Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Big Issue!!

Hello. My name is Krishala. I grew up in London, but now reside in Acacias, Geneva, Switzerland. I am an artist and you can check out my work here:

I am writing to you regarding a charity that is linked to Caritas, called 'Le Care' in Acacias. It is a wonderful organisation that feeds the homeless in the area, as well as teach them art amongst other things. 

I would like to raise money for this charity. There is something in London called 'The Big Issue' its a magazine that the homeless of London sell. They sell the magazine for £1.40 and they get to keep 80p for each issue sold. I love this concept! Wouldn't it be great if instead of having nothing productive to do, the homeless could be selling a magazine full of talent and colour. Here is an extract of somthing I found written about the UK's Big Issue

The Big Issue was founded to address the rising problem of visible street homelessness at a time of economic recession. St. Mungo’s homeless charity estimated that on a typical night, 1,275 people were sleeping rough in England. Seeking to avoid a paternalistic top-down approach, they created a means of empowering the homeless through financial inclusion and self help.

The Big Issue was established by John Bird and supported by Gordon Roddick of The Body Shop. The concept was simple – a street newspaper, compiled by professionals and then sold to homeless people to sell on the street at a profit, providing legitimate income for some of society’s most vulnerable people. The idea for the business came from Street News, a newspaper sold by homeless people in New York, which Roddick saw when he was visiting the US. With the help of The Body Shop International, Roddick and Bird launched The Big Issue in London in September 1991, initially as a monthly publication. The Big Issue works by ‘badging up’ vendors, who have to complete a training period and sign a vendor code of conduct in order to receive an official badge which they must display at all times when selling the paper. They are provided with an initial allocation of papers on credit (in London they are given ten papers, but this varies across the country). When they have sold these, they are able to buy copies of the magazine upfront at a cost of 40-50 per cent of the cover price, and keep their sales profits. The current price of The Big Issue is £1.40 on which the vendor earns 80p. 


Personally I don't have the money to start this magazine. This is where you come in :) I have a shop online where I sell my art - I have decided that for any painting in this shop sold, 100% of the profits will go to creating this magazine. This is a lovely way for me to raise money for the magazine as I am getting ready to study at the 'Ecole des Beaux Arts' in Geneva (otherwise known now as HEAD) so to sell and have to produce more artwork is refreshing! 

I hope you do not see this letter as spam. I am not educated in terms of marketing so this approach may seem a little unprofessional, but I am trying to do something for a good cause. If you have any questions, or just to say hello, or to encourage me, please send me an email

Thanks very much for reading. :)  


Krishala Burchill

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