Tuesday, 17 May 2022
    15
    Jun
    Cultural and Social

    Big Issue marks 25 years

    The Australian edition of the Big Issue released its 25th birthday special edition on Friday, The Guardian reports.

    For a quarter of a century the not-for-profit magazine has provided work opportunities for those experiencing disadvantage and homelessness.

    Marcus first started selling the Big Issue in June 1997 at the age of 24.

    “Up until that point I was going nowhere,” he said. Searching for work in Melbourne, but unable to find any, he said the magazine “saved my life, it gave me a reason to exist”.

    Marcus, now 48, said the Big Issue has “literally been half my life”.

    He said the first week of the job was very hard but he soon built a base of regular customers.

    Marcus said the money was important but his favourite part of the job was the interaction with his customers and the chance to meet different people. A highlight for Marcus was meeting the Dalai Lama, who stopped, said hello and gave him a blessing.

    Marcus has bipolar disorder and said the routine the work offered him was crucial. During the enforced break during Covid last year, “not having routine and structure that I thrive on was the hardest thing”.

    Marcus said he was proud to see how the Big Issue had evolved over 25 years. During that time, he has seen the layout and the writing improve.

    “The magazine looks really professional, really smart, something you’d buy in the newsagent but you’ve got to buy it off us.”

    Steven Persson, the chief executive of the Big Issue, said the publication was “very proud to have published over 600 issues, sold 13m copies, supported 7,000 vendors on the street and assisted people to earn over $32m dollars.”

    FULL STORY

    ‘It gave me a reason to exist’: 25 years of the Big Issue in Australia (The Guardian)

    IMAGE

    The Big Issue