It might not be the most auspicious anniversary, but The Big Issue Scotland magazine – which offers homeless people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income as vendors – has produced a special, £2 edition to celebrate its 19th birthday, including interviews with 19 year-olds across the country.
Also included in the 64-page edition are messages of congratulation from celebrities such as Annie Lennox, Gok Wan, Wayne Hemingway, Sadie Frost, Alison Goldfrapp, Josie Long and KT Tunstall.
Says editor, Paul McNamee: “The Big Issue was established by John Bird in 1991 as a legitimate means for the homeless and vulnerably housed to make a wage. It remains the only organisation in Britain to deal with homelessness in a way that directly empowers those effected to regain dignity, some means of self-support and a future. We’re proud of that, proud of the tens of thousands who have sold the magazine and found a way forward from it. We know that as the economic situation gets tougher the need for the magazine grows, even into our 20th year.”
McNamee is also editor of Welsh sister title, The Big Issue Cymru.
He adds: “Editorially, the magazine is in great shape. There is a committed, award-winning staff across editorial and design. And week after week, we challenge the status quo in politics and power, we become a voice for those without a voice, we build our identity.
“We bring our loyal band of readers access to some of the biggest names in current affairs and entertainment, more than any other magazine in Scotland. We deliver a fresh and independent angle on news and issues We carry intelligent and original features on arts and entertainment, with big names keen to talk to us – those who have drawn us birthday cards and sent messages are just a few of the friends who have supported us over the years.
“Next month, we will unveil a new re-design which will give readers a better looking and easier to navigate magazine.
“As ever with The Big Issue, we continue to strive to be better, to make a magazine that vendors are proud to sell and our readers want to pick up each and every week.”