduced team rates visit our registration page.
PR enquiries/interview requests with Big Issue vendors please contact
Lulu Le Vay firstname.lastname@example.org 07956 945847