Special edition of The Big Issue as vendors return to the streets in Scotland

Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent
·2-min read

A special schools edition of The Big Issue has been created to mark the return of the magazine’s vendors across Scotland for the first time after 24 weeks of lockdown.

A supplement is included in all copies of the national edition, with additional copies being sold by young people in schools across Scotland.

The publication has partnered with the Social Enterprise Academy, which gives young people a hands-on experience in running a business with a social purpose.

The new edition, on sale from Monday, looks at ways that young people have contributed to their communities during the pandemic.

Pupils at Blairhall Primary School in Dunfermline did some baking (Social Enterprise Academy/The Big Issue/PA)
Pupils at Blairhall Primary School in Dunfermline did some baking (Social Enterprise Academy/The Big Issue/PA)

Events included a “hot chocolate Thursday” at Broughton High School in Edinburgh, to encourage students to gather in the playground and share a hot drink, while St Bernard’s Primary in Glasgow donated food items and made personalised bottles of hand sanitiser.

Social Enterprise Academy chief executive Neil McLean said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with The Big Issue again this year and I hope readers are inspired by the active role young people have played to help keep their communities connected, healthy and environmentally sustainable over this incredibly difficult last year of the pandemic.

“The stories in this magazine highlight how pupils have shown real resilience and entrepreneurial spirit by pivoting their social enterprises to continue supporting their communities throughout Covid-19.

“At a time when a minority of young people have been in the news for the wrong reasons, it’s wonderful to see the character, creativity and caring of all of these young social entrepreneurs.”

Children from St Joseph’s Primary School in Glasgow set up a clothes stall (Social Enterprise Academy/The Big Issue/PA)
Children from St Joseph’s Primary School in Glasgow set up a clothes stall (Social Enterprise Academy/The Big Issue/PA)

Russell Blackman, managing director of The Big Issue, said: “This year has been a particularly challenging year for students with school closures and social distancing in place.

“However, the pupils involved in the projects have shown us how their bright and bold ideas turn into innovative and profitable small social enterprises that really make a big difference in their local communities. It is inspirational!

“The sell-off was cancelled last year due to Covid-19 but this year pupils are back hosting sell-offs of the special edition of the magazine through their schools, making money for their projects and spreading the word about the important work of The Big Issue.”