Vendor Spotlight: ARTHOUSE Meath

Vendor Spotlight: ARTHOUSE Meath

ARTHOUSE Meath presents the skills and talents of men and women living with complex epilepsy, learning, and physical difficulties. Based in Godalming, ARTHOUSE Meath’s impact is felt across Sussex, as the group has connections with both Chichester and Brighton. Over 70 artists work alongside instructors who enable groups or individuals to create artworks which are developed into designer products for sale. All work derives from the skills each artist brings to the enterprise and every contribution holds a true value.

When making a new design, each character is individually hand drawn by an artist in their own unique style based on photographs or images.  Each one of the drawings is then scaled up or down and arranged in an intricate composition to create a huge masterpiece. The artists then collaborate to finish the composition by filling in details, eventually joining the individual drawings together.

With high-quality artwork and products, ARTHOUSE Meath aims to create a platform of positive change in attitude towards people who are often marginalised. Ultimately striving to challenge perceptions and to create better acceptance and inclusion for all people living with disabilities. 100% of sales revenue goes towards sustaining the enterprise, helping it to grow and evolve.

“The work of our residents offers an insight to viewing the world differently. It has humour, warmth and honesty which serves as an inspiration for us all.”

The Big Issue Shop is proud to stock a range of ARTHOUSE Meath products, to see the full collection, click here.

The Big Issue Shop Winter Sale is On!

The Big Issue Shop Winter Sale is On!

The Winter Sale is now on at The Big Issue Shop! There is up to 30% off some of our most popular social brands. So, stock up on a warm scarf, grab yourself a bargain and for all those super organised – start buying for this year’s Christmas…

There are lots to choose from including beautiful soaps and toiletries from The Soap Co, an eclectic range of Street Art and unique, jewellery pieces from Quazi, and Studio 306. All products come from social enterprises that help and support a variety of causes from around the world. From funding access to clean water, to employment for those struck with poverty, you can be sure your money goes further with The Big Issue Shop.

SHOP THE WINTER SALE

Street Art: Robyn Forman

Street Art: Giving Marginalised Individuals an Outlet for Creative Expression

Every week in The Big Issue, our Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as a platform to sell their prints through The Big Issue Shop.

Robyn Forman is one such individual and describes what her work is about. “My work is about healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. Medicine leaves are a natural source and the medicine that I take that leaves the body. My other artwork available to buy is ‘Tapestry’ (see below) is about emotions weaving. Managing to get the correct dosage of medication for my bi-polar and Rheumatoid Arthritis has been crucial to enable me to recover. My inspiration is also about recovery, everyday I feel I am in recovery. When I work on a piece of art I go into a zone that is meditative. Making art also helps give me some relief from the chronic pain and stresses of managing everyday life”.

Street Art: Chris Gray

Street Art: Giving Marginalised Individuals an Outlet for Creative Expression

Every week in The Big Issue, our Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as a platform to sell their prints through The Big Issue Shop.

“I’m 49 years old and have a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia which is largely under control by the correct medication,” says Chris Gray. “I grew up in Littlehampton and I’ve lived in Brighton for over 20 years. I’ve been using computers to create images, animations, interactive pieces and music since the early 1990s. These images are hand drawn then treated and colourised in Photoshop.”

Vendor Spotlight: Sip ‘O’ Snack

Vendor Spotlight: Sip ‘O’ Snack

Developed by an enthusiastic team of students from St Helen’s School, Sip ‘O’ Snack is a durable, stylish and practical water bottle with a distinctive screw-off snack container. Made with BPA-free, lead-free plastic, Sip ‘O’ Snack aims to lessen the impact on the environment by encouraging bottle reuse. The bottles also enable the use only one product for both food and drink, which will greatly reduce the use of disposable food and drink packaging.

‘We are Orenda, the company behind the vibrant and practical Sip ‘O’ Snack bottles! The word Orenda refers to the force present in all humans which enables us to accomplish things. Aiming to embody this idea, we are an enthusiastic team from St Helen’s School in Northwood devoted to providing a product that adds both practicality and fun to everyday life.

After hours of brainstorming, scribbling wildly on whiteboards and enthusiastically spurting out ideas, the Orenda team had finally been rendered speechless. In silence, each member stared at inanimate objects in the room. And then, it came. Whilst looking at a lone water bottle, our idea began to form. “How about a water bottle with a screwable snack container at the bottom?”. A few more hours of development and research later, the Sip ‘O’ Snack was formed. In fact, we were so keen on the concept of screw-ability, our bottles were once going to be called ‘skru’. Our advisor quickly…advised against it.

However, we quickly realised that the concept had scope beyond the initial product and we began developing ideas for a new and improved Sip ‘O’ Snack model. After rejecting many models, we went through a lengthy process of finding the most effective price for the quality of the bottle. We finally settled on the vibrant bottles that we could not be prouder to present to you today!’ The Orenda Team

With each purchase from their innovative range results in a donation to Young Enterprise which provides millions of young people around the UK with opportunities, platforms and skills.

SHOP SIP ‘O’ SNACK

Just To Say A Big Thanks!

Just To Say A Big Thanks!

With the year coming to a close and a new one coming just around the corner, The Big Issue Shop would just like to thank you all for supporting the cause! Together, we have supported a variety of social enterprises and initiatives that have positively affected people from around the world, whilst also spreading awareness of homelessness within the UK.

It’s been a whole year since The Big Issue Shop has opened and twenty-five more since The Big Issue Magazine started. Since then we’ve helped support thousands of people out of homelessness and continue to believe in giving a hand up and not a handout.

So to celebrate, here are some our favourite highlights of the year which include our Call For Change Campaign, featuring a discussion with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Another highlight is Peter Capaldi proudly showing off his Tucker Vs Partridge magazine. We hope next year will be brighter, bigger and better, with the goal of eradicating poverty still firmly in our sights.

 

 

 

Street Art: Michael Crosswaite

Street Art: Giving Marginalised Individuals an Outlet for Creative Expression

Every week in The Big Issue, our Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as a platform to sell their prints through The Big Issue Shop.

After years spent travelling and squatting, Michael Crosswaite ended up homeless in London with a drug habit. “I got into a hostel and eventually got myself clean,” he says. “Now I’ve got a Peabody Flat and things are cool. With my painting my thing is humour. The more ridiculous the better. I loved Monty Python and the whole silliness thing. I think the world is a very silly place and hopefully this comes though in my pictures.”

Vendor Spotlight: Fine Cell Work

Vendor Spotlight: Fine Cell Work

Fine Cell Work is a rehabilitation charity that works in 32 prisons across Britain. They enable prisoners to build fulfilling and crime-free lives by training them to do high-quality, skilled needlework to foster hope and discipline. Their aim is to allow them to finish their sentences with work skills, financial support, and the self-belief to not re-offend.

The idea for Fine Cell Work was originally conceived by Lady Anne Tree in the 1960’s when she was a prison visitor to HMP Holloway. She became aware of how much of prisoners’ time was completely wasted and that they might do a skilled job in their cell, get paid for it and have the money presented to them on release. Her idea that if the work was top quality there would be a market for it. She thought embroidery would be a useful skill as it was easily transported in a kit bag when the workers moved prison. Now engaging with over 500 prisoners each year, Fine Cell Work addresses key issues affecting prisoners’ offending behaviours: establishment and reinforcement of work skills, building relationships, and mental resilience.

Prisoners are taught by experienced volunteers and staff to work in their cells and in prison workshops. Having the opportunity to work independently helps them to regain control of their lives and allows them to maintain dignity. Prisoners gain a sense of connection to the world outside prison through the sale of their work. It also helps establish a work ethic and allows them to send money to their families or save for their release.

Fine Cell Work also guides them towards training and support on release. At the ‘Fine Works Hub’, a London-based workshop, they provide work experience, formal training, and employment. At the Clothworkers Studio, apprentices are able to complete textile qualifications; work with an employment mentor; gain employment support; and take up opportunities in product manufacture and design, as well as sales and stock management.

Proceeds will go to expanding into more prisons across the UK and rehabilitating prisoners, hopefully breaking the cycle of re-offending.

Street Art: Tangerine

Street Art: Giving Marginalised Individuals an Outlet for Creative Expression

Every week in The Big Issue, our Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as a platform to sell their prints through The Big Issue Shop.

Tangerine is a mixed media artist, photographer and graphic designer born in Italy in 1979 and now living in Brighton. “Art has always been a very important part of my life,” she says, “I have been trying to create something new and personal, looking at the inner side of my personality, along with the experience of anxiety and social issues. I am really inspired by music and my artworks always try to express what music means to me.”

Be A Social Santa!

Be A Social Santa!

The countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun and what better way to make your money stretch further than to get a gift that also supports a great cause in the UK and beyond? To make it even easier, we’ve got ‘Gifts for Him‘, ‘Gifts for Her‘ and ‘Gifts for Kids‘ collections so you can get everybody covered.

We’ve also got limited edition wrapping paper which were designed by various top artists including Ben Eine and Sarah Pope. Other designs include ones by Street Artists Rene Robbins, John Sheehy, and even our own founder, John Bird!

If that’s not enough we’ve also got a collection of exclusive festive cards, featuring six of our best Christmas Big Issue magazine covers. These also include some very special covers designed by winners of our Kids Christmas Competition.

All profits go to help people living on the margins a hand up. So be a Social Santa this Christmas and get a gift that keeps on giving!

SHOP CARDS AND WRAP