Did you know that today is the Big Issue’s 21st birthday? The newspaper was launched on 11 September 1991 by Gordon Roddick and John Bird, who wanted to help the hundreds of rough sleepers that you could find on the streets of London at the time, and give them an avenue to earn a legitimate income. 21 years later, the Big Issue now has five discreet newspapers on sale in five British cities and in nine foreign countries, selling around 300,000 copies a week.
On Friday 28 September the Big Issue Foundation, the parent organisation which offers support services to the homeless, will be hosting its fourth ‘Big London Night Walk‘ to raise funds. Participants will set out on a 12 mile route taking in all of the Central London sights. The Big London Night Walk is an ideal opportunity for you to connect with other people who feel that the important issues around homelessness need to be tackled. The cost of participating is only £20.
For those who are even more active there’s also the Thames Path Challenge, which takes place over the weekend of 29-30 September – a gruelling route from Putney Bridge to Henley on Thames that takes in 100km of London’s pavements. Entry fees to the walking challenge are £75 for the 100km route or £50 for a slightly less challenging 50km route (although you’re expected to complete that one in under 24 hours!) – there’s more information on the route and sponsorship levels here.
For those who can’t take the strain there’s also a national Knitathon taking place later this year on 17 November, which sounds rather more sedate! People are being asked to knit small six-inch squares and send them on to the Big Issue Foundation where they can be incorporated into a Big Knitathon quilt. For those with expert knitting skills the Big Issue Foundation would also like you to consider knitting hats and scarves to sell via eBay to help raise funds too.
You can find out about all of the upcoming Big Issue events and how you can contribute to their work at this link to the Big Issue website.