Geeks Vs Loneliness: a word or two about The Big Issue

Might you have a few pounds spare to buy an extraordinary magazine from a human being this weekend?

Hello and welcome to our regular Geeks Vs Loneliness spot, the part of the site where we try and extend a virtual hand of friendship to those going through tough times, or know people who are.

That said, we’re doing something a little different last week, as I wanted to talk about something that’s important to us at Den Of Geek. For around a year or so now, we’ve been contributing a small weekly column to The Big Issue magazine. It doesn’t always make it into print, as it’s a magazine with no shortage of material to cram in. But that, and the odd feature, do pop up with our name on it. We don’t charge for them or anything, lest you think this is building up to us trying to pitch for lots of paid work.

We support The Big Issue because we firmly believe in what it’s trying to do, and successfully doing. It’s a magazine that’s sold every week by people who are either homeless, or long-term unemployed, or both. The ethos of the magazine is a hand-up, not a hand-out: what The Big Issue is trying to do is help people help themselves get back on their feet.

Thus, vendors of the magazine buy the magazine for half of the cover price – £2.50 most of the time, £3 for the assortment of bumper Christmas issues – and the other half of that price is their income.

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Our local Big Issue seller has been going through some tough times of late. Her name’s Anna, and she works long hours in Halesowen, sometimes selling three or four copies a day. But she turns up, in all weathers, and sells the magazine. She is not alone. Vendors right across the country are doing the same thing, and we wanted to use this spot to ask you – if you haven’t before – to give the magazine a try.

Notwithstanding the fact that the magazine itself is an excellent read – apart from our bit, obviously – it’s a transformative publication for many people’s lives, with around 100,000 copies sold weekly. The Big Issue has helped thousands of its vendors earn – and earn is the crucial word here – around £5m between them. But the vast majority are still living on the edge.

We don’t charge for Den Of Geek, and we hope that you enjoy what you get when you read the site. We do really appreciate your eyeballs and/or screen readers. But would you consider sparing a few pounds, and picking a Big Issue up? And if you can, encourage a few people around you to do so? In a very small way, you’d help contribute to the building blocks that might just change someone’s life.

You can read more about the aims of The Big Issue here

Thanks, as always, for reading. You are the best.