The Big Issue........Helping or Hurting

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by slim, Sep 25, 2014.

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  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. Don't give a feck

  1. We all see them on the streets, Big Issue Sellers.
    Now though the idea was sound, does it work?
    The idea initially was to help the homeless back into society.
    However now anyone is able to sell the useless magazine.
    Because those selling it are classed as SELF EMPLOYED they are given a National Insurance number which opens the door to all kinds of benefits.
    How many sellers are actually earning enough to pay tax or N.I. contributions?
    How many move on and back into society?
    Is this charity a Con?
    Does anyone know a big issue seller who has moved on?

    I know several sellers in my area who have been selling for more than 5 years, to me this means that the system is not working.
  2. We have a local foreign woman who sells it that can only say "Big Issue Please!"
    Think it started out with good intentions but is now just a way of getting an NI number and benefits!!
  3. You're on a roll Slim :)

    Good job!
  4. There was a few in Stamford when I lived there ( foreign ladies) and they were moved around between Stamford, Lincoln, Peterborough and Grantham. Seems to be pretty well organised?

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  5. It seems that some people use the Big Issue as a living wage and not as a way to get the homeless off the streets and into accomodation.
  6. I think that was always the risk though, wasn't it? It was supposed to be temporary, a hand up towards longer term employment. A means of giving back some self-esteem rather than being totally dependent on benefits.

    The original idea was to give a form of employment to those who you knew at the outset were likely to give their address as No Fixed Abode.

    But from what others are posting, there seems to be an element of organised abuse going on which is not just defrauding the public but also denying the vulnerable their opportunity to benefit from this scheme.

    Must say, when I checked out their website when this topic was posted (, I was surprised that the basic facts section stated there were only ~2000 vendors - I had expected it to be a little higher for some reason. Not sure if that number is a good or a bad thing really.
  7. The original intention was a good idea, but as with most charities it's turned into another money/profit making business, "John Bird certainly doesn't look like he's struggling to get enough food these days".

    Also it's become a scam with fake ID badges, we're plagued in Kent with phony BI sellers trying to con people into buying old & out of date issues, normally they're accompanied by a mangy dog or equally mangy child.

    I've emailed BI on more then one occasion about the problem & never ever received a reply, hopefully the new proposed law will clear the streets of these unauthorized beggars as well as the bloody chuggers.

    Hopefully that's today's moan out of the way.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  8. What law is that?

    There have been moves recently (within the last year or so) by Aberdeen City Council to introduce zero-tolerance by-laws in the city centre but think those got kaiboshed, so I assumed it was only a local matter and not one for national legislation.

    Pretty sure this would be a devolved matter so you may have a bill-pending in Westminster that would need a mirror image from the Scottish Parliament as well before it applied similar measures up here in the frozen north. I avoid town centres at the best of times so couldn't tell you what or even if there is that much of a problem with beggars and chuggers here. Maybe in weegieland though.
  9. I read sometime ago that there was legislation being prepared to outlaw chuggers as a public nuisance issue & it would cover charity street collectors & beggars, for me it can't come quick enough, they're all a bloody nuisance, fortunately the local privately owned/run shopping areas have banned them from operating on their private land, but this action of course has driven them onto the public walkway/pedestrian areas.

    The problem as I see it is, it detracts the public from giving to the genuine charities, it's the same problem with all the junk mail from them.

    Personally I now only give to the established military charities that I know where the money is being spent, & only those that solely operate in the UK.
  10. I recall that now - was a few years back though and might even precede the current government?

    To operate publicly they need a license or approval by the local authority though, as well as having to be a registered charity with Charity Commission / OSCAR etc.. A complaint to the LA about creating a nuisance should be an adequate control measure would it not? LA simply does not grant them a license for the same location / times when they apply again. If they rattle tins without authorisation then the bobbies can get a call.

    We do the odd street collection in residential areas, plus a town collection for the RBL on Remembrance weekend - the first one is for the Sea Cadet Unit so we arrange our own approval from the Local Authority, and the other one is arranged by the RBL. I would never dream of trying a collection without getting the right authorisation in place because we cannot afford to lose community goodwill let alone attract the ire of our LA which could harm subsequent collections and fund-raisers.
  11. To get a license in Huntingdon you have to fill in a 10 page application and get your return signed by a qualified accountant, it's a ball ache. They only allow one licence a day, However most weeks there is more than one group or other collecting at the same time? Makes my blood boil as we (RNA) play by the rules and others H4H (to name one from the other week) tend to get away with it

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  12. Whilst I agree they in the main operate with good intentions they're still a public nuisance & should not be allowed to collect on public land as there's no redress against them, on private land you can complain to the operator & normally get a quick response, on public land they've been & gone before the council have even woken up.

    We've had all-sorts of charities collecting from "save the rabbit to slay the dragon" along with the bloody chuggers who just want people to sign up for years, & some people give because the feel intimidated or embarrassed, it's time it was all stopped in the public areas.

    Our local supermarkets/private shopping areas are extremely choosy about who they allow & lay down strict rules of operating, H4H & the RBL are regularly in attendance long with the scouts who pack shopping on the tills & it all seems work OK, on the other side they've banned the BI & phone/energy companies because of the number of complaints.

    As a further example we're getting the high street charity shops closing down in droves because they now only want people to sign up for a regular direct debit monthly payment, that just shows how charities have become nothing more then big "taxpayer subsidized" business's.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  13. There's a chap in Glastonbury "on the high street" who's very fit about 6'6" & 18 stone, he works on the land during the summer & sells the BI for the rest of the year, he's very intelligent to talk to & has no intention of getting any other employment, & he's been doing this for at least 10 years to my knowledge.

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