University provides new home for Big Issue North
‘In the City’ shop will be the new base for deliveries and vendors in Preston
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has stepped in to help Big Issue North sellers in Preston after the independent street paper found itself without a regional base.
UCLan will host the Big Issue North at its ‘UCLan in the City’ store, located at the Lune Street entrance of St George’s Shopping Centre, every Monday and Friday morning.
Volunteers from the University’s Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership (CVCL) will be manning the shop, receiving deliveries of the Big Issue North magazine and selling them to Preston-based vendors.
The volunteers have also received training from Big Issue North to enable them to signpost vendors to other services, including ways to develop skills or where to go for housing, financial and health advice and to know when someone might need more support from a member of Big Issue North staff
Jenny Lamb, senior lecturer at UCLan, said: “The ‘In the City’ shop exists to develop and strengthen links with the local community, and when we learned that Big Issue North could no longer operate from its former regional base, we were determined to find a way to help.
“Street papers are such an important initiative. Earning an income is the first step on the journey away from poverty and can improve motivation and self-esteem. Our volunteers will be linking vendors with vital support and services where necessary, too.”
"Street papers are such an important initiative. Earning an income is the first step on the journey away from poverty and can improve motivation and self-esteem."
Big Issue North is sold by people who have limited other ways of earning an income. Vendors purchase the magazines from their regional offices for £1.25 and sell it on established pitches for £2.50, keeping the money they make.
UCLan in the City strengthens community links by hosting both UCLan-led and community group activities such as exhibitions, health and wellbeing services, business and legal advice workshops, and science clubs.