I’ve always been a Big Issue supporter albeit on the passive side; growing up and working in London has been enough of an eye opener to make me very aware of the plight of the homeless. Until recently, the times I chose when to buy it were somewhat spontaneous, on a whim – the face or eyes of the vendor, my mood that day, how flush I was feeling, the cover story/image. I also never used to really properly read it. Until now.
We used to have a regular outside our local Planet Organic, who was so pushy and in your face that it positively put me off buying it altogether – a painful reminder of Big Issue vendors in Soho in its darker days past. Luckily he was replaced a couple of months ago by Florin. A positive master of the undersell, he stands in his spot, with as much genuine cheer as is possible for a person in his disposition. Calm, and serene, but with a warm and genuine smile should you choose to engage. Apart from feeling happy to support the cause on a now regular basis, what has also happened is that I’ve started to read the magazine. And what a great magazine it is, well designed, great illustrations and an editorial tone that is insightful and balanced with just the right degree of opinion.
Congratulations and respect to John Bird for creating something that I never thought would last as long as it has, and become so much a part of the urban London and editorial landscape. DLK