Sheffield figures go head-to-head to support Big Issue

Two popular Sheffield figures took to the streets in a head-to-head challenge.

Thursday, 7th February 2019, 15:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 17:27 pm
Jon McClure with Big Issue Vendor Stuart

Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure and Lord Mayor Magid Magid spent an hour each in the city centre today selling copies of Big Issue North. 

In total the duo sold 42 copies – Magid triumphed by selling 26 magazines, while Jon sold 16.

Lord Mayor Magid Magid, selling Big Issue North. Picture: Chris Etchells

Jon said: “Homelessness is a thing that really bugs me. We’ve got one of the biggest economies in the world but there’s people sleeping out on the street when there’s other people driving past in Ferraris.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It sickens me really, so I’m just trying to do my bit and highlight the issues and support the people who are on the streets, because there’s often a lack of understanding among the public and a lack of sympathy.

“We’ve just got to get out there really and show support and help.”

The pair’s contest formed one of a number of challenges that make up Big Issue North’s Big Sell, an annual event aiming to raise awareness of the challenges faced by regular sellers of the street paper.

Big Issue vendor Stuart, Jon’s partner for the day, said: “The Big Issue fixes my immediate problems and I’ll always support it.

“You get people who say they ought to buy a Big Issue because I can be bothered to stand out here when it’s cold.

“We do get people who tell us to get a proper job, but people who buy the magazines are really good with us.”

All money raised from the magazine sales went straight into the regular vendor’s pocket.

Jon said: “I’m used to standing on a stage and people looking at me. You’d be surprised being a vendor on the street, people look right through you.

“Some people are quite polite and others are downright rude and almost look at you like you’re not human. It’s a societal thing that we’ve got to try and shift.

“It’s really cold out here today and it’s the middle of the day - imagine what it’s like at 3am out here, it’s horrific.

“I think we’d do well to try and have a bit of sympathy for the homeless because it’s getting worse.”