23 October 2014

Big praise for the Big Sell-Off

INSP’s inaugural Big Sell-Off, in association with The Big Issue, was highly commended at
INSP's Zoe Greenfield & Maree Aldam celebrate
Scotland’s most prestigious fundraising awards on Tuesday night.

The Institute of Fundraising Scotland praised February’s event, which raised more than £25,000 for INSP, whilst raising the profile of the charity and boosting sales of The Big Issue.

The event saw 30 high profile guest vendors sell The Big Issue, including Green MSP Patrick Harvie; author Alan Bissett; the Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh; and Herald and Times Group Managing Director Tim Blott.

“The first event of its kind, the Big Sell-Off 2014 was a highly successful fundraising and publicity event for both INSP and The Big Issue,” said awards host and innovation expert Lucy Gower.

“Over £25,000 was raised for INSP – more than double the fundraising target. The event secured extensive media coverage, including two slots on STV news, and served as a huge morale boost for Big Issue vendors and staff.”

The event was also applauded for its scalability – INSP is already working to expand the reach of the Big Sell-Off for #VendorWeek 2015.

INSP Chief Executive Maree Aldam said that she was delighted with the accolade.

“We are thrilled that IOF Scotland has recognised this innovative and enormously successful fundraising event,” she added.

“The Big Sell-Off does more than just raise money - it also gives our guest vendors an amazing opportunity to work with street paper sellers and understand the challenges they face. Many of the guest vendors have gone on to be ambassadors for the the street paper movement.”

Aldam paid tribute to the hard work and dedication that went into making the Big Sell-Off such a success. “I’d like to say a big thank you from the INSP to the team at The Big Issue; to all our guest vendors and, most of all, to every one of the real Big Issue vendors who work so hard every day – you are an inspiration.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s event and to making the Big Sell-Off 2015 even bigger and better.”

An important part of the INSP’s annual #VendorWeek, which celebrates the homeless people who sell street papers, the Big Sell-Off saw 30 high-profile individuals sell The Big Issue on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh. They raised sponsorship through their own networks.

INSP was nominated for the IOF Scotland Community and Events Award alongside the Prince’s Trust Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland. Prince’s Trust Scotland was the eventual winner, with INSP taking the highly commended spot.

“We are very proud to have been nominated alongside such fantastic organisations,” added Aldam. “The IoF Scotland event really showed the fantastic quality of charity work going on in Scotland.”

We are now looking for high profile individuals to take on the Big Sell-Off in February 2015 across the UK. If you think you’re up to the challenge, please get in touch.

20 October 2014

Ari Folman interview: "Gaza crisis is one of the worst I've experienced" republished

Lice v lice (Macedonia)
Ari Folman is the Israeli director of the award-winning documentary, Waltz with Bashir, which detailed his experiences in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) during the Lebanon war in the 1980s. The film focused on the notorious Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982, where a Christian militia killed hundreds of Palestinian refugees as the IDF, including Folman, guarded the gate and became complicit in the atrocity.

He spoke to Steven MacKenzie of The Big Issue UK about how he feels Waltz with Bashir failed to make any changes in light of the current conflict in Gaza.

The article was republished by The Big Issue Korea and Lice v lice, based in Skopje, Macedonia. It can still be downloaded here.

Ari Folman Interview: “Die Krise in Gaza ist die schlimmste, die ich erlebt habe”, wiederveröffentlicht

Ari Folman ist der Regisseur der ausgezeichneten Dokumentation, Waltz with Bashir, die seine Erfahrungen in den israelischen Verteidigungskräften (IDF) während des Libanonkriegs detailliert. Der Film fokussiert auf das berüchtigte Massaker von Sabra und Schatil im Jahr 1982, als eine christliche Miliz hunderte von palästinensische Flüchtlinge tötete während die IDF, einschließlich Folman, das Tor bewachte und an der Gräueltat mitschuldig wurden.

Er unterhielt sich mit Steven MacKenzie vom The Big Issue UK wie er darüber denkt, dass Waltz with Bashir keine Veränderungen herbeigeführt hat, angesichts des gegenwärtigen Konflikts in Gaza.

Der Artikel wurde von The Big Issue Korea und Licevlice, ansässig in Skopje, Mazedonien, wiederveröffentlicht. Er kann hier noch heruntergeladen werden.

The Big Issue Korea

17 October 2014

Oxfam Scotland: "GDP is not an adequate measure for addressing poverty"

Guest blog: Francis Stuart  | Research and Policy Adviser, Oxfam Scotland

Today is the United Nations’ international day for the eradication of poverty but, if we are to tackle poverty then we need to develop better ways of measuring success.

Oxfam is best known for our work overseas – responding to international emergencies and undertaking long term development work aimed at overcoming poverty and suffering. But we have also had a poverty programme in the United Kingdom since 1996, with specific country programmes in Scotland, England and Wales. We work the same way in the UK as we do overseas: partnering with community groups to support them to tackle poverty in their area.

Through our programme work in Scotland, we learned that economic growth and economic development was too often failing to benefit the people we worked with. This view is supported by the largest ever study of poverty undertaken in the UK - the Poverty and Social exclusion survey.

Published earlier this year, it found: “The percentage of households who fall below society’s minimum standard of living has increased from 14 per cent to 33 per cent over the last 30 years.”

That this took place at the same time as the size of the economy doubled is a damning indictment of our focus on trickle-down economic growth. Clearly economic growth, as measured by GDP, is not an adequate measure for addressing poverty. 

That being the case, what is the alternative?

In 2012 we launched the Oxfam Humankind Index.

This is an attempt to create a new way of measuring what makes a good life. It takes money into account, but it also recognises that it takes more than just economic growth to make a prosperous nation. It focuses on identifying the social foundations people need to live a fulfilling life.

The construction of the Humankind Index was deliberately participatory – we wanted to involve people in determining the things that matter to them. We also wanted to reach groups that are ‘seldom-heard’ in mainstream policy making (people with experience of a disability, people with experience of homelessness, refugee communities). Governments often call them ‘hard-to-reach’ groups. In reality, they are not hard to reach – you just have to make the effort, go out to local communities, and – crucially – resource that process.

We did just that: we ran focus groups, community workshops and street stalls – in addition to online and telephone surveys.

In total we spoke to 3,000 people across Scotland. In doing so, we actively sought to remove barriers – such as childcare and transport costs – that often prevent or discourage people from engaging in the sort of narrow consultations that for too long have led to non-representative policies and outcomes.

The question that we asked was: ‘What do you need to live well in your community?’ This was left deliberately wide to avoid constraining the feedback we received.

The outcome of all those conversations was the Humankind Index – a set of 18 ‘factors of prosperity’ which we believe offer an improved representation of the priorities of the people of Scotland.

Top of that list was:
  • An affordable, decent and safe home to live in
  • Good physical and mental health
  • Living in a neighbourhood where you can enjoy going outside and having a clean and healthy environment
  • Having satisfying work to do (paid or unpaid)
  • Having good relationships with family and friends

Interestingly – the financial factors don’t appear until round about the middle of the list. And when they do appear – they are not about earning lots of money. They are about a secure source of income that provides enough to live on.

None of this is complex – these are basic foundations which are pretty obviously important, when you think about it. But they are too often neglected in favour of simplistic indicators like Gross Domestic Product.

We must start to move away from GDP as the key indicator of societal success and towards measures that take account of the social and environmental foundations we all need to live on. Until we do, we risk several more UN International days for the eradication of poverty passing us by with little real progress.

13 October 2014

‘Protests and pay – we talk World Cup football to street vendors’ republished

Soziale Welt (Germany)
On an unusually warm summer’s day in Glasgow, Scotland, INSP travelled throughout the city talking to Big Issue UK vendors about the Fifa World Cup. Stepping back from the football itself, we discussed the impact of the tournament on the global awareness of homelessness and how the extortionate wages received by the athletes affect the relationship between players and fans.

The vendors also had their say on the protests surrounding the tournament regarding Brazil’s extravagant spending and forceful evictions of many homeless people.

David Meiklejohn reported for INSP in an article that was republished by German street paper, Soziale Welt.

It can still be downloaded here.

Proteste und Gehälter – wir sprechen mit Straßenverkäufern über die Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft

An einem ungewöhnlich heißen Sommertag für Glasgow, Schottland ist die INSP kreuz und quer durch die Stadt gezogen, um mit Straßenverkäufern der „Big Issue“ über die FIFA Weltmeisterschaft zu sprechen. Vom Fußball selbst Abstand nehmend, besprachen wir wie das Turnier die Obdachlosigkeit ins allgemeine Bewusstsein gebracht habe und wie sich die Spitzengehälter der Sportler auf das Verhältnis zwischen Spielern und Fans auswirke.

Die Straßenverkäufer äußerten sich auch zu den Protesten gegen die allzu hohen Kosten für das Turnier in Brasilien und den gewaltsamen Vertreibungen vieler der dortigen Obdachlosen.

David Meiklejohn berichtete für „INSP“ in einem Artikel, der von der deutschen Straßenzeitung „Soziale Welt“ wieder veröffentlicht wurde.

Noch kann er hier heruntergeladen werden.

6 October 2014

‘Colombia’s paramilitaries’ republished

The Big Issue Japan
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is the official aid charity of the Catholic Church in Scotland. SCIAF works in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, helping some of the poorest communities in the world to recover from hunger, poverty, war, natural disasters and disease.

This year, the focus of SCIAF’S annual Lent campaign is Colombia where it provides seeds, tools, livestock and training to vulnerable Native American and Afro-Colombian communities. SCIAF is also helping people to stand up for their human rights through education so they can reclaim land that has been lost during war.

Journalist Paul O’Hare and freelance photographer Simon Murphy reported on the violence for British newspaper, The Daily Record, documenting a country left in the wake of the Colombian conflict, a benighted land where paramilitaries continue to commit atrocities with impunity.

The article was republished by The Big Issue Japan and can still be downloaded here. 

“Kolumbiens Paramilitärs” wiederveröffentlicht

Der Schottische katholische Internationale Hilfs-fond (SCIAF) ist die offizielle Hilfsorganisation der Katholischen Kirche Schottlands. SCIAF ist in 15 Ländern Afrikas, Asiens und Lateinamerikas tätig. Ziel dieser Tätigkeit sind einige der infolge Hungernöten, Armut, Naturkatastrohen und Krankheiten bedürftigsten Menschen weltweit.

In diesem Jahr konzentriert sich die jährliche Fastenzeit-kampagne des SCIAF auf Kolumbien, wo Saatgut, Werkzeug, Vieh und Schulungen gespendet werden an Bevölkerungsgruppen indianischer und afro-kolumbianischer Abstammung. Ein weiteres Ziel von SCIAF ist es, die Menschen durch Erziehung und Ausbildung in die Lage zu versetzten, ihre Grundrechte selbst einfordern zu können, um so Land zurückzubekommen, das während des Krieges unrechtmäßig enteignet wurde.

Der Journalist Paul O`Hara und der freischaffende Fotograf Simon Murphy berichteten über die im Land immer noch herrschende Gewalt in der britischen Zeitung The Daily Record. Ihre Reportage dokumentiert den Zustand des Landes nach dem Bürgerkrieg, wo Paramilitärs nach wie vor ungestraft Gräueltaten begehen.

Dieser Artikel wurde in The Big Issue Japan wiederveröffentlich und kann hier heruntergeladen werden.