Hands Up for Hand Outs

John A. Bird, Founder of The Big Issue
I've been following the argument on A Reluctant Sinner's blog. He cites the founder of The Big Issue as an example of an organisation that offers people hope. The next time you see someone selling The Big Issue in the pouring rain, ask him whether he considers that selling The Big Issue really constitutes a 'hand up' not a 'hand out'.

Personally, I don't know anyone who buys it out of anything but sympathy for the seller. Buying The Big Issue is an act of kindness, like giving money to a beggar or that glorified beggar, the busker.

You don't hand over the money because you like what you've received. You do it because you know that acts of kindness like that are what makes the world go round. The founder did quite well out of it though, didn't he? It all rather reminds me of the slave trade.


You are right Laurence.I always buy,but never read that magazine.What is stopping you producing the magazine on the homeless?Is it the cost involved?
Well, yes and no.

I have a little bit of money, plus my overdraft, but I can't afford to get into debt again. I'm not earning much. The working title of the magazine is The Eye of a Needle. Even if it were just 4 pages long, it would be something, something that gave them a voice. Leave it in laundrettes and that.

If I had a laptop, I could write articles on the move, out on the street and even show people the magazine coming together. Then I could teach them how to use the package, Adobe InDesign and stuff.

Funding would help greatly, especially in producing a first issue and from then, who knows.
Is it an all singing all dancing lap top you would need?Or just the basic type.
There is a shop down the road that does one with enough memory for the package for about £250/300. It is memory I need really. I could start up a fund.
Will email you tomorrow
Richard Collins said…
I never buy the Big Issue because of concerns expressed many years ago now that proceeds went to socialist (political) campaigns around the world.
I have tried hard to verify that concern but have failed to find anything (the financial breakdown requires an accountant's mind which I certainly do not have).
It would be interesting to know the accuracy of this for once and for all.