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The Big Issue - May 07, 2018

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�50
RECOVERY. REDEMPTION. RUNNING
EVERY MONDAY
NO. 1306 MAY 7-13 2018
A HAND UP NOT A HANDOUT
SPECIAL REPORT Pg22
WIN!
CONTENTS
MAY 7-13 2018 / NO. 1306
O
OVER
�0 WORTH
OF TICKETS TO
FAIRPORT?S
CROPREDY
CONVENTION!
TURN TO PAGE 44
Hello, my
name is
Lionel.
We?re getting active in The Big
Issue this week. I?m training
for a charity run in Oxford and
building things up slowly. But it?s
only 4k, not like the homeless
people running the Skid Row
Marathon in Los Angeles. See
their story on page 22. I?m also
playing football every week
and trying tennis but I?ve only
played rugby once ? I reckon
I?d make a good full-back. The
Homeless International Cup is
taking place on May 12 ? the
day I turn 75 ? read more
about it on page 26. You can
turn to page 18 to see what
Benedict Cumberbatch
is up to ? I?m a big fan of
his ?lms and TV shows.
And there is more
from me on page 46.
INSIDE...
PAUSE
The human body is a
truly remarkable thing
Vendor photo: Maciek Tomiczek
LETTER TO
MY YOUNGER
SELF
Elvis Costello ? good at
singing, rubbish at dancing
ELLEN PAGE
It?s hard to return to a normal
life when you?ve been a zombie
THE BIG ISSUE MANIFESTO
Cover photo: ㏒ky UK
WE BELIEVE in a hand up, not a handout...
Which is why our sellers BUY every copy of the
magazine for �25 and sell it for �50.
WE BELIEVE in trade, not aid?
Which is why we ask you to ALWAYS take
your copy of the magazine. Our sellers are
working and need your custom.
WE BELIEVE poverty is indiscriminate?
Which is why we provide ANYONE whose life is
blighted by poverty with the opportunity to
earn a LEGITIMATE income.
WE BELIEVE in the right to citizenship?
Which is why The Big Issue Foundation, our
charitable arm, helps sellers tackle social and
?nancial exclusion.
THE BIG ISSUE / p3 / May 7-13 2018
WE BELIEVE in prevention?
Which is why Big Issue Invest ofers
backing and investments to social enterprises,
charities and businesses which deliver social
value to communities.
CORRESPONDENCE
Write to: The Big Issue, Second Floor, 43 Bath St, Glasgow, G2 1HW
Email: letters@bigissue.com
facebook.com/bigissueUK
bigissue.com
@bigissueuk
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Change the branding
I really like the term ?tough sleeper? instead
of ?rough sleeper?. I can?t claim it, but I think
it paints an entirely diferent picture. Rough
sleeper can have many connotations, some
of which aren?t helpful. Desperation,
weakness etc. ?Tough sleeper? feels a little
more respectful of the fact that to sleep
rough and survive on the streets requires
genuine fortitude.
Fill ?Em Up!
Empty buildings.
Homelessness. Use the
former as part of the solution
to address the latter? Nothing
original about that. So why
isn?t it happening? Well
that?s precisely what the
Repurposing of Empty
Buildings for Bene?cial
Homeless Use (REBBHU)
is trying to establish.
The problem of
homelessness is likely selfevident to Big Issue readers.
Perhaps less familiar are
statistics for the number of
empty buildings. Take a city
like Glasgow for instance.
The Buildings at Risk Register
Scotland records 2,452
properties, with 145 in
Glasgow alone.
Unfortunately, as can best
be seen from walking the city,
all too many buildings have
been allowed to decay, often to
a degree which renders them
virtually uneconomic to
redevelop. So, is this something
that REBBHU can help
address? REBBHU seeks to
facilitate mutually bene?cial
construction development,
training and work
opportunities for people who
are homeless (or vulnerable to
homelessness), along with
construction professionals and
building trades. Its purpose is
to create permanent afordable
I?m really interested in the power of
language, and how it can be used to lead
opinion. The way that the media reported
the migrants as a swarm or ?ood are obvious
recent examples of this, but there are many
more once you really begin to think about it.
I also think the terms homeless and
begging could do with a rethink too!
Andrew Birley, email
accommodation and
supportable employment
prospects. REBBHU aims to
achieve this through
partnering with local
authorities, homeless (or
related) organisations and
construction teams.
REBBHU is now seeking
others who would be interested
in becoming involved or simply
anyone who is interested in the
idea and has common
aspirations. Contact
KennethDAllan@aol.com
Kenny Allen, email
Always here to help
I have been selling the
magazine on and of since June
1996. It is good that The Big
Issue has always been there for
me when I needed to go back to
selling it. I am currently
staying at a place called
Emmaus but I know if that
doesn?t work out then the
magazine will still be there
for me to sell.
Angus Meigh, Facebook
James and Bob?s tale
is an inspiration
@bigissue
I?m glad Bob?s going to be
taking it a bit easier. You both
deserve a rest.
Chris Shaw, Facebook
The new Street Cat Bob
animation series is
wonderful! As an early
childhood teacher, I applaud
and commend what you
and Bob together are
accomplishing. I have
a ginger cat, too. His name
is Phil.
Portia Smith, Facebook
@PaulaHopes1
Reading @BigIssue
on holiday, a pleasure I don?t
indulge in enough. I want to
tweet every page!
@BolshieBear
Just had a lovely chat
with Alex and a wonderful
purr with Valentine?
Your story changed my views
of homeless people and the
Big Issue sellers. One time
I would hurry by, now I always
try to talk, help and to buy
The Big Issue.
I?m in my seventies, so
it?s not just children you?re
educating. I have all your
books and my grandchildren
all read them.
Thank you James ? loving
the animated Bob ? it?s not
just for children!
June Price, Facebook
Your story inspired me to
volunteer for the last
two years at the winter
shelter at the Salvation
Army looking after our
homeless friends.
I was lucky to be asked
to give a testimonial
recently at their church
service and in it I referred
to James and Bob and how
it opened my eyes to the
homeless and how it can
happen to anyone. A
true inspiration.
THE BIG ISSUE / p4 / May 7-13 2018
@Bluebell_smith
#WhyBooksMatter
Our wellbeing book
exchange is in full swing!
Thanks to @Bi Issue for
donating
some fantasti
reads, it?s
great to know
our front line
staff are
taking care of
themselves as
well as others
THE EDITOR
Big beats and
billionaires - a
way forward
O
Paul McNamee is editor of The Big Issue
@pauldmcnamee paul.mcnamee@bigissue.com
Big Issue Invest is
making an impact
The Big Issue?s social investment arm
Big Issue Invest (BII) is tackling poverty in
the UK where change is needed most, its
new Impact Report revealed last week.
A total of �.7m was invested by BII
in 68 mission-led organisations across the
UK during the last ?nancial year. Almost
half of the organisations in which BII
invested ? 43 per cent ? offer services to
people with signi?cant additional needs
or disadvantages, while 61 per cent of BII?s
Big impact: Nigel
investees are paying all staff at least the
Kershaw and John
voluntary recommended living wage.
Bird launch the report
That takes the total current
investment portfolio to �.4 million
? meaning BII currently has 198 investments in 150 organisations ?
with investees in training, education, employment opportunities for
disadvantaged individuals and more.
Speaking at a House of Lords event to launch the report, chair of
The Big Issue Group, Nigel Kershaw, said: ?A lot of great organisations
struggle to access small to large-scale loans, so we set out to provide
support for those social enterprises and charities making a genuine
difference within their communities.
?Big Issue Invest seeks to dismantle poverty. Our investments
empower and resource society to take responsibility for positive change
and we are proud of what we have achieved in a short amount of time.?
THE BIG ISSUE / p6 / May 7-13 2018
Photo: Louise Haywood Schiefer
ne of the strangest, most heartening stories of last week
involved Calvin Harris and a fish factory.
You?ll be familiar with Calvin Harris. He?s the
Scottish superstar DJ who knows when to drop the beat and make
millions ? like a more tanned, taller, dance version of Ed Sheeran.
The fish factory is called Pinneys and is found in the small southern
Scottish town of Annan. It currently employs 450 people and is under
threat of closure. The parent company, Young?s, are planning to shut up
shop and move production to Grimsby. In a further unwelcome twist,
it has emerged that Young?s themselves are now looking for a buyer.
It is a mess.
Harris is involved as he comes from the area and once worked in
Pinneys. When he heard about the threatened closure, he got in touch
with the local council and asked what he could do to help.
The most straightforward answer ? buy Pinneys, turn from Dua
Lipa collaborations and become a fish-processing magnate ? was, for
commonsense reasons, not the first one.
Conversations are currently ongoing on what practical things
Harris can do.
Do not dismiss this as paying lip service and of scant worth. I think
Harris? intervention is more than laudable. It is to be celebrated
and amplified. We too often point the finger at those who emerge from a
place, make something of themselves but then move on and pull the
ladder after them. Harris understands the vital importance of this
unfashionable factory to the town ? to the employees, to their children,
to the schools, other local shops, to the entire supportive net that
pulses with the lifeblood of a place. He is willing to do something to
prevent the closure.
This must go further. There is a crisis looming across Britain and
Britain?s high streets. In recent weeks, Toys R Us and Maplin have gone
bust, costing over 5,500 jobs. House of Fraser and Debenhams are
wobbling. Virgin Media let 800 go in recent days.
It matters not a jot whether May or Corbyn are spinning local
election results as positive for them, because on local streets people are
suffering and jobs are melting away. Interventions need to come from
beyond government now. In The Big Issue we?ve spoken about a third
way before, about the need, the gnawing, essential need, for local small
businesses, many driven as social enterprises, to lead the change and to
bring life back to communities.
The Harris intervention has shown that those with real power to
effect positive change should be called upon too. Go higher for help.
Those who are responsible for the collapse in sales in the first place, the
titans of the digital world, should be approached. Let?s get them to divert
some of the billions they are investing in vanity quests to go to Mars or
find eternal lives for themselves into helping the people they?ve
hoovered up the money from.
We?re in a crisis that needs new thinking. It won?t work by taxation,
but rather by appealing to something within the billionaires? human
chip. Such rescue packages are not unheard of. Jeff Bezos bought The
Washington Post and turned a failing heritage brand into something
that works ? preserving jobs, growing influence and providing a
template for new success.
How do we get the tech oligarchs together? How do we get them to
use their considerable powers to work for the people atthebottom,ifnot
to aid collapsing companies then to drive training and new skills so the
workforce are ready for the different demands of tomorrow.
Perhaps Calvin Harris will host a party. We can start there.
Street art
sprays the
way to shelter
For many Big Issue vendors,
having a canine companion or
a feline friend can offer some
much-needed company while
selling the magazine.
But pets can also be a barrier
to securing accommodation,
with some landlords and night
shelters operating a strict no-animal policy.
In the Brazilian city of S鉶 Paulo, shelters were often
left deserted as many of the 20,000 people on the
streets opted not to abandon their animal companions.
So the city council built temporary
accommodation with kennels and
enlisted the help of ?ve street artists
? Galo, Randal, Pixote, Thassio and
Ren� Muniz ? via ad agency Nova/sb to
spread the word by tagging viaducts all
over the city.
?It?s like using the public space
as a new way of communication,
and speci?cally to talk with homeless people,?
said 羣ila Francucci, creative vice-president of Nova/sb.
WHAT?S HOT IN THE
BIGISSUESHOP.COM?
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The Big Issue
Shop has a new
ff
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the stories of the people
ople behind
its world-changing causes and
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Neema Crafts? handmade colourful
cushions. They don?t just show off
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ON BIGISSUE.COM
THIS WEEK
? Spinal Tap?s Derek Smalls rewrites
the music manual for The Big Issue
? Jack Sargeant on ho
how he?ll use
his role in the Welsh
get justice for his la
father Carl
? Drill isn?t to blam
London?s wave of
crime, says Denzi
Demand for homelessness
services leaves councils
teetering on the brink
Thousands of youngsters at risk of
homelessness were turned away by councils
last year, according to a Centrepoint report.
Ahead of the introduction of the
Homelessness Reduction Act, a series of
Freedom of Information requests revealed that
86,000 young people contacted their local
authority asking for help with housing ? but
58 per cent were turned away with no practical
help. Just 13 per cent were housed, while
only a third were given a documented
housing assessment.
The figures call into question whether
cash-strapped councils have the resources to
deal with the increased demands of the
Homelessness Reduction Act. The legislation,
which
came into force last month, gives
w
help
th
d of public
s Reduction
ection but it is
THE BIG ISSUE / p7 / May 7-13 2018
absolutely vital that central government
provides adequate funding to allow councils
to fulfil their new duties.?
Big Issue founder John Bird added: ?We must
insist that governments, local authorities and
the public get behind the recommendations in
this report and then keep it at the top of the
social agenda. A young person made homeless on
even one occasion is a disturbance for life.?
The scale of homelessness has also come
under the microscope after a YouGov poll
revealed that almost half of Brits think there are
more homeless people in their local area than
there were 10 years ago.
Up to 47 per cent of people surveyed have
seen the issue become more visible ? in line with
government figures that have recorded a rough
sleeping rise for seven straight years up to 4,751
people ? while only 26 per cent thought the same
when asked by pollsters five years ago. Just three
per cent thought the number living on the streets
was on the decline, compared to seven per cent
in 2013.
STREET ART
You can buy
prints of some
artworks featured in
Street Art through
bigissueshop.com
At least half of the profit
from each sale goes
to the artist.
UNTITLED
BY M.B.
?I have experienced homelessness and domestic
abuse,? says this artist, who asks to be credited
only by her initials. ?I have escaped many
problems and art has helped me on my journey.
I hope my art connects with people who are
marginalised or excluded.?
Street Art is created by people who are marginalised by issues like homelessness, disability and mental health conditions.
Contact streetlights@bigissue.com to see your art here.
THE BIG ISSUE / p8 / May 7-13 2018
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JOHN BIRD
Think of the children.
The market certainly does
Photo: PA/PA Archive/PA Images
T
here is something very strange
about modern childhood. On too
many occasions, parents seem to
be commissioned into bringing
up a member of the aristocracy. The
aristocrat can leave their dirty clothes as and
where they wish. They will be fed, watered
and provided for. They can issue out for the
day, or the night.
I observe this (almost) as an outsider.
I never went through this as a child. Though
it?s alien to my experience, it?s not unknown
to me and I?ve observed this new strain of
child-rearing, this indulged childhood.
A decade and a half ago, I suggested at
a conference that we were missing a trick.
And that some children were being grown
in such a weird way, that it stopped them
from growing. I pointed out that perhaps
? for the ?rst time ever ? our children had
no role in life.
That possibly up until the 1970s,
many children had their tasks, jobs and
responsibilities. As a child, I had to work
part-time from the age of 10 to add lustre to
the family exchequer. But that now, our
children had no real role in many families.
From birth to when they leave the nest, they
live in a kind of ?use vacuum?.
I suggested that children could start
contributing to the family budget, or
volunteer to help those in need.
Unfortunately, this was interpreted by
another speaker as a suggestion that we
put our children up chimneys again as was
done in Victorian times. I was outraged and
protested. All I had suggested was ?Let?s
make childhood more dynamic by making it
full of responsibility.?
I was reminded of this when talking to a
mother recently. Her children tell her what to
do. She is extremely unhappy with this
and feels terrorised. She feels that her
human rights are being violated by children
who learn about human rights in school,
but can?t see their application at home.
Is there an ideal way of bringing up a
child? I?m not so sure. I have tried to bring my
own children up through indulgences
and through anger, and that didn?t always
do well. I am not a model parent, but there must
be a way of raising our children so they don?t
terrorise, don?t dominate and don?t act as
members of the 18th-century aristocracy, their
parents as mere vassals.
The post-war English poet Philip Larkin
wrote a poem called This Be The Verse.
?They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They
may not mean to, but they do.? I wonder,
thinking of the terrorised mother, and many
other examples I?ve seen of human rights
abuses by children of their parents, whether
Larkin might have written another poem.
That is, if he moved on to fatherhood himself.
It might have run ?They fuck you up,
your children...?
Ungrateful child: Larkin
had no sympathy for
parents? plight
Of course, blaming children or lax
parenting hides the big elephant in this
particular small room. Consumerism. That
is, the marketplace and the plethora of
things a child must now ?have? in order to
exist. Like their parents and like society
in general, we are now so snowed under
with delights and demands that the marketplace encourages us to use. We are so geared
up to consumption that waste of the
physical kind combines with the waste of
the mind.
Children now are a big part of the
marketplace. Billions are spent not (always)
ontheirimprovement,butontheirappetites.
Andatthesametime,wehavechildrenliving
a breadline life, in families that are barely
keeping their nose above water. Alarmingly,
THE BIG ISSUE / p11 / May 7-13 2018
more than two thirds of children living in
poverty are from families where at least one
parent is working.
This contradiction, between plenty and
empty, lies at the centre of modern life. It eats
into our collective happiness. It rots our
democracy. What was Brexit all about if
not this combination of indulgence and
ugly need?
When I saw the terror in this mother?s
eyes recently, I felt that there was a big
human rights abuse happening, but that
it was going unrecorded. That abuse was
happening in a family that is not on the
breadline. And that the bigger the range
of gizmos for entertainment and distraction, and the more wires you can shove
into your ears to cut you of from life, the
more sufering you add to the world.
The hoovering up of vast amounts of
money into the hands of the few has come
at the expense of our children?s minds and
bodies. Caught in a world of temptations,
Pied Piper-ish, our children are being led
into oblivion by devices and social media,
which seems remarkably anti-social.
Perhaps Instagram should carry a health
warning? A University of Sheffield study
revealed last year that the children who
spend more time on online social
networks feel less happy in almost every
aspect of their lives.
All the while, the fat cats laugh their
way to the bank. And enslavement by the
marketplace runs on ahead of us all.
I read a joke in my local parish magazine recently. A man is being rescued by a
boat from a desert island after ?ve years.
Before he leaves, he?s handed the newspapers
to check for sure that he wants to rejoin
society. Funny, and thought-provoking.
How much of this existing world, with its
endorsement of indulgence ? and while
hunger lurks close at hand ? actually makes
sense? You certainly wouldn?t plan it this way.
Larkin blamed parents. Perhaps he was
right, and we?ve allowed such indulgences to
gain the upper hand.
But don?t blame the kids! They are
innocents on to which we allow the market
to feast its ugly distortions.
John Bird is the founder and Editor in Chief of
The Big Issue. @johnbirdswords
john.bird@bigissue.com
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OPINION
Coronation Street is
starting a conversation that
we all need to be having
This week fans of the soap will be rocked by a suicide storyline putting the focus on
men?s mental health. In 2008 Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, intending to
jump, when a stranger stopped to talk to him. That man saved his life. Jonny, now an
award-winning campaigner, says people have to open up about mental illness
?That?s just mental.?
never spoke once about
How often have we
mental health when I was
heard this expression, or
growing up. The only
even used it ourselves
reference I had to it was the
without thinking? The
film One Flew Over The
word ?menta l? ha s
Cuckoo?s Nest, which I was
long been synonymous
shown when I was at
with ?crazy ?, ?nuts?,
college aged 17. The ?lm
?bonkers?, and many more
scared me and stopped me
adjectives with negative
from speaking out about
connotations. You roll
my own deteriorating
your eyes and tap your
mental health.
head: ?mental? people are
If we can educate people
not to be taken seriously.
from a young age about
Better, and certainly
mental health and how to
easier, to write them of.
talk about it, including
In reality, ?mental? is
what language to use, it
derived from the late
could make a big diference
Latin word ?mentalis? (of
to many people.
the mind). Now, we all
Also, I think just as
have a mind, of course,
important as language is
Coronation Street?s Aidan (played by Shayne Ward) doesn?t open up about his mental illness
and therefore mental
the imagery associated
health, but growing up, this type of schizophrenia are far more likely to be with mental health that we use. Too often
language put me off talking about the victims of violence than perpetrators. That we see people clutching their heads in
mental health issues I was experiencing. is not the perception the general public has distress or curled up in the corner of the
Even as a young child, I was subject to though, and this is very much due to the room when mental illness is featured in
delusions and heard voices in my head, and language the media have always used when the media. Of course at times this may be
later on I became extremely depressed to talking about the condition.
some people?s reality when they are
Having tried to take my own life, I?m struggling with their mental health, but
the point where I tried to take my own life
at the age of 20. And yet all that time I was often asked how I feel about the expression there are also millions of people in the UK
extremely concerned about what people ?commit suicide?. The term ?commit? is with mental health conditions who are out
would think of me. How would they judge usually associated with something there living and functioning each day who
me? Even after I received my diagnosis it criminal. Suicide was decriminalised in aren?t represented justly in the media.
From the colleague sitting opposite
took a long time to tell friends that I had the 1960s, however, so it seems strange that
schizoafective disorder, a combination of we still use the phrase ?commit suicide?. I you at work to the stranger standing
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There have spoken to a lot of individuals and next to you on the train, mental health
is a lot of stigma attached to schizophrenia, families who have lost loved ones to suicide issues afect so much of us in so many
and the media can be less than helpful in and ?nd this phrase extremely upsetting. diferent ways.
Therefore, mental illness needs to be
this respect. As recently as 2014, The Sun Their loved one who took their own life
featured the headline ?1,200 KILLED BY acted in the way they did out of portrayed sensitively, fairly and accurately
MENTAL PATIENTS?. Following a overwhelming pain and despair. It?s a if we really want to remove the stigma
complaint by the mental health charity matter of education in my view. I regularly associated with it that has too long existed
Time to Change, a clarification was used the term ?commit suicide? myself until in our society.
printed, but there is little doubt that the a family member of someone who had
tabloids in particular would have you taken his life explained how hearing that With thanks to Britt P?黦er. The Stranger on
believe that all those with this condition phrase always upset her. Now I avoid saying the Bridge: My Journey from Despair to Hope by
Jonny Benjamin and Britt P?黦er is out now
are violent and dangerous. Of course the the phrase when talking about suicide.
truth is quite the opposite as all evidence
Language is extremely important and (Bluebird, �.99) @MrJonnyBenjamin
shows that the majority of people with I believe it should begin in schools. We Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123
THE BIG ISSUE / p13 / May 7-13 2018
Illustration: Mitch Blunt
PAUSE
DR CLAIRE SMITH
How to learn the secrets
of the human body
Y
our body is a tr uly
amazing piece of kit. It
built itself from just two
cells to millions of cells in no
time at all. Early in development
you were just two layers of cells.
One layer goes to make the
placenta to support you and the
other will become you (its
technical term is the epiblast).
While still in development you
underwent radical changes to
give you the physical form of the
body you have today. For
example, your eyes started off
more where your ears were and
moved around to the front of
your face as your nose and
mouth formed. At birth, you
started off with 300 bones that
over time fused to give you the
206 you have today.
Within your body you have a
variety of organ systems ? some
you may know, such as the
respirator y system or the
reproductive system. One organ
system is often forgotten, the
integumentary system or the
You can see some of the skin?s
skin. Yes, your skin is an organ.
It is roughly two square metres functions just by looking at the
back of your hand or arm. On
in size.
T h e s k i n h a s e i g h t close inspection, you might
notice your skin has
k e y f u nc t ion s :
a slight sheen: this
s e c r e t i on (a n
is the sebum which
oi ly s u b s t a nc e
assists your skin in
known as sebum
being supple and
keeps skin supple);
able to move over
heat regulation;
joints. You may be
absorption (mediable to see a
cines can be
network of veins on
absorbed through
the back of your
the
skin);
protection (against
Secrets from Within hand. Notice how
they can become
bacteria and
the Human Body is
slightly raised and
UV rays); eliminaat Brighton and
more prominent
t ion (tox i n s i n
Sussex Medical
when you are
sweat); sensation
School on May 8
feeling hot.
(touch); producing
as part of the
You will already
vitamin D;
Brighton Fringe
be
aware that your
a nd , l a s t ly,
brightonfringe.org
skin is packed full
melanin producof nerve endings
tion. You need to
look after your skin. While it and is hence very sensitive in
needs exposure to the sun to places. The map of the body
make vitamin D, which helps to whichshowsthenerveendingsis
build healthy bones, too much known as a homunculus, and the
exposure can cause skin cancer. mouth, eyes, genitals and hands
THE BIG ISSUE / p15 / May 7-13 2018
have the most. You might have
noticed that the veins on the
back of your hand are not the
same as those of a friend. This is
termed natural variation. While
there is a ?generic? map of major
arteries, veins and nerves, each
one of us varies. This variety can
be quite rema rkable. For
example, one muscle in the body
known as palmaris longus is
absent in 1.5-63.9 per cent of
individuals, depending on where
in the world you are from. This
muscle is located on the inside of
your forearm and is used to
weakly flex the wrist and to
tense the skin and fascia in the
hand. It is thought that in
evolution this muscle would
have helped us climb, but is
no longer as necessary as it
once was.
To find out if you have this
muscle, either come along to our
Fringe event at Brighton and
Sussex Medical School or watch
our video online:
youtube/fBgNxlT9MaQ
Elvis
Costello
Bespectacled tunesmith
IN 1970
THE YEAR
ELVIS
COSTELLO
TURNS 16?
Dana wins Eurovision
for Ireland / Jimi
Hendrix dies of an
overdose aged 27
/ Apollo 13 returns
safely to Earth after
abandoning its planned
moon landing
LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF
Photos: Camera Press / Andy Gotts; Desiree Navarro/WireImage
A
t 16 I had just moved to Liverpool with my
From the start I knew my band was way better
mother, after my parents separated. I had to than all of our contemporaries. We could play them of
go to an all-boys school which I didn?t like at all. the stage. So if we were on a bill with someone else, we?d
But I lived 10 minutes from An?eld stadium ? you only say, ?OK, you can close the show, we?ll go on before you.
had to open the window to hear if we?d won. So that was Let?s see what happens.? That was childish. But we took a
good. And I had some good friends. We were all just mad delightindoingthat.Andthatwastheclosestweeverwere
about football and music. We had a common room with a as a band, as a four-man gang. But in the end, it was always
record player, we listened to Radio Luxembourg, we were me writing the songs and me saying where it was going to
able to go the odd concert. Did I appreciate all that at the gonext.Bythemid-Eighties,itwasclearthegroupwouldn?t
time? I think I did. Especially those occasional early stay together much longer.
concerts. I still remember every minute of them. Seeing
I didn?t hear Elvis Presley until about 1962 when
Joni [Mitchell] at the Free Trade Hall just before Blue was a neighbour brought over It?s Now or Never. I thought
released ? that was really something.
it was fucking terrible. Can you imagine how square that
A lot of people read my book and said it was all sounds to a nine-year-old? I can?t stand country music
about my dad. I think that?s probably because you don?t anymore.Areyoukiddingme?Mainstreamcountrymusic
tend to write about the person who just takes care of you is the worst music I?ve ever heard in my life. These people
every day. My mum worked really hard, like most single are ludicrous. And I really hate rock music now, it?s so
mums. She had a couple of jobs at one point, in an office boring. The diference between rock and rock?n?roll is the
and a dodgy gig as a chemist?s assistant in the middle of absence of swing in the former. It just doesn?t swing at all.
Liverpool, which could be dangerous late at night. But she Not like Jerry Lee and Little Richard. I?m not making rock
couldhandleherself.She?snotafraidofmany
music,regardlessofwhatiTunestellyou.I?m
thingsandshe?sprettyquickwithhertongue.
making pop music with swing.
I can still count on her counsel now, and she?s
I?d love to go back and tell my
16-year-old self that one day he?d
in her 90s, which is pretty amazing.
collaborate with Paul McCartney. Can
I wasn?t tremendously confident as a
you imagine? I?ve also written for Georgie
teenager. I?m an only child. I hadn?t worked
Fame which would really excite the 11 or
out what I wanted to be. The look around me
12-year-old me. Georgie was as least as
went from being moddy ? short hair, sharp
suits ? to having your hair over your ears in
in?uential on me growing up as The Beatles.
the early Seventies. I didn?t suit that. I was
Georgie Fame was a 21-year-old kid from
listening to Tamla, as we called
Lancashire, an organ player ? only 10
Motown, and Joni, but no one else
years older than me ? and he was
admitted to liking those. They were
making the hippest music you ever
listening to prog rock, Emerson, Lake
heard, with elements of jazz, calypso
& Palmer ? are you kidding me?! I told
and ska. Before I even knew the name
them I liked the Grateful Dead to get
of these types of music, I was learning
them of my case.
about them through Georgie Fame.
The way I looked in the early
My only regret is that I?m not
days was partly down to my natubetter at expressing joy.Astimehas
rally argumentative, contrary
gone on I?ve become more sure that
nature. I?d tried growing my hair but
makingsomethingbeautifulisnothing
I didn?t look good. And it never From top: The ?uncool? Elvis on the cover of his 1977 to be ashamed of. Things don?t have
debut album My Aim Is True; with his wife,
occurred to me to buy the punk jazz musician and singer Diana Krall, in 2009
to be weak to be beautiful, they can be
uniform. So I cut my hair. I only owned
strongandbeautiful.Thereisstrength
two suits and one pair of shoes. What I?m wearing on the in looking into the darker things in life and pulling
cover of my ?rst record, that?s one of the two out?ts I something beautiful and useful out of them. When I was
actually owned. It wasn?t a ?look?. The only contrivance younger I was very focused on being diferent to everyone
was my manager saying, OK, you have to wear glasses but else. I have a wider perspective now. But also, there are
let?s not go with these wire ones that make you look like songs on my very first record that are angry, about
a murderer. Wear these big black ones which are so exposingbigotry,whichIthinkarestillworthdoingtoday.
obviouslyuncoolit?llmakeacoolthingoutofbeinguncool.
If I could go back to any moment in my life... it
I?m kind of awkward. I can?t dance. I?m left-handed. sounds sentimental but I?d probably be in the back
I don?t ?t into the right-handed world, which is a big of a small car with my parents driving north to visit
conspiracy against us left-handed people. I?m physically my grandmother. This was before my parents
awkward and I?m also awkward in attitude. I don?t like separated. I suppose it?s about security. The three of us
being asked for my papers. So when I became a perform- safely contained inside that little box, going somewhere
er I was like that for a while. I wouldn?t answer interview we wanted to go. Me with people I completely trusted and
questions or there was a period I just didn?t speak at all. I no one else. Drinking warm tomato soup out of a ?ask. I
don?t think I was being rude ? I?m actually naturally shy. remember the feeling of having everything I could ever
But then it became an act, and I couldn?t stop. If I could possibly want. And no other soup in my life has ever tasted
go back I?d advise myself against letting that happen. I?d as good to me as that soup.
say, try to recognise the line between a good self-defence
mechanism and a theatrical construct. And look out for
the point when you are no longer working your life, it?s Elvis Costello & The Imposters play shows in Nottingham
working you. When you?re walking around with a little (June 15), Cardif (June 17) and Edinburgh (June 24) as part of
suitcase with nothing but your bank book and a bottle of a summer European tour. For full details, visit elviscostello.com
gininit,you?reprobablyheadedsomewherenotverygood. Interview: Jane Graham @janeannie
THE BIG ISSUE / p17 / May 7-13 2018
?LOVE
CAN WIN THROUGH...
BUT BOY DOES IT
STRUGGLE
TO GET THERE?
Money, debauchery and drugs.
Benedict Cumberbatch?s new drama
is an enticing prospect but, as he tells
Adrian Lobb, it cuts to the heart of a
rotten class system
?I?ve cracked on with it since we last spoke,
haven?t I??
Benedict Cumberbatch?s recent achievements are quite
dazzling when spoken out loud.
Saving (or potentially destroying) half the universe as
Doctor Strange in Marvel?s record-breaking box office
smash Avengers: Infinity War, ?nishing Sherlock ? for now
at least, getting an Oscar nomination for The Imitation
Game, starring in a sell-out run of Hamlet at the Barbican,
being made a CBE, performing on stage with Pink Floyd,
marrying theatre director Sophie
Hunter and becoming a parent. And now
he?s playing his most extreme character
to date ? damaged, drug-addicted,
debauched high-society playboy Patrick
Melrose, in a TV adaptation of Edward
St Aubyn?s high-octane novel series.
?I have squeezed quite a bit of life
in, you are right. Who would have
known?? he says. ?It is extraordinary.
I?ve been a very lucky man. I have a lot
of people to thank, because it has been
a wonderful time. It really has.?
It?s not all luck, though, right,
Benedict? You?re allowed to take a bit
of the credit.
?Of course. Of course it takes hard
work and all of it is the result of
something, but I often just stand back
and go: ?How? Why?? It is extraordinary
that all this stuf keeps happening to
me,? he splutters.
?And yeah. It reminds me, every step, how lucky I am.?
Visiting Comic-Con last year, where he signed
thousands of autographs and posed for pictures with
hardcore fans, was, he says, a reminder of how far he?s come.
?People dress up as all sorts of things. There is a lot
of Star Trek and Strange and Sherlock, of
course,? says the 41-year-old, who
recently defended the hardcore
fandom, describing Sherlock
co-star Martin Freeman?s
comments about them taking
the joy out of the show
as ?pathetic?.
?What I love about what I
get to do is that I don?t have
to sit in a role for long. But
then you put your arm round
someone to pose for a photo
and they go: ?I really loved
you in Stuart: A Life
Backwards ?. That is
lovely. There is a huge
amount of emotion
attached to so many of
these roles for me and I
am quite sentimental
about some of them.?
But where is he going
next? Well, having
launched production
company SunnyMarch
? the brains behind
BBC One?s The Child
In Time which aired last September, for the
first time Cumberbatch is in full control of his own
artistic destiny.
So far, most of the ?lms and TV shows SunnyMarch has
announced will star Cumberbatch. But how does it feel to
be involved in the creative process from page to screen, using
his star power to shape the culture?
?Oh, god, that sounds terrible,? he says. ?Like I?m deciding
what TV or movie you watch.?
Well, next up he?s making us watch Patrick Melrose,
which explores issues around class,
addiction, abuse and survival. It?s
fear and loathing in the aristocratic
He?s a
marvel: But
set ? and Cumberbatch is perfect for
Cumberbatch is
the role.
reluctant to
He describes the series as ofering
take over the
a ?scalpel-like post-mortem of an
world with his
upper-class system that?s crumbling?.
own productions
And Melrose himself, whom
Cumberbatch will play in his early
twenties in the opening episode right
through to his late forties in the ?nale?
?He?s addicted to drugs and near
suicidal, but also incredibly funny and
brilliant,? he says.
For the role, he spent time with
the Liverpool-based 3D Research
Bureau to learn more about addiction
and abuse.
?Most important was the drive
behond the appetite, the addiction, the
psychological need these destructive
drugs create,? he explains. ?What are they replacing? With
heroin, pretty much everyone I?ve spoken to says it?s about
the warm embrace you never got from your mother. The
relief from the sufering of existence.
?The type of person who struggles with addiction, the
type of person who has experienced abuse, sadly ranges
across all class divides and so there is a universality to this
that I think will translate.?
It?s not all money and debauchery and damage and
destruction, says Cumberbatch (although some might
dispute this after watching episode one). ?This story is
about how the true wealth is love, and how true, pure,
good, innocent love can win through. But boy does it struggle
to get there.?
The actor lists Big Little Lies and Twin Peaks among his
own recent television highlights, plus Al Pacino in The Panic
In Needle Park, which he watched as part of the mood music
for Melrose.
But it?s the role as executive producer that has captured
his imagination just as much as the on-screen hijinks.
?It has been a big learning curve, and a blissfully happy
experience for all concerned. It really worked. It really is a
people business and if you get that alchemy right, and choose
a good, industrious, challenging and kind team, you make
for a really good working environment which is very
productive,? he says.
?What is exhilarating is the chance to be creative in
diferent ways. We are making the kind of content I would
like to see and I am proud of ? that is really thrilling.?
He speaks at length of wanting his company to work
differently. To create a positive and happy creative
environment. Without mentioning names, he talks of
productions he has worked on that he fears have been a
THE BIG ISSUE / p19 / May 7-13 2018
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nightmare for some members of the crew. Cumberbatch
repeatedly comes back to the word ?kindness?.
?As a culture and as a town we?ve had a really bruising
time,? he says, when pressed on why kindness is so
important now.
?But the thing that has triumphed over all of the atrocity,
whether it is the horror of Grenfell or the [terror] attacks
is kindness. The extraordinary heroism and kindness, the
stories where you hear of human nature prevailing. And
you have to hold on to that in dark and difficult times.
?And even before that, it was something I wanted to set
up as an ethos in general. From my experience, really good
stuf comes from it. We are making entertainment. Of course
it can be educational or socially motivated to make change
but you have to go into it enjoying it. Good work made under
terrible conditions is still good work. But you don?t get much
repeat business and it sours it for those that are part of it.
?It is blatantly possible to do good work and have a good
time. So why not foster that ethos??
If SunnyMarch is founded on kindness, it feels important
to press Cumberbatch on its commitment to diversity
and representation. Not least because the actor has
come to be the poster boy for the wave of privately
educated British stars taking over the increasingly global
acting industry.
Will he make sure on and off-screen diversity and
representation are at the forefront of his work as a producer?
?Absolutely,? he says quickly. ?One of our missions is to
create far more important, challenging, interesting
positions for women in our industry.
?We are doing that with how we staf our company as
well as what focus we have in our work. I?m very aware of
saying all this, but at the moment it is boring old white,
male, public school, whatever-you-want-to-call-me me
beginning this ? because I can bring money and attention
to projects.
?But our company is also establishing its own credentials
from the quality of that work and how it comes to fruition,?
he continues. ?And that is when we can really set sail with
some of those goals, which includes diversity across the
board ? gender, racial, sexual orientation.?
Cumberbatch was scornful of
Martin Freeman?s grumblings ?
you don?t have to be Sherlock
Holmes to see that?s awkward
?I?M AWARE IT?S A
BORING, WHITE,
PUBLIC SCHOOLBOY
DOING THIS?
Once SunnyMarch is an established part of the culture
industry, what can we expect?
?Every kind of storyteller telling every kind of story,?
he says. ?We are not going to be doing cookie-cutter,
homemade-jam drama. We are going to be doing
in-your-face everything.?
He doesn?t leave it there. It is a subject he has thought
long and hard about. And he seems at pains to explain
himself and leave no possibility of being misunderstood or
misquoted ? particularly in the face of criticism on more
than one occasion, either for his role in projects that are
overwhelmingly male and pale, or for agreeing to play a
Romany bare-knuckle boxer in Gypsy Boy.
?The problem is I really want to talk about it but I can?t
as it is not good producing practice to talk about projects
that are in development ? because if for one reason or
another they don?t survive or work, it looks like hot air,? he
says, before laughing, and adding. ?Which, equally, I realise,
not telling you what the projects are also sounds like!
?It is a great question and I would much rather answer
it with the proof of our slate in a year?s time, with what
we have managed to achieve and what is known to be
going into production. I can?t. It is a Trojan Horse and not
good politics.?
With his new producer hat comes new headaches, then.
?It is not just plot spoilers as an actor,? he says. ?As a
producer, you can?t even talk about projects. But there is
good stuf happening.
?There will be other times when that conversation can
be had and backed up with hard facts rather than just
good intentions.
?Look, I started this because of certain moments that
shall remain nameless when I went, ?God, I think this
can be better for the crew?. I think people should really
want to do this job, not just to have it on their CV but also
because they will do good work and have a good memory
of the job ? not just hours of torture when they don?t get
to see their family.?
Patrick Melrose begins on May 13, 9pm, Sky Atlantic and Now TV
@adey70
THE BIG ISSUE / p21 / May 7-13 2018
THE BIG ISSUE / p22 / May 7-13 2018
For LA?ss hom
homeless population the streets symbolise their lowest
point. But enter one remarkable judge with a trailblazing running
programme and now those same pavements are lighting the way
to recovery. Words: Adrian Lobb
?Running is a beautiful thing. There
is no better feeling I can explain than
finishing a marathon. You have got
to endure, it?s mind over matter, and
shows if you put your mind to it you
can do anything.?
These are the words of David Askew,
who spent 10 years homeless ? and who
now runs marathons around the world.
His is one of many remarkable stories
told in powerful new documentary Skid
Row Marathon. The film follows a
running group set up by Judge Craig
Mitchell in 2011 for residents of the
Midnight Mission shelter in the most
notorious area of downtown Los Angeles
and home to some of LA County?s 58,000
homeless population, showing how the
simple act of running together, as a
community, as a team, can lead to
real-life change for people who have
experienced homelessness.
?You have three days a week where you
are spending a couple of hours with
people who genuinely care about you. You
can sort through your problems,
celebrate your successes, if you are
feeling down you are going to be with
people who uplift you,? Mitchell explains.
The Superior Court judge says his
THE BIG ISSUE / p23 / May 7-13 2018
?After 29
years in jail I
was an alien
in your world?
I met Judge Craig Mitchell in 2004 when I was in prison. He was at my
parole board hearing as deputy district attorney to say if I was a threat or
not. Most would have said ?this guy should never go home?. I didn?t get
parole but we started a correspondence that lasted until I got out in 2011.
I would send him 16-page letters, about everything. When I got out after
29 years, I didn?t know where I was at. I was an alien in your world.
The majority of my life had been in jail. I ended up near his
courthouse, so I walked into the courtroom. It was like a bomb dropped.
Everyone looking at me ? all the lawyers. I asked to see Craig Mitchell.
He jumped off the bench, came up to me and he gives me a hug. First
time we had seen each other for seven years. Soon after that I?m at his
house. From a prison cell to a judge?s house, meeting his family.
When he started the running club I couldn?t run one mile. I ended up
going with him, running with people from Skid Row, with people who
are homeless, using drugs and alcohol ? it felt like I was back in prison
for a little bit. I have a lot more in common with the people that live in
the Midnight Mission than Craig does. I understand some of their
setbacks and tension and stress in their lives, so I was able to connect
with them. I was making strides and they were looking at that ? if this
guy can come out of prison after 29 years then I can do that.
When you are running with people, you become like a family, a bond
forms. We?re also keeping in touch when we?re not running. This is like
my second family ? and for some it is like their ?rst family.
running sessions with the Skid Row Running Club
act for him as ?a regular tutorial in the fact that I need
to make sure I hear and understand the backstory of
all the people that come into my courtroom?.
This remarkable man has a habit of changing lives.
In the early days, four or ?ve runners ? homeless,
recovering from addiction, or recently released from
prison ? would join him. Now 40 or more join the
62-year-old and a team of mentors at 5.45am to pound
the LA streets three times a week. And his fundraising
has enabled group members to run marathons in Accra
in Ghana, Rome and, earlier this year, in Jerusalem.
?It is the human interaction that is the magic
component in our programme,? Mitchell says. And
the numbers of people who need that support is
spiralling before his eyes. ?At this point there is not
the political will nor the commitment on behalf of
the wider community to seriously address it,?
he adds.
?It is part of my faith, that every human being has
worth, has dignity, deserves to be respected and
understood. Homelessness or addiction doesn?t afect
one-dimensional people. They are where they are
because of a complicated series of events or
circumstances. And if anybody is interested in doing
anything about that, the complexity of their
circumstances needs to be appreciated.?
And Mitchell, who previously worked as a high
school teacher in South Central Los Angeles before
turning to law, has ?rst-hand experience.
?When I was in college I lived in my car,? he says.
?I never thought of myself as homeless, but from this
vantage point, I guess I was. I would go behind the
restaurant where I worked and ?ll up buckets of water
to take a shower. At certain points in your life, if you
can get the right support and the right opportunity,
your life can play out very diferently.?
THE BIG ISSUE / p24 / May 7-13 2018
?The
weight
drops of,
you ?nd a
girlfriend?
I play music. I wanted to get in a signed band and I
was in the Eighties and Nineties. I got to the life I
thought I wanted, I met all my heroes and I should
have been over-the-moon happy. But I hated myself.
I felt like a fraud and a phoney. I kept drinking.
When I went to recovery meetings they would
smell drink on me; I thought I could hide heroin.
Then I went down that rabbit hole. I was on four
bottles of vodka a day and $360 of heroin and
cocaine and pills and whatever the hell else.
And I kept waking up every morning. I couldn?t
die. I ended up on Skid Row and I had been in the
Midnight Mission for six months when Judge
Mitchell came in and started the running club.
I initially disliked the judge because he was a
judge. I would run down the block and throw up.
You think about all sorts on a long run. And then
the weight starts dropping off, you get the runner?s
high, you ?nd a girlfriend ? it?s more than running.
Recovery and running go hand in hand.
I got into the San Francisco Conservatory for
Music, as you see in the ?lm. I sat in the front of the
class, allowed myself to be open to the younger
kids and got the excitement back instead of being
jaded. I?m now a Composer Fellow at the Street
Symphony in LA, which is headed by members of
the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I work hard. But
without help I don?t know where I would be.
The Big Issue is proud to be a media partner
for Skid Row Marathon. A short Big Issue
promo ?lm will run after every screening, and
will be seen by more than 1.5 million
cinemagoers. Picturehouse Cinemas have
offered our vendors complimentary tickets to
screenings of the ?lm ? and look out for
vendors selling the magazine at screenings
around the country.
Above left: Mitchell has
changed lives; Rebecca,
above right, was on
the streets with her
baby before going to
Midnight Mission and
taking up running; right:
58,000 people in LA
County are homeless
?A
?Addicts
ccan become
somebody great?
I was one of the first to join the running group. While I was in the
Midnight Mission, a friend introduced me to Judge Mitchell. I?m an artist,
he saw my work, and commissioned me to do a piece for him.
After that, we became friends and he asked if I was interested in
running. I wasn?t much of an athlete in high school but he talked me into
it. I went on a run with him. It helped me tremendously with my selfesteem. For our ?rst international trip we went to Ghana and ran a
marathon there. That was a life-changing experience for me, meeting
new people in the country from my culture and learning about my history.
We also ran a marathon in Rome. I was working at the time, but Judge
Mitchell told me it would be a life-changer to see all the Michelangelo
works and the Sistine Chapel. What a beautiful experience. Running is
also a beautiful thing. The ?lm shows the world that addicts can become
somebody great.
Right now, I lost my job, but I have faith that God will bring something
my way soon. But I am great, man. I am still alive. I am on my way to ?nish
off a painting. So as long as I am still breathing I have a chance. Anybody
can come out on top. I was homeless for 10 years. But you know what? It
made me who I am today. From there to where I am now is a big step.
Mitchell took part in this year?s London Marathon
(his 71st), and beforehand took time to go for a training
session with The Running Charity, a group whose work
with young homeless people, aged between 16 and 25,
mirrors his own.
?It is a journey from A to B, spiritually, physically
and mentally,? says Claude Umuhire, programmes
officer with the charity, which works with young people
in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle.
?We go into hostels, we take young people out
for runs, we encourage people to set goals ? a lot
of the time these young people haven?t had anything
to look forward to. Having them set goals and
achieve them is something no one can take away
from them.?
Like Mitchell, Umuhire knows the reality of
homelessness. ?I was homeless after dropping out of
university. Once you are in a dark place, it is often hard
to see a way out. Running with The Running Charity
became a tool for me ? a way of seeing light at the end
of the tunnel.
?Once I got ready to go with the group I wasn?t
homeless, I was just a person trying to go for a run.
And when I ?nished the run I was a better person than
I was when I started.?
Skid Row Marathon shows at 111 cinemas across the UK on
May 9. Find a screening at skidrowmarathontickets.co.uk
@adey70
THE BIG ISSUE / p25 / May 7-13 2018
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School of Hard
Knocks is kicking social
exclusion into touch
The Homeless World Cup has been an enormous
success ? using football as a vehicle to bring
together homeless people from all over the world
to tackle poverty since 2003.
Charity worker Darran Martin saw the tournament
kicking on and was inspired to set up an equivalent
? this time with an egg-shaped ball.
The sport fanatic launched Homeless Rugby in 2013
then hit the road and pitched his plan to Aviva
Premiership and second-tier Championship sides,
ofering them a chance to get his idea of the ground.
Worcester Warriors answered the call and this
weekend the Homeless International Cup will return
? a six-a-side touch rugby tournament which will see
teams from England, Scotland and Wales face of at
Warriors? Sixways Stadium.
?I think once we had seen the football take of
it was all about thinking about what a rugby version
would look like,? says Darran. ?Homelessness
afects everywhere all over the world and rugby is
also played all over the world, and we want to bring
those two things together.
?If you have a team anywhere then we want to hear
from you, we want Homeless Rugby to be as open and
as accessible as possible.?
Teaming up with Worcester YMCA, Warriors
established the ?rst homeless rugby side in England
in 2013 and went on to win Premiership Rugby?s Play
Award at the House of Commons the following year.
Now the team is playing up to 50 matches a season
against anyone who will take them on.
And the man tasked with coaching the outfit,
Worcester Warriors community education programme
director Dave Rogers, insists the tournament has come
a long way already ? and is hoping that a scrum of
nations will follow in the next few years.
?The football Homeless World Cup is massive and
we are looking to follow that model long-term,? he says.
?But rugby is also massive in certain areas of the
country and the sport can have a huge impact. Take,
THE BIG ISSUE / p26 / May 7-13 2018
for example, that the ?rst homeless touch rugby team
was started in Worcester ? it?s not where you would
expect something like this would start. ?That?s the
same case for the Welsh team in Newport. We want
to keep building on it ? the event this year is in
Worcester again but we want to take it to Scotland and
Wales, we want to get Ireland involved and we want
to take it further. Why not to France? Or Italy??
Scotland joined the fray in 2016, working with
housing association NG Homes and their course-led
approach, which includes rugby project School of
Hard Knocks, which went on to be the subject of
a Sky TV show. The tournament became a
tri-nations clash the following year with links to Welsh
side The Dragons.
Of course, victory is not only measured by the
overall winner of the tournament ? work off the
pitch is just as crucial. Every player lining up on
Saturday will have their own story of mistakes and
misfortune. But playing team sport provides a
distraction and gives often-isolated people a chance
for much-needed socialising, reducing the strains on
mental health that homelessness brings.
Skills that are transferable to life of the pitch also
?gure, with the chance to develop discipline and
leadership. It also gives that all-important boost to
players? con?dence and self-esteem.
And rugby?s relatively lower pro?le compared to
football can work in its favour, says founder Darran.
?Rugby is a great leveller. So many people have
played football before and some haven?t and so there
is a diference in skill levels,? he adds.
?A lot of the people who play rugby with us have
never played before ? everyone is starting from the
same point and going on the same journey so rugby
has a lot of value in that sense. And people have shown
that, by playing, they have built up good leadership
and other skills that can transfer of the pitch.?
England player Richard Oxenbury knows this
more than most.
He had not played rugby since his school days when
his key worker introduced him to Homeless Rugby
while he was in Worcester?s YMCA in 2013 and
recovering from spiralling drink and drug problems
that cost him his job and home.
?Playing rugby helped me get through all the stuf
that had led to me being homeless ? all the drink and
the drugs ? because I could keep myself busy and not
think of anything else,? says Richard, 29, who is now
a delivery courier.
?This de?nitely put me on a positive path and I?ve
now got myself a home, into full-time employment and
I have a partner and two kids so a lot has changed for
me in the last four years.?
The transformation has been stark on the ?eld too
? with team veteran and some-time captain Richard
now providing mentoring to new team members.
?A year ago I did a short video with World Rugby
and when I look back I can barely recognise myself
? I look so much healthier now,? he says.
?We don?t think about it as a homeless team, we
think about it as a bunch of mates having a laugh and
socialising ? that?s all it is.
?Without Homeless Rugby I would probably still
be partying and taking drugs and drinking ? I would
probably be dead.?
The Homeless International Cup will take place at Sixways
Stadium in Worcester on May 12. For more details head to
homelessrugby.org @Lazergun_Nun
?Our team?s
getting
women
involved
too?
?How the team actually works in Scotland is quite different to
England and Wales,? says Greg Cann, Homeless Rugby Scotland
director and NG Homes Pitstops project manager. ?It is run out of our
Pitstops programme and we largely work with post-course engagement
so if people enjoy courses like School of Hard Knocks and want to do
more then we give them the opportunity to get involved with the
rugby and turn their course into activity.
?We were the only truly representative team at the tournament last
year with players from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Falkirk. And this year
we will also be a truly mixed team with ?ve or six women involved too.?
?This year
we?re coming
back to take
the trophy?
Callum House, homeless rugby co-ordinator, runs Wales and the
Newport Gwent Dragons Homeless Team, set up in October 2016
after a phone call from Worcester. They played their ?rst match
that December.
?I ran the Newport Dragons homeless team when Dave invited us to
play Worcester in an international ?xture last May and it has really gone
up a gear this season,? he says.
?Last year?s tournament was terri?c. We hadn?t really had many
?xtures beforehand but we still played really well ? everyone just goes
up a level at the tournament ? and we just came second to England.
This year we?re coming back to take the trophy.?
?Being part
of a team
helps with the
isolation of
homelessness?
Dave Rogers, Worcester Warriors community education
programme director and the man behind the England team, says:
?One of the biggest problems with homelessness is being isolated and
stuck in one place. What our players say to us is the team aspect is so
important ? it gives them a great feeling to be part of a team and have
that camaraderie, especially when we go to away games. When they
play other teams, they have food put on and things like that ? they are
treated just like any rugby club.?
THE BIG ISSUE / p27 / May 7-13 2018
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THE ENLIGHTENMENT
Interview
Ellen Page page 32
Film
The love of Godard page 33
Music
ABBAcadabra! page 37
Image: Poster Workshop
Books
Cleaning up after life page 30
VIVE LA R蒝OLUTION
Fifty years ago, the times they were-a-changing as the spirit of the Paris protests began to march over la Manche. Between
1968 and 1971 a basement in Camden was a focal point for counterculture, becoming a poster workshop allowing people to
respond to contemporary crises quickly and cheaply, from Vietnam to apartheid South Africa and workers? rights closer to
home. Before social media, posters provided a platform for those without a voice to make their message heard. A new book
and exhibition at Tate Britain highlight the impact the Paris protests of May 1968 had on UK society.
Poster Workshop 1968-1971 (Four Corner Books, �), London: 1968 runs at Tate Britain until October 31
THE BIG ISSUE / p29 / May 7-13 2018
BOOKS
THE TRAUMA CLEANER
Ghost stories
Sandra Parkhurst runs a successful business dealing with the aftermath of traumatic events. But
biographer Sarah Krasnostein found Sandra?s own past is the one mess she can?t quite clean up
THE BIG ISSUE / p30 / May 7-13 2018
Photo Credit: David Caird_Newspix
D
One thing Sandra is not, however, is a
OverthefouryearsIspentlearningabout
iane Arbus, my favourite
photographer,oncesaid:?Idon?t Sandra?s life and work, I saw wonders of the ?awlesslyreliablenarrator.Manyfactsofher
press the shutter. The image dark world, as true of our collective human past are forgotten, con?icting or loosely
does. And it?s like being gently lifeasradiostationsandbirthdaycards:walls tethered to reality. She is in her sixties, not
clobbered.? Seeing Sandra Pankhurst ? the that had turned soft from mould, food that old enough for that to be the reason why she
subject of my book, The Trauma Cleaner had lique?ed,drinks that had solidi?ed;?ies is so bad with the basic sequence of her life.
? for the first time felt like being raised on human blood, the pink soap of the She is open about theimpact that drugs have
gently clobbered.
had on her. It is also
my belief that her
I wasn?t looking for
memor y loss is
a story. I was wearing
trauma-induced.
my other hat ? as a
legal academic ? and
Butthereisanother
attendingaconference
issue I became
convinced of. Most
on disabled criminal
people Sandra?s age
of fenders.
The
can tell you in detail
crimina l justice
system stakeholders
about the excitements
also attending, such as
and tragedies of being
the police, were
ayoungadultoutinthe
potential clients for
worldforthe?rsttime.
Sandra?s trauma
This isn?t necessarily
cleaning company, so
because they did less
she had come to tout
drugs or had kinder
her business.
childhoods. It is
There she was
because they?ve told
when we jumbled out
their stories more
often. Because they
of the lecture room for
were surrounded by
morning tea. Tall and
friends, parents,
perfectly manicured,
sittingbehindatacard
partners,childrenwho
Sandra Parkhurst and her team visit the dark places in life that most other people will never see
table arrayed with her
were interested in seeing
brochuresandatinytelevisionplayingbefore recently deceased and 18-year-old chicken them as a whole person.
and after scenes of her proudest trauma bones lying like runes at the bottom of a pot.
This is how true connection occurs, how
I listened to Sandra?s news like it was the events become stories and stories become
clean-ups. It was less that those images were
profoundly disturbing, and more the middle of the Han dynasty and she had just memories and memories become narratives
juxtaposition of such darkness with this returnedwestfromtheSilkRoad,exceptthat of self and of family from which we
striking woman ? tethered to her oxygen she was just telling me about her day?about derive identity and strength. By seeking to
tank?thatclobberedme.Ihadtoknowmore. waitingforthepsychteamtocollecttheman clear away the clutter of a lifetime out of
Like me on that day, most people will who killed his dog so that she could clean its respect for the inherent value of the person
probably be surprised to learn that neither blood of his ?oors; or about the man who beneath, I feel as though I had the privilege
the police nor other emergency services do died in the ceiling of his home while spying of doing for Sandra what she does for
her clients.
trauma clean-up. This is why Sandra?s on his family.
We cannot always eliminate what is bad
trauma work is varied and includes crime
IlearnedaboutthemanylivesthatSandra
scenes, floods and fires. Additionally, had lived. Assigned male at birth, she had or broken or lost but we can do our best to
government housing, real estate agents, been adopted into an abusive home which put everything in its place, such order being
charities, and private individuals all call on sheleftearlytobecomeayounghusbandand the true opposite of trauma. This was one of
Sandra to deal with unattended deaths, father, then drag queen, sex worker, early the lessons I learned from writing
suicides or cases of long-term property gender reassignment patient, funeral The Trauma Cleaner and I will be
neglect where homes have, in her words, director, trophy wife, stepmother, and
eternally grateful for
?fallen into disrepute? due to the occupier?s businesswoman. I learned how the ghosts
the experience.
mental illness, ageing or physical disability. of her past led her to be so remarkably
Grieving families also hire Sandra to help compassionate with the people she helped
The Trauma Cleaner: One
woman?s extraordinary life
themdisposeoftheirlovedones?belongings. through her work and, at the same time,
in death, decay & disaster by
Her work, in short, is a catalogue of the ways haunted her relationships in the present. I
Sarah Krasnostein is out now
we die physically and emotionally, and learned that Sandra is at once exactly like
(Text Publishing, �.99)
the delicacy needed to lift the things we you or me or anyone we know and, at the
@delasarah
same time, utterly peerless.
leave behind.
READ MORE FROM...
DANI GARAVELLI
REVIEWS
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
THE INSOMNIA MUSEUM / THE LIVES OF THE SURREALISTS
Voyage of discovery
TOP 5
BOOKS WHICH EXPOSE THE
VICTORIAN UNDERBELLY
MICHELLE MORGAN
Dani Garavelli revels in two very different
versions of the strange mysteries of life and art
THE RIPPER OF
WATERLOO ROAD
by Jan Bondeson
This book investigates
the unsolved murder of a
prostitute called Eliza Grimwood in
1838. Bondeson puts together a good
case for who the main suspect might be,
and there are lots of grisly illustrations
too!
Illustration: Dom McKenzie
A
s a teenager Laurie Canciani
sufered a brief but crippling bout
of agoraphobia. Trapped inside a
council ?at with her father, Anna,
the young heroine of her debut novel The
Insomnia Museum, suffers from its
pernicious cousin, claustrophobia, but the
efect is the much the same: it makes the
outside alien; it magnifies and distorts
whatever lies beyond her own front door.
Through long nights of wakefulness, she
listens to the noises: sirens, swearing,
raindrops against metal that proclaim the
limited nature of her own existence.
Anna has not been allowed to leave the
house since the day her mother tried to kill
her; she lives with her father in a strange,
shapeless world, stripped of the only things
that might give it structure: access to books
and the ability to mark the passage of time.
For unspeci?ed reasons, her father refuses
to teach her to read and pretends there are 39
hours in a day; he swaps the cuckoo in their
clock for a Barbie-type doll to which he
attaches feathers. The mutant bird comes out
just once a day: ?at the hour 15?.
The cuckoo clock is one of many pieces of
junkherfatherhaspickeduponhisnocturnal
forays through the estate; he spends most of
histimetryingto?xthingsthatarenotbroken
and the rest trying to ?x himself with the kind
of junk that is heated up on a spoon.
Later, when he has gone so ?deep into the
chase? he will never again be roused, Anna is
taken in by a stranger, Lucky, who is trying to
atone for past events. His son has his own
mission: to thwart his father?s do-gooding
which he achieves by selling drugs to those
Lucky has just handed wads of cash to. ?This
is how I win,? he tells Anna and the merry-goround of misery keeps on turning.
The Insomnia Museum is an ambitious
exploration of loss, guilt and the way whole
livescanturnonasinglemistake.LikeEimear
McBride,Cancianiusesshort,staccato,cut-of
sentences to give the sense of mental
disintegration, while the oddity of some of the
museum detritus, like the plastic Jesus ? who
nods along passively in the midst of all this
emotional havoc ? seems to owe something
to Jenni Fagan?s The Panoptican.
The running white rabbits references, and
particularly the insistence on having to have
Jeferson Airplane?s White Rabbit playing in
the background at a key moment, is too contrived. More successful is the Wizard
of Oz analogy; like the characters in the only
movie Anna has ever watched (and never to
the end), she finds herself in a surreal
landscape of little people. She knows about
disappointment; about pulling back the
curtain to reveal the emptiness at the heart
of the Emerald City. The question is, will she
ever be able to click her heels and ?nd herself
at home?
I suppose the clue is in the title, but The
Lives of the Surrealists by painter and
zoologist Desmond Morris is not really for
aficionados of art; its explanations of the
techniques employed are basic and the
picturesareinblackandwhite.Butifyouhave
atasteforzanycharacters,outlandishconduct
and the partner-swapping of post-WW1
mavericks who stuck their ?ngers up at the
establishment, then you will not experience
a second?s boredom. From, ?a work of living
Dada?, who wore the top of a coal scuttle for a
hat and dressed in a bra composed of tomato
cansandabirdcage,toWolfgangPaalen,whom
the author mock-solemnly introduces as ?the
onlysurrealisttohavebeeneatenalivebywild
animals,? the book is a carnival of wackiness.
Asanexpertinanimalbehaviour,Morrismust
have had a ?eld day. There?s nowt so queer as
folk, as they say.
Words: Dani Garavelli @DaniGaravelli1
The Insomnia Museum
by Laurie Canciani is out now
(Head of Zeus, �.99)
The Lives of the Surrealists
by Desmond Morris is out now
(Thames and Hudson, �.95)
THE BIG ISSUE / p31 / May 7-13 2018
JANE EYRE
by Charlotte Bronte
While not necessarily a crime
book, there are certainly dark
and creepy aspects to it. I
read this book as a child and now I love
collecting different editions and covers.
THE SUSPICIONS OF
MR WHICHER
by Kate Summerscale
This is like a real-life Agatha
Christie novel. It investigates
the 1860 murder of a young child in a
country mansion. Characters include
suspicious family members and creepy
servants. Who doesn?t love a Victorian
country mansion yarn?
MR BRIGGS? HAT
by Kate Colquhoun
A gripping look at the
strange story of Thomas
Briggs, who was murdered
in a train carriage in 1864. The bizarre
thing about the crime was that the body
disappeared from the train and the
murder only discovered because of a
blood-soaked seat, a walking stick and
a leftover
top hat!
THE MILE END
MURDER
by Sinclair McKay
Mary Emsley was almost
like a real-life Scrooge: An
acerbic woman who spent her evenings
counting her money. Emsley came
to a sticky end in 1860, and this book
examines who might have murdered
her, and why.
The Battered Body Beneath the
Flagstones & Other
Victorian Scandals by
Michelle Morgan is out now
(Robinson, �.99)
I NTE
EW
EW
?T
he Cured is the zombie movie that
alive and well.? Quite
takesplaceafterthezombiemovie
the understatement.
A key difference to Page?s character Abbie
you?re used to seeing,? says Ellen
most other zombie has a troubled past
Page,theCanadianactresswhose
movies is that the cured
breakthrough,Oscar-nominatedroleinJunoled
remember their actions
to a diverse career over the last decade.
as bloodthirsty demons, chomping through
Nextup,anIrish-baseddramasetafterthe
country was rampaged by zombies.
friendsandfamilymembers.Manyaredealing
?Essentially there?s a group of infected
with signs of post-traumatic stress, and the
people that have been cured and they?re
setting brings inevitable echoes of the issues
being introduced back to society ? some are
thatdivideIreland?fromborderstoreligion
welcoming and some people are not,?
? and the legacy of the Troubles (not least
Page continues.
because the condition that turned people
Ah, there?s nothing like a zombie film to
into zombies is called the Maze virus).
provide a bit of biting social commentary.
In a year where we?ve already had
Jackie Chan punching the IRA
And The Cured, written and directed
into submission in Netflix?s
by first-timer David Freyne,
The Foreigner, a legion of
has even richer allegorical
zombies taking on the
value than most, with
Troubles seems the
the resurrected undead
standing for any number of
naturalnextstep.But
contemporary concerns:
theIrishconnection
immigrants, mental health
wasonethatlargely
stigma, how society deals
went over Page?s
with ex-convicts or those
head. No country
leaving the services, even
is immune to
homeless people ? anyone
divisive issues
who is seen as being less
though, even
than human by wider
Canada, with its
so ciet y;
i ntoler a nt ,
fairytale PM
suspicious and frightened
Justin Trudeau.
of the other. Freyne drew
?Of course
on how the recession hit
there?s issues in
Ireland and the rise of
Canada that
populist politicians around
divide people,?
the world encouraging
Page says. ?The
intolerance towards those
tar sands in
who aren?t to blame.
A lberta, the
?When [Freyne] was first
Keystone XL
Juno star Page?s new film is
starting to write it a lot of the
pipeline, a lot of
set in Ireland, where reformed
environmental
scenes were relating to the sort
zombies are finding life tough
issues, racial
of uprising of nationalism and
obviously throughout the years,
issues, treatment
that has continued to be present.
of indigenous
It?sdefinitelycontemporary,?Page
people?
says. ?Dealing with a zombie
?Zombie and postoutbreak/apocalypse
apocalyptic films are a
way in which we question
would be difficult.
The film tries
ourselves,intermsofwhat
topresentthisareaof
it means to survive, the
moral ambiguity and
thingspeoplehavetodoand
ethical compromise
the great fear of losing your
The Cured is a zombie
in terms of how
sense of what humanity is ?
movie with a fresh twist
everybody?s dealing
compassion and empathy.?
with the situation.
It?s odd that it takes a zombie
Ultimately the entire
film to remind us what it means
situation that?s been created
to be human.
perpetuates this cycle of fear
and violence.
The Cured comes to
cinemas from May
?The part of the script that
11, and Digital and
compelled me was the idea of
DVD from May 14.
utilising fear to gain power,?
Page adds.
Words: Steven MacKenzie
?It?s been a massive part
@stevenmackenzie
of human history, and it?s
Photo: Action Press/REX/Shutterstock
To Ellen
back
THE BIG ISSUE / p32 / May 7-13 2018
FILM
READ MORE FROM...
EDWARD LAWRENSON
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
Sinking ship
Redoubtable plots the course of Jean-Luc Godard?s ill-fated marriage to
Anne Wiazemsky. But as for saluting the director?s brilliance, it?s all at sea
J
ean-Luc Godard is one of the most
significant figures in modern
cinema. There?s little contest, in
the view of this humble
correspondent. One of the founders of the
French New Wave of the Sixties, he shook
up cinema by liberating it from the stufy
restrictions of studio ?lmmaking: made
quickly, often on location, his early work
is playful, sophisticated, funny, impeccably
cool and almost impertinently inventive.
Towards the end of the decade, after a
run of masterpieces ? Breathless, Vivre sa
vie, Le M閜ris, Pierrot le fou among others
? with few equals in European cinema, his
movies became more avowedly political.
Responding to the student protests of 1968,
he made ?lms of confrontational rigour;
as innovative as ever, but without the
appeal of his early work. An emergence
from this chilly artistic exile came in a
much celebrated ?return? to narrative in the
early Eighties, but you?re unlikely to ?nd
the latest Godard in your multiplex.
His recent films are in turn poetic,
brilliant, ruminative, marked by depths of
oceanic pessimism and very confounding.
His new work is called Le Livre d?image and
based on its trailer, expect more of the
same. It?s in Cannes competition later this
month, and is likely to be the freshest
provocation in the line-up: Monsieur
Godard, by the way, is in his late eighties.
Redoubtable is a splashy French biopic
(by Michel Hazanavicius, the director of
Oscar-winning silent ?lm pastiche The
Artist) that chronicles a key phase in
Godard?s life. I guess it testi?es to Godard?s
cultural standing that he?s the subject of
this handsome period film, but it?s a
The ?lm doesn?t really develop this,
funny kind of tribute: Godard himself except to turn Godard?s creative turmoils
called the ?lm ?stupid? and I have a hard into a twitchy comedy of a mid-life crisis.
time disagreeing.
Garrel is good as Godard, ably
The focus is on the relationship between mimicking the Swiss-accented lisp of the
Godard (Louis Garrel) with Anne director, and playing his numerous
Wiazemsky, a beautiful 19-year-old actress neuroses and humiliations as if pratfalls
played by Stacy Martin, whom the then- from a Jerry Lewis comedy (one of the few
37-year-old director married in 1967. The sets of movies Godard would, in his ardour
film itself is based on
to destroy all corrupt
Wiazemsky?s memoir of
bourgeois art, save from
their relationship, from
the revolutionary ?res).
FINAL REEL
Remove the film?s
its early heady promise to
element of gossipy
painful breakdown a few
The Cannes Film Festival
short years later. You
fascination that obsessives
begins this week, and it looks
might say that it?s a study
like me have towards
hugely promising. Alongside
in Godard?s creeping
Godard and Redoubtable
work by veteran directors like
unfaithfulness. But it?s
merges as a fairly
Spike Lee
not for another lover that
lodding depiction
and ? yes ?
he neglects Anne, rather
f the slow death of
Godard, the
the radical politics
he relationship
selectors have
exploding on the streets
etween a selffocussed on
of Paris in 1968.
sorbed ?lmmaker
a younger,
Dismissing his own
nd his beautiful
lesser-known
brand of filmmaking
tress wife. That
and more inter
a s ? bourgeois?, he
story has been told much
diverse range of filmmakers.
falls under the spell of
better before, not least
It?s the freshest, most surprising
the student protest
by Godard in 1963?s
line-up in ages.
movement, pledging to
Le M閜ris.
reinvent his approach
The title by the way is
to cinema in line with the anti- taken from the teasing reference Jean-Luc
establishment fervour of the time. The and Anne make to a submarine in the
revolutionary impulse was, the film early days of their marriage. Voyager
suggests, as much artistic as political beware: as a vessel for understanding
for Godard. Approaching his forties why Jean-Luc Godard matters, Redoubtable
Godard was growing bored, and ever doesn?t go deep.
the restless innovator found the Redoubtable is in cinemas from May 11
opportunity for a cinematic rebirth in
radical ideas of Paris? youth.
Edward Lawrenson @EdwardLawrenson
THE BIG ISSUE / p33 / May 7-13 2018
random / generations
A double bill of plays by debbie tucker green
Tinuke Craig directs these two
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READ MORE FROM...
LUCY SWEET
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
Totally digging
this at last
OUT AND ABOUT
NOSTALGIC WAVE
Oh who doesn?t like to be beside the seaside?
A new exhibition, A Welsh Connection
(May 12-31, Contemporary Six, Manchester,
contemporarysix.co.uk), collects landscapes of
north Wales by the artist Anne Aspinall, where
many in the north-west of England have
much-loved memories of childhood holidays.
Meanwhile, it?s a tale of yesterday and
tomorrow in London this week. First up, The
Return Of The Past: Postmodernism In
British Architecture (May 16 to August 27,
Holborn, London; soane.org) looks at the
seismic impact of postmodernism on building
design, where architects started ripping up
the past and began to create a knowing new
future. Zooming in on key names like Terry
Farrell, Piers Gough and Jeremy Dixon, their
influence will be explained through drawings,
models, full-scale replicas and fragments from
actual buildings they designed.
Sending time?s arrow in the opposite direction,
The Future Starts Here (from May 12, South
Kensington, London; vam.ac.uk) collects
over 100 objects that will write and direct the
future ? including
autonomous boats
that clean up oil
spills, a crowdfunded
bridge, the world?s
first carbon-neutral/
zero-waste city,
artificial intelligence and DNA-powered art.
Meanwhile, London Nights (May 11
to November 11, Barbican, London;
museumoflondon.org.uk) is a photography
exhibition exploring the capital after the sun
goes down ? jumping across portraiture,
documentary, conceptual photography and
film. See the city in a whole new way.
If you are looking for inspiration to start
creating ? or simply want to liven up corners
of your house ? London Craft Week
2018 (May 9-13, various locations, London;
londoncraftweek.com) could be the place for
you. Now in its fourth year, it peppers objects
around famous buildings and lesser-known
spots in the capital, making it like a treasure
hunt. There are also talks, workshops and
studio tours.
Eamonn Forde @Eamonn_Forde
Maybe it?s an age thing to find Gardener?s World so absorbing
A
lthoughthevarifocalsandthewalk-in modest patch of green space, I?ve realised
bath aren?t quite necessary yet, I?ve that there?s something quietly impressive
started to find great comfort in about gardening. It is the very de?nition of
Gardener?s World. My parents used to the long game. You?re in charge, but you?re
watch it when I was an interminably bored not really. You can coax, you can tinker, you
teen, and I would dramatically yawn my way can amble all you like. You can even
throughitwaitingforBlackaddertocomeon, rig up elaborate hydroponic planting areas
watching Alan Titchmarsh gently andcreateyourownsustainablefoodsource.
blithering his way around his herbaceous But in the end, nature will always win, and
border before he was joined on the spin-of your box hedges will grow out like wildly
unkempt merkins
Ground Force by
Charlie Dimmock?s
and you will be
dimmocks swaying
buriedandreturnto
in the wind while
dust under that tree
she dug a trench.
you once planted,
I hated both
which is now 10ft
shows with a
tall with a trunkpassion. God, they
like Tommy Lee
were the very
Jones? face. Ha!
definition of dull.
Touch�, humans!
Plant your hollyThis should be a
hocks 5cm deep,
disturbing thought,
get rid of bindweed,
but it?s not. The
?my clematis only
March of Time
flowers every two
( plant between
years, HELP!?, to
AprilandMayinfull
mulch or not to
sun) takes a lot of
mulch? Then a lot of
responsibility away
raking. So much
from you, allowing
raking.Andambling
for you to just be.
slowly down paths,
And when Monty
as if time was
Don says the words:
infinitely expend? With gardens
able.Nottomention
you?ve got to take
all those Latin
yourtimeandwait,?
names of plants,
I?m ?ooded with the
followed by the Monty Don: When it comes to your flowers and hedges,
kind of calm you
variety, which, as the Gardener?s World host is the soothing voice of reason
wou ld pay a
with pedigree dogs
premium for on the
on Crufts, is always something mind- Headspace app. He also has a really cool bulb
bogglingly random and stupid, like ?Nature?s planter thing like an enormous apple corer,
Fairy Christmas? or ?Trumpets of Morning?. which I googled, then seriously considered
But times have changed and now I?m buying ? only �.99! Maybe this is what
shocked to ?nd I?m quite into it. Monty Don happens when you get older. Maybe I?m
and his dog used to drive me to furious growing? Will I like Eamonn Holmes soon?
despair as he pottered about and droned on. Oh God, maybe I should phone Dignitas
Now,hisvoiceiseternallysoothing.Heislike after all?
a calm pond, a stick in a river, a resting toad
on a lilypad. I bet they use his voice when Gardener?s World airs on BBC2 on
Fridays at 8pm
you?re put on hold at Dignitas.
And now I?ve put my days of partying
behind me and actually have my own Words: Lucy Sweet @lucytweet1
THE BIG ISSUE / p35 / May 7-13 2018
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MUSIC
READ MORE FROM...
MALCOLM JACK
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
Super regrouper
ABBA have put the divorces behind them and returned to the studio ?
and it was all down to The Big Issue. Time to thank us for the music
Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
N
ow the dust has settled on the epic
news that ABBA have reformed,
consider this: it was The Big Issue
wot done it. Benny Andersson was
interviewed in the magazine just last year.
Agnetha F鋖tskog spoke to us for a cover
feature back in 2013. Bj鰎n Ulvaeus I
brie?y met on a cross-country ski track in
Sweden in 2006 ? he was wearing silver
boots and grudgingly mumbled ?hej? when
he noticed that I was staring at him. It?s my
most-told celebrity anecdote of all time.
Admittedly we never got Anni-Frid, but
then she was always a bit evasive.
It?smy?rm,oratleast?rm-ish,beliefthat
thevalidation,encouragementandall-round
good vibes that three quarters of ABBA
experienced in each of those encounters is
what helped to convince them that, yes, it is
timetoput500millionrecordsales,35years
of not speaking to one another all that much
and two divorces behind them and get back
in the studio together (two new songs, one of
them titled I Still Have Faith In You, will
feature in a TV special produced by NBC and
the BBC aimed for broadcast in December).
That and ? okay yes, fine, granted ? the
clamoring demands of pretty much anyone
anywhere on God?s Green Earth with
functioning ears that either wasn?t alive in
the 1970s, can?t remember the 1970s, or has
made their peace with the 1970s.
With burnish of hindsight, music history
categorically records that ABBA are and
almost certainly always will be remembered
as the greatest pure pop band that ever was.
There?s no contest, really. But before anyone
who was actually around in the era of the
superSwedes?dominanceaccusesmeofgross
revisionism ? admittedly I was only ?ve
months old when ABBA?s last single
Under Attack came out in December
1982 ? let me acknowledge that it wasn?t
always so. A lot of people hated ABBA, and
some probably still do.
It seems hard to imagine now, but ABBA
went out with a whimper, their ?nal album
The Visitors barely scraping a million sales.
?Not even the
ignominy of
being Alan
Partridge?s
favourite band
caused their
surrender?
After almost a decade on top, they were
physically and emotionally knackered. A
cursory analysis of their UK chart record
reveals an even simpler truth ? people just
got fed up with them. Of the roughly 460
weeks that expired between ABBA releasing
Waterloo as a single of the back of their
EurovisionSongContest-winningarrivalon
the world stage in 1974, and Under Attack
limping in at number 26, they spent almost
half of that time ? 211 weeks ? with at least
one single in the UK top 40, and 114 weeks
with at least one single in the UK top 10.
Those numbers are staggering. But thrown
into sharp relief by the youthful freshness
THE BIG ISSUE / p37 / May 7-13 2018
and exuberance of the New Romantics, by
the early 1980s the Swedes had become a
shorthandforallthatwasparentalandpast-it
in pop. ABBA?s days of fashionability were
chucked out with the platform shoe.
But their rehabilitation in the minds of
theirowngeneration,andtheirembracement
bymillennials,hasbeencomprehensive,and
little wonder. Agnetha and Anni-Frid?s
supernaturally sympathetic voices, the
only-too-real romantic drama in the lyrics,
the hooks arranged row upon row upon row
likeshark?steeth.Quiteapartfromanything
else,ABBAsoundedjustmassive.Andersson
and Ulvaeus and their engineer Michael B
Tretowwerestudiomulti-trackinggeniuses,
whose massed armies of voices, guitars,
drums, pianos and synthesisers were apt to
make heavy metal bands sound like boy
scouts by comparison. The Winner Takes it
All, SOS and Does Your Mother Know to
name just three are fortresses of such
impregnable pop brilliance that not even the
ignominy of being Alan Partridge?s favourite
band ? both his short-lived BBC chat show
Knowing Me, Knowing You and his son
FernandoarenamedafterABBAsongs?has
brought about their surrender.
All this from two minor pop singers and
two middling schlager musicians who
hitherto couldn?t have got arrested outside
oftheirnativecountry,andwhosebandname
isapunonapopularbrandofSwedishpickled
herring. What a story, eh? If anyone ever
makes an ABBA musical it?ll probably be the
most successful musical of all time. You
heard that idea here ?rst too.
Malcolm Jack @MBJack
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
A site near to Bristol Central Quaker Meeting
looks likely to be available if we have the
money to move on it to create
low-running-cost affordable homes.
Invest now to make this possible.
Interest as before.
AEOBhousepeople.org.uk
3 Windsor Terrace, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4LW
L
TTel: 0117 926 5931
email: tonycrofts1939@gmail.com
THE BIG ISSUE / p38 / May 7-13 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
Mental illness and brain disorders will a?ect everyone?s
life at some ?me. One in four of us as direct su?erers.
Here at The Psychiatry Research Trust our sole aim is to
raise funds for mental health and brain disease research
being carried out at the interna?onally renowned Ins?tute
of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (KCL), Bethlem
and Maudsley hospitals. We aim to support research by
young scien?sts in a wide range of mental health topics,
including Alzheimer's and Motor Neurone Disease, Ea?ng
Disorders, Psycho?c Illness, Addic?ons and Childhood
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Our target is not just to ?nd b???r treatments for su?erers
but also to understand the underlying causes of mental
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preven?ons and cures for these illnesses.
For further informa?on or to make a dona?on contact:
The Psychiatry Research Trust
PO 87, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF
Tel: 0207 703 6217 Web: www.psychiatryresearchtrust.co.uk
Email: psychiatry_research_trust@kcl.ac.uk
Donate on line at www.justgiving.com/psychiatryresearchtrust
Registered Charity Number 284286
WWW
THE BIG ISSUE / p39 / May 7-13 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
THE BIG ISSUE / p40 / May 7-13 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
FLOR?S STORY
This poor cat was found at the
side of the road having been run
over and left for dead. She had a
broken jaw, damaged eye and a
hernia ? she would have died in
great pain if it had not been for
a young lady who contacted C4C
and took her to a vet. She had a
very complex operation to save
her life ? she has been named
?Flor?.
Please help us to keep on doing
this work! We also trap and neuter
feral, abandoned and stray cats
from the streets ? there are volunteers from the UK and also local
volunteers working 7 days a week
to ensure the good health and
wellbeing of the cats of the island.
Please help us to save lives:
Please donate through our website:
www.care4catsibiza.org
Through our justgive page:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/niki-halls1
Send a cheque to:
Care4Cats, Brimar House,
East Street, West Chiltington,
Sussex RH20 2JY
Please support us and see our work on:
ibiza.care4cats
The Socialist Party
aims at building a moneyless world community based
on common ownership and democratic control with production solely
for use not profit. It opposes all leadership, all war.
for 3 FREE issues of our monthly Socialist Standard write to:
The Socialist Party (BI), 52 Clapham High Street. London SW4 7UN
www.worldsocialism.org.bi
Are your prayers for a soulmate
going unanswered?
Let ?Friends1st? change that for
you ? like we have for many
other Christians ? by
introducing you to your soulmate.
crisisinmentalhealth.org
A patient's experience of
The Mental Health Act 1983
THE BIG ISSUE / p41 / May 7-13 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
70
�OW
VE N
SA OK
BO
APRIL SHOWRS
Can you spot misteaks? Proofreaders and editors work from home
and urn up to �ph, part- or full-thyme. Work on books, websites,
brochures and moor! Fun, rewarding, flexible wok.
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Distance-leaning courses
Face-to-face seminar options
Advice and support with your new career
Please help
us find
Ruth Smith - Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Ruth has been missing from Marlow since 25 April
this year. She was 55 years old at the time
of her disappearance.
Qualify and start earning money within weeks.
www.chapterhousepublishing.com
01392 432951
Ruth, please call Missing People on 116 000 or
email 116000@missingpeople.org.uk for advice and
support whenever you feel ready.
BG4
Giannelli Kandandji - Camden, London
Giannelli went missing from Camden on 17 April
2018. He was 23 at the time of his disappearance.
Giannelli is urged to call Missing People on 116 000
or email 116000@missingpeople.org.uk for advice
and support, including the opportunity to send a
message home in confidence.
Barry Coughlan - Crosshaven, Co Cork, Eire
Barry went missing from Crosshaven 14 years ago
on the 1 May 2004 . He was 23 at the time of his
disappearance.
Barry, we are here for you when you are ready;
we can listen, talk you through what help you need,
pass a message on for you and help you to be safe.
Please call or text 116 000.
David Findlay - Cardonald, Glasgow
David has been missing from Cardonald since 05 May
2008, ten years ago. He was 69 at the time of his
disappearance.
David, please call or text Missing People on
116 000 when you?re ready; we can listen, talk
through what help you need, pass a message on for
you and help you to be safe.
Georgina Gharsallah - Worthing, Sussex
Georgina went missing from Worthing on 7 March
2018. She was 30 years of age at the time
of her disappearance.
Georgina, please call Missing People on 116 000 or
email 116000@missingpeople.org.uk for advice and
support whenever you feel ready.
Michelle Morris - Deptford, London
Michelle was last seen in Deptford, London
on 7 April 2018. Michelle is 31 years of age.
Michelle, we can listen, talk you through what help
you need, pass a message for you and help you to be
safe. Please call Missing People on 116 000 or email
116000@missingpeople.org.uk.
Call or text 116 000
Email 116000@missingpeople.org.uk
It?s free, 24hr and confidential
Missing People would like to thank
The Big Issue for publicising
vulnerable missing people on
this page.
Our free 116 000 number is
supported by players of People?s
Postcode Lottery.
Registered charity in England and Wales (1020419)
and in Scotland (SC047419)
www.missingpeople.org.uk/help-us-find
THE BIG ISSUE / p42 / May 7-13 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
THE BIG ISSUE / p43 / May 7-13 2018
COMP
I
ON
FOUNDERS
John Bird and Gordon Roddick
Group chair
Nigel Kershaw
Managing director
Russell Blackman
EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION
Editor Paul McNamee
Managing editor Vicky Carroll
Features editor Steven MacKenzie
Digital editor Ben Sullivan
Books editor Jane Graham
News & entertainment Adrian Lobb
Film Edward Lawrenson
Radio Robin Ince
Music Malcolm Jack and Claire Jackson
Business support manager Robert White
Art director Ross Lesley-Bayne
Production editor Sarah Reid
Designer Gillian Smith
Junior designer Matthew Costello
Junior sub editor/writers Dionne Kennedy
& Liam Geraghty
ADVERTISING 020 3890 3899
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Classified and recruitment: 020 3890 3744
Account director Jenny Bryan
Senior sales executive Imogen Williams
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The Big Issue Group
020 7526 3200
113-115 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park,
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Group managing director John Montague
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editorial@bigissue.com
0141 352 7260
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Distribution/London 020 7526 3200
Printed at William Gibbons
BSME Cover of the Year 2017, PPA Cover of the Year
2015, PPA Scotland Cover of the Year 2015 & 2017
PPA Scotland
Consumer Magazine of The Year, 2017
Paul McNamee
British editor of the year 2016, BSME
WIN!
OVER �0 OF
TS TO FAIRPORT?S
CROPREDY CONVENTION!
The world-famous festival in Cropredy grew out of the village?s
fete. Folk-rock band Fairport Convention played at fundraisers for
the village during the 1970s in the gardens of Prescott Manor, the
home of former Labour government minister Dick Crossman.
By 1977 the band was putting on its own show on farm land
? marking its introduction as a ?proper? festival. Now, more than
40 years later the festival returns to Cropredy, ?ve miles north
of Banbury in Oxfordshire, on August 9-11 with a stellar line-up
including Fairport Convention themselves, Kate Rusby, Levellers,
Afro-Celt Sound System, BBC Young Folk Award Winner Mera
Royle, Richard Digance (right) and Beach Boys frontman Brian
Wilson presenting Pet Sounds.
For full festival details see fairportconvention.com.
We?ve teamed up with Fairport?s Cropredy Convention to
offer two fantastic prizes:
Our ?rst winner will bag a family pack of tickets including two
adult three-day tickets worth �5 each, with a weekend camping
pass worth � and up to three under 12 child tickets. And the
runner-up will win a pair of adult Saturday-only day tickets, worth
� each.
To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the
question below:
In the gardens of which manor did Fairport Convention first
play fundraisers for their local village fete?
Send your answers with CROPREDY as the subject to
competitions@bigissue.com or post to The Big Issue, 43 Bath Street,
Glasgow, G2 1HW. Include your name and address. Closing date
is May 22. Include OPT OUT if you don?t want to receive updates
from The Big Issue. We will not pass your details to any third party.
For full T&Cs see bigissue.com
THE BIG ISSUE / p44 / May 7-13 2018
GAMES & PUZZLES
SUDOKU
SPOT THE BALL
A
C
D
There is just one simple rule
in sudoku: each row, column
and 3 x 3 box must contain
the numbers one to nine.
This is a logic puzzle and you
should not need to guess.
The solution will be revealed
next week.
E
F
ISSUE 1305 SOLUTION
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
To win Running Up That Hill by Vassos
(Last week?s
Alexander mark where you think the ball is,
Spot the Ball
cut out and send to:
revealed:
Chelsea
Spot the Ball (1306), 43 Bath St, Glasgow,
v Bolton
G2 1HW, by May 15. Include name,
(1978)
address, phone no. Enter by email: send grid
position (eg A1) to competitions@bigissue.com.
PRIZE CROSSWORD
1
3
2
4
5
6
7
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
13
14
15
14
16
16
17
18
19
20
22
21
21
23
24
24
25
To win a Chambers Dictionary, send completed crosswords (either cryptic or quick) to:
The Big Issue Crossword (1306), second floor, 43 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HW by
May 15. Include your name, address and phone number.
Issue 1304 winner is Caroline Latham from Romford
CRYPTIC CLUES
Across
1. Redhead?s biscuit (6,3)
8. Doctor the tailless
larva (4)
9. One could be in the
running in this sport
(9)
11. Some boys terri?ed
the marine creature
(6)
12. Be about to race with
one from an eastern
country (6)
13. Elementary particle
Ronald had to choose
?rst (8)
16. Then seal might
appear on a volcanic
island (2,6)
20. Silver in the lake is of
poor quality (6)
21. Either way it is more
to the left (6)
23. Type of
accommodation that
was supplied (9)
24. Entered into rivalry by
performing dive (4)
25. A motorist should
carry this, but it?s not
healthy (5,4)
QUICK CLUES
Down
2. Pro?t from curiosity
(8)
3. Lead sulphide from a
man in Georgia (6)
4. Rescue dog ? but it?s
lost its tail (8)
5. It is strange in
Scotland to ?nd a
French company (4)
6. Mail order worker (6)
7. Anchor removed by
ferryman (6)
10. Occurring together
in the Seychelles and
North Carolina (4)
14. Inspector was a collier
(8)
15. Be arrogant about
the animal (beaver or
otherwise) (8)
16. Try to remove rivets
(6)
17. Was shifty when
surrounded (6)
18. Willie ?ogged some
willingly (4)
19. Beasts troubling the
hound (6)
22. Strange, soft steak (4)
Across
1. Greek philosopher (9)
8. Donkey?s cry (4)
9. --------- zone (9)
11. Japanese military
governor (6)
12. Fastening (6)
13. Diabolical (8)
16. Decided (8)
20. Dell (6)
21. Religious faith (6)
23. Steady application (9)
24. Spellbound (4)
25. Importing illegally (9)
Down
2. Stayed (8)
3. Indian region (6)
4. Accommodating (8)
5. Deprivation (4)
6. Spanish region (6)
7. Church songbook (6)
10. Item of footwear (4)
14. Swindling (8)
15. Relating to the
Church of England (8)
16. Reddish-brown (6)
17. Old car (6)
18. Act (4)
19. Ill (6)
22. Movie (4)
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Issue 1305 solution
CRYPTIC: Across ? 1 All very well; 9 Defer; 10 Trips up; 11 Isms; 12 Domestic; 14 Tannic; 15 Eifel; 18 Catching; 20 Poop; 22 Earache; 23 Haiti; 24 An apple a day.
Down ? 2 Lift-man; 3 Verb; 4 Ration; 5 White lie; 6 Liszt; 7 Adriatic Sea; 8 Apocalyptic; 13 Nightcap; 16 Florida; 17 Unveil; 19 Turin; 21 Whoa.
QUICK: Across ? 1 Thoughtless; 9 Oiled; 10 Pintado; 11 Cube; 12 Inducted; 14 Bitchy; 15 Tsetse; 18 Abducted; 20 Onus; 22 Eye-spot; 23 Brown; 24 Treasonable.
Down ? 2 Halibut; 3 Urdu; 4 Hoping; 5 Linguist; 6 Shaft; 7 Torchbearer; 8 Top dressing; 13 Chickpea; 16 Tinfoil; 17 Dextro; 19 Drear; 21 ABBA.
THE BIG ISSUE / p45 / May 7-13 2018
Photos: Action Images
B
MY PITCH
Lionel Hegarty, 74
OUTSIDE TESCO, BOTLEY, OXFORD
?I?m one of Britain?s oldest vendors
but I still play five-a-sides every week?
ABOUT ME...
SHELF LIFE
I?m in the library every afternoon
for a few hours. I?ve always
loved reading and I?m often
found reading military books or
even renting out the films and
documentaries when I can.
BEST FOOT FORWARD
Walking around town is one of
my favourite things to do, I?m
at it all day. I particularly enjoy
going around University Park
and Christ Church Meadow.
They are really nice places to be.
ON MY
PITCH?
I?m outside Tesco in
Botley, Oxford every
day from 10am
until 2pm.
I
?ve been selling the
magazine for about nine
years to the point where
I am now one of the country?s
oldest vendors at the age of 74.
I heard about The Big Issue
while I was rough sleeping for
four years. I love working on
my pitch because I like talking
to the public and sales have
been going well recently. I have
plenty of regulars who are all
really nice to me and give me
food and drink while I?m out
on my pitch. Some days you
can make a few bob and some
days you have to grin and bear
it because you make nothing.
But I?m really, really happy
that I?m involved with The Big
Issue, the staf in the office
are really nice to me and very
helpful. They can?t do enough
for me.
I?ve worked all my life and
I?ve done a bit of everything.
I was a quali?ed painter and
decorator in Plymouth, and I
worked in a hotel washing pots
in Brighton. I?ve also worked
in a ?sh and chip shop and I?ve
just started volunteering in
an Oxfam shop ? I?ve done all
sorts. Even now I have a paper
round that I do before I head
to my pitch. I?m up at 6am
every day and I don?t get back
home until about 8pm. It?s
tiring but I love walking
about Oxford.
I?m living in a hostel but
I?m hoping to get moved on
soon into something more
permanent. I?ve had a few
tough times ? I lost two
brothers in the space of a
month a couple of years ago.
That was a really difficult thing
to get over for me.
I now try to help people
as much as I can, especially
homeless people because I
have been in their situation.
I?ve done The Big Issue?s Big
THE BIG ISSUE / p46 / May 7-13 2018
Night Walk for the last four
years ? it?s always great to
meet other vendors and I
?nd it to be a really good
night out.
I?m also training for a
sponsored 4K run around
Oxford for Cancer Research
and I still play ?ve-a-side
football every week! I used
to play for Oxford Boys and a
local team in my younger days
and I still enjoy playing
in goal now. In fact, I played
in a tournament when I was
67 and managed to be named
player of the tournament
and got a medal for it! I?m
also trying tennis for the
second time in my life when
I play against my social
worker soon. She?ll probably
beat me but I?ll give it a go.
I?m a busy man!
Interview: Liam Geraghty
Photo: Maciek Tomiczek
13 JULY ? 8 SEPTEMBER 2018 ? ROYAL ALBERT HALL
The world?s greatest classical music festival
90 EVENTS OVER 58 DAYS, INCLUDING
SIR SIMON RATTLE ? ANNA MEREDITH ? WEST SIDE STORY
JOYCE DiDONATO ? NICOLA BENEDETTI ? YOUSSOU NDOUR
THE UNTHANKS ? MILO? KARADAGLI? ? JACOB COLLIER
THE PLANETS ? THE BRANDENBURG PROJECT
Booking opens Saturday 12 May
bbc.co.uk/proms
@bbcproms
bbc_proms
theproms
e you
are spending a couple of hours with
people who genuinely care about you. You
can sort through your problems,
celebrate your successes, if you are
feeling down you are going to be with
people who uplift you,? Mitchell explains.
The Superior Court judge says his
THE BIG ISSUE / p23 / May 7-13 2018
?After 29
years in jail I
was an alien
in your world?
I met Judge Craig Mitchell in 2004 when I was in prison. He was at my
parole board hearing as deputy district attorney to say if I was a threat or
not. Most would have said ?this guy should never go home?. I didn?t get
parole but we started a correspondence that lasted until I got out in 2011.
I would send him 16-page letters, about everything. When I got out after
29 years, I didn?t know where I was at. I was an alien in your world.
The majority of my life had been in jail. I ended up near his
courthouse, so I walked into the courtroom. It was like a bomb dropped.
Everyone looking at me ? all the lawyers. I asked to see Craig Mitchell.
He jumped off the bench, came up to me and he gives me a hug. First
time we had seen each other for seven years. Soon after that I?m at his
house. From a prison cell to a judge?s house, meeting his family.
When he started the running club I couldn?t run one mile. I ended up
going with him, running with people from Skid Row, with people who
are homeless, using drugs and alcohol ? it felt like I was back in prison
for a little bit. I have a lot more in common with the people that live in
the Midnight Mission than Craig does. I understand some of their
setbacks and tension and stress in their lives, so I was able to connect
with them. I was making strides and they were looking at that ? if this
guy can come out of prison after 29 years then I can do that.
When you are running with people, you become like a family, a bond
forms. We?re also keeping in touch when we?re not running. This is like
my second family ? and for some it is like their ?rst family.
running sessions with the Skid Row Running Club
act for him as ?a regular tutorial in the fact that I need
to make sure I hear and understand the backstory of
all the people that come into my courtroom?.
This remarkable man has a habit of changing lives.
In the early days, four or ?ve runners ? homeless,
recovering from addiction, or recently released from
prison ? would join him. Now 40 or more join the
62-year-old and a team of mentors at 5.45am to pound
the LA streets three times a week. And his fundraising
has enabled group members to run marathons in Accra
in Ghana, Rome and, earlier this year, in Jerusalem.
?It is the human interaction that is the magic
component in our programme,? Mitchell says. And
the numbers of people who need that support is
spiralling before his eyes. ?At this point there is not
the political will nor the commitment on behalf of
the wider community to seriously address it,?
he adds.
?It is part of my faith, that every human being has
worth, has dignity, deserves to be respected and
understood. Homelessness or addiction doesn?t afect
one-dimensional people. They are where they are
because of a complicated series of events or
circumstances. And if anybody is interested in doing
anything about that, the complexity of their
circumstances needs to be appreciated.?
And Mitchell, who previously worked as a high
school teacher in South Central Los Angeles before
turning to law, has ?rst-hand experience.
?When I was in college I lived in my car,? he says.
?I never thought of myself as homeless, but from this
vantage point, I guess I was. I would go behind the
restaurant where I worked and ?ll up buckets of water
to take a shower. At certain points in your life, if you
can get the right support and the right opportunity,
your life can play out very diferently.?
THE BIG ISSUE / p24 / May 7-13 2018
?The
weight
drops of,
you ?nd a
girlfriend?
I play music. I wanted to get in a signed band and I
was in the Eighties and Nineties. I got to the life I
thought I wanted, I met all my heroes and I should
have been over-the-moon happy. But I hated myself.
I felt like a fraud and a phoney. I kept drinking.
When I went to recovery meetings they would
smell drink on me; I thought I could hide heroin.
Then I went down that rabbit hole. I was on four
bottles of vodka a day and $360 of heroin and
cocaine and pills and whatever the hell else.
And I kept waking up every morning. I couldn?t
die. I ended up on Skid Row and I had been in the
Midnight Mission for six months when Judge
Mitchell came in and started the running club.
I initially disliked the judge because he was a
judge. I would run down the block and throw up.
You think about all sorts on a long run. And then
the weight starts dropping off, you get the runner?s
high, you ?nd a girlfriend ? it?s more than running.
Recovery and running go hand in hand.
I got into the San Francisco Conservatory for
Music, as you see in the ?lm. I sat in the front of the
class, allowed myself to be open to the younger
kids and got the excitement back instead of being
jaded. I?m now a Composer Fellow at the Street
Symphony in LA, which is headed by members of
the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I work hard. But
without help I don?t know where I would be.
The Big Issue is proud to be a media partner
for Skid Row Marathon. A short Big Issue
promo ?lm will run after every screening, and
will be seen by more than 1.5 million
cinemagoers. Picturehouse Cinemas have
offered our vendors complimentary tickets to
screenings of the ?lm ? and look out for
vendors selling the magazine at screenings
around the country.
Above left: Mitchell has
changed lives; Rebecca,
above right, was on
the streets with her
baby before going to
Midnight Mission and
taking up running; right:
58,000 people in LA
County are homeless
?A
?Addicts
ccan become
somebody great?
I was one of the first to join the running group. While I was in the
Midnight Mission, a friend introduced me to Judge Mitchell. I?m an artist,
he saw my work, and commissioned me to do a piece for him.
After that, we became friends and he asked if I was interested in
running. I wasn?t much of an athlete in high school but he talked me into
it. I went on a run with him. It helped me tremendously with my selfesteem. For our ?rst international trip we went to Ghana and ran a
marathon there. That was a life-changing experience for me, meeting
new people in the country from my culture and learning about my history.
We also ran a marathon in Rome. I was working at the time, but Judge
Mitchell told me it would be a life-changer to see all the Michelangelo
works and the Sistine Chapel. What a beautiful experience. Running is
also a beautiful thing. The ?lm shows the world that addicts can become
somebody great.
Right now, I lost my job, but I have faith that God will bring something
my way soon. But I am great, man. I am still alive. I am on my way to ?nish
off a painting. So as long as I am still breathing I have a chance. Anybody
can come out on top. I was homeless for 10 years. But you know what? It
made me who I am today. From there to where I am now is a big step.
Mitchell took part in this year?s London Marathon
(his 71st), and beforehand took time to go for a training
session with The Running Charity, a group whose work
with young homeless people, aged between 16 and 25,
mirrors his own.
?It is a journey from A to B, spiritually, physically
and mentally,? says Claude Umuhire, programmes
officer with the charity, which works with young people
in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle.
?We go into hostels, we take young people out
for runs, we encourage people to set goals ? a lot
of the time these young people haven?t had anything
to look forward to. Having them set goals and
achieve them is something no one can take away
from them.?
Like Mitchell, Umuhire knows the reality of
homelessness. ?I was homeless after dropping out of
university. Once you are in a dark place, it is often hard
to see a way out. Running with The Running Charity
became a tool for me ? a way of seeing light at the end
of the tunnel.
?Once I got ready to go with the group I wasn?t
homeless, I was just a person trying to go for a run.
And when I ?nished the run I was a better person than
I was when I started.?
Skid Row Marathon shows at 111 cinemas across the UK on
May 9. Find a screening at skidrowmarathontickets.co.uk
@adey70
THE BIG ISSUE / p25 / May 7-13 2018
e
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School of Hard
Knocks is kicking social
exclusion into touch
The Homeless World Cup has been an enormous
success ? using football as a vehicle to bring
together homeless people from all over the world
to tackle poverty since 2003.
Charity worker Darran Martin saw the tournament
kicking on and was inspired to set up an equivalent
? this time with an egg-shaped ball.
The sport fanatic launched Homeless Rugby in 2013
then hit the road and pitched his plan to Aviva
Premiership and second-tier Championship sides,
ofering them a chance to get his idea of the ground.
Worcester Warriors answered the call and this
weekend the Homeless International Cup will return
? a six-a-side touch rugby tournament which will see
teams from England, Scotland and Wales face of at
Warriors? Sixways Stadium.
?I think once we had seen the football take of
it was all about thinking about what a rugby version
would look like,? says Darran. ?Homelessness
afects everywhere all over the world and rugby is
also played all over the world, and we want to bring
those two things together.
?If you have a team anywhere then we want to hear
from you, we want Homeless Rugby to be as open and
as accessible as possible.?
Teaming up with Worcester YMCA, Warriors
established the ?rst homeless rugby side in England
in 2013 and went on to win Premiership Rugby?s Play
Award at the House of Commons the following year.
Now the team is playing up to 50 matches a season
against anyone who will take them on.
And the man tasked with coaching the outfit,
Worcester Warriors community education programme
director Dave Rogers, insists the tournament has come
a long way already ? and is hoping that a scrum of
nations will follow in the next few years.
?The football Homeless World Cup is massive and
we are looking to follow that model long-term,? he says.
?But rugby is also massive in certain areas of the
country and the sport can have a huge impact. Take,
THE BIG ISSUE / p26 / May 7-13 2018
for example, that the ?rst homeless touch rugby team
was started in Worcester ? it?s not where you would
expect something like this would start. ?That?s the
same case for the Welsh team in Newport. We want
to keep building on it ? the event this year is in
Worcester again but we want to take it to Scotland and
Wales, we want to get Ireland involved and we want
to take it further. Why not to France? Or Italy??
Scotland joined the fray in 2016, working with
housing association NG Homes and their course-led
approach, which includes rugby project School of
Hard Knocks, which went on to be the subject of
a Sky TV show. The tournament became a
tri-nations clash the following year with links to Welsh
side The Dragons.
Of course, victory is not only measured by the
overall winner of the tournament ? work off the
pitch is just as crucial. Every player lining up on
Saturday will have their own story of mistakes and
misfortune. But playing team sport provides a
distraction and gives often-isolated people a chance
for much-needed socialising, reducing the strains on
mental health that homelessness brings.
Skills that are transferable to life of the pitch also
?gure, with the chance to develop discipline and
leadership. It also gives that all-important boost to
players? con?dence and self-esteem.
And rugby?s relatively lower pro?le compared to
football can work in its favour, says founder Darran.
?Rugby is a great leveller. So many people have
played football before and some haven?t and so there
is a diference in skill levels,? he adds.
?A lot of the people who play rugby with us have
never played before ? everyone is starting from the
same point and going on the same journey so rugby
has a lot of value in that sense. And people have shown
that, by playing, they have built up good leadership
and other skills that can transfer of the pitch.?
England player Richard Oxenbury knows this
more than most.
He had not played rugby since his school days when
his key worker introduced him to Homeless Rugby
while he was in Worcester?s YMCA in 2013 and
recovering from spiralling drink and drug problems
that cost him his job and home.
?Playing rugby helped me get through all the stuf
that had led to me being homeless ? all the drink and
the drugs ? because I could keep myself busy and not
think of anything else,? says Richard, 29, who is now
a delivery courier.
?This de?nitely put me on a positive path and I?ve
now got myself a home, into full-time employment and
I have a partner and two kids so a lot has changed for
me in the last four years.?
The transformation has been stark on the ?eld too
? with team veteran and some-time captain Richard
now providing mentoring to new team members.
?A year ago I did a short video with World Rugby
and when I look back I can barely recognise myself
? I look so much healthier now,? he says.
?We don?t think about it as a homeless team, we
think about it as a bunch of mates having a laugh and
socialising ? that?s all it is.
?Without Homeless Rugby I would probably still
be partying and taking drugs and drinking ? I would
probably be dead.?
The Homeless International Cup will take place at Sixways
Stadium in Worcester on May 12. For more details head to
homelessrugby.org @Lazergun_Nun
?Our team?s
getting
women
involved
too?
?How the team actually works in Scotland is quite different to
England and Wales,? says Greg Cann, Homeless Rugby Scotland
director and NG Homes Pitstops project manager. ?It is run out of our
Pitstops programme and we largely work with post-course engagement
so if people enjoy courses like School of Hard Knocks and want to do
more then we give them the opportunity to get involved with the
rugby and turn their course into activity.
?We were the only truly representative team at the tournament last
year with players from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Falkirk. And this year
we will also be a truly mixed team with ?ve or six women involved too.?
?This year
we?re coming
back to take
the trophy?
Callum House, homeless rugby co-ordinator, runs Wales and the
Newport Gwent Dragons Homeless Team, set up in October 2016
after a phone call from Worc
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