Big Issue founder gives inspiring talk in Ely

PUBLISHED: 10:16 08 October 2018

Lord John Bird gives a talk for Amnesty International at Ely Cathedral

Lord John Bird gives a talk for Amnesty International at Ely Cathedral


The editor in chief of the Big Issue was in Ely to give a talk on human rights for all.

Lord John Bird gives a talk for Amnesty International at Ely CathedralLord John Bird gives a talk for Amnesty International at Ely Cathedral

The charity talk by Lord John Bird was at the city cathedral and organised in conjunction with Amnesty International.

Lord Bird did not have an easy start in life, born into hardship and poverty in the post-war slums of London.

He was still a child when he started getting in trouble with the police and did not learn to read and write until he was 16.

Later, he was struck by how charities working with the homeless did everything, except help people back on their feet.

Prickwillow ploughing festival. Picture: MIKE ROUSEPrickwillow ploughing festival. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

So, in 1991, with the help of Body Shop founders Gordon and Anita Roddick, he set up the The Big Issue.

Homeless vendors generate a legitimate income by selling the magazine – a model that has spread to 35 other countries.

Now an established activist and publisher, Lord Bird is an inspirational business leader with a record of using business as a tool for social change.


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