Issue # 183 Woodsmith Magazine Plans,woodworking projects free,0ld Woodworking Machines - Tips For You

18.02.2015
HANNAH GRAHAM wonders whether the Big Issue system really is an effective way of helping the homeless. Walking through the streets of Cambridge I, like many of you, am often confronted by Big Issue salesmen. I talked to several vendors for whom the magazine has been a real lifeline, giving them a sense of purpose and independence, and allowing some to create really positive relationships with the local businesses that surround their usual ‘patch’. The amount of Big Issue sellers in Cambridge is more to do with the generosity or perceived generosity of Cambridge residents than regional factors causing homelessness.
So maybe the Big Issue hasn’t yet achieved its aim of promoting the wellbeing of the least fortunate in the framework of pure capitalism. Your whole piece can be summarised as “I used to buy the big issue because i thought i was giving money to beggars.
Your all full of it not one of you have ever been there on the bottom with people spitting and blanking you its the worst place to be and its even harder to drag yourself back up.


For me, however, the Big Issue is bound up with a complex, and possibly ridiculous, cycle of guilt. With its slogan, ‘a hand up not a hand out’, the whole point of the magazine is that it isn’t a charitable donation. They bear the risk of not selling the copies they have paid for and they decide how much of their profits they want to invest in more magazines to sell. Whilst I don’t want to feel like I’m patronising the vendors, undermining their attempt to move from begging to real work, I imagine they’d probably rather I hand over the ?2.50 than walk past feeling morally secure and leaving them with one more magazine to sell before the end of a long, cold day. But then after i wrote most of this article i read the magazine and it turns out that its a quality product. Big Issue vendors will always be able to sell the Big Issue as a source (however small) of income, whereas it would probably cost Shelter ?2.50 to give a homeless person a bed and food for one night and, once that night is up, they are back to square one. It’s a habit I’ve inherited from my mother, a woman who has been known to buy several copies of the same issue because she physically can’t walk past a Big Issue vendor without making a purchase.


Though some try to convince me of the magazine’s merits, other vendors don’t seem too worried about their client’s motivation.
Furthermore, I think you are undervaluing the sense of self-worth and independence that Big Issue vendors get from making their own money, rather than being dependent on charities.
Through buying the Big Issue, you are helping homeless people to help themselves and I feel that offering them support is invaluable. Even that lovely looking Christmas issue with the big picture of David Tennant on the front – I really meant to read that one.
While she is happy to give to charity which admits it is charity, paying ?2.50 for a magazine she doesn’t want is ridiculous, because it reduces the vendors from working – offering people a service and being fairly paid for that service by those who want it – to begging – using their status as homeless and disadvantaged to get people to give them money altruistically.



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