City suits encouraged to put their best foot forward

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City suits are being urged to take a step in the right direction and sign up to The Big London Night Walk to support Big Issue vendors.

The 13-mile walking challenge, taking place on 8 March, will not only offer walkers a chance to see iconic landmarks by night, but also showcases real-life stories and insights from Big Issue vendors, providing an alternative view of the Capital’s street life.

Homelessness in the City of London climbed 87% in the last three months of 2018, and is a problem the City Corporation is addressing with the implementation of a dedicated homelessness and rough sleeping sub committee.

Over its eight-year history, the annual event has raised in excess of £450,000 to support Big Issue vendors across the UK.

Big Issue vendor Bill, who was supported by The Big Issue Foundation to find a safe home and attended the walk in 2017, said: “It was so important to me that The Big Issue Foundation team focused on helping me access healthcare when I first walked through the door and started selling the magazine.”

“Liam, a Service Broker assessed my immediate and longer-term needs. My medication had run out so Liam arranged for me to see a doctor and Chloe [Bill’s dog] was registered with The Dogs Trust so she could stay healthy too.

“I’m so grateful for the support of The Big Issue Foundation, knowing that they are there to help me.”

This year’s route will begin and end in Shoreditch, and registration costs £25. Walkers are encouraged to raise at least £250 in sponsorship.

Stephen Robertson, Big Issue Foundation CEO, said: “Whatever way you look at it, homelessness, rough sleeping and other poverty indicators are getting worse. The Big Night Walk is a challenge but we live in challenging times.

“The event engages directly with the spirit of support and positivity that our event participants bring to the Big Issue and the work of The Big Issue Foundation.

“I very much look forward to walking and talking with everyone through the night. Each person taking part helps us to help more people and to change lives for good. Join us and be a star under the stars.”

To register, visit bigissue.org.uk/walk.

Photo credit Solent Creatives (Creative Commons)