The Arts are a vital and much-needed release for everyone. Whether it is through a creation of your own or responding to someone else’s. As humans we have always had a need to tell stories. It is essential to our being and that can encompass any art form. We must all fight to keep them and fight to keep them for all.
“We know that nurturing a child’s natural curiosity and creativity from a young age can have a massive impact on their development and on their adult lives.”
Some of the UK’s most inspirational and creative people including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Terence Conran, Carol Ann Duffy, David Shrigley, Heston Blumenthal, Stephen Merchant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Maxine Peake and Frank Cottrell Boyce have been telling us who or what inspired them as a child to help raise awareness of the impact creativity can have on a child’s life, in support of the children’s charity Curious Minds.
46 unique and personal tales have been collected together in an illustrated book, with a foreword by Wayne Hemingway and drawings from 15 illustrators including Steven Appleby (Loomus, The Guardian), Oliver Jeffers (Lost and Found), Nick Sharratt (The Story of Tracy Beaker), Al Murphy and Emily Forgot.
All proceeds raised from the purchase of this book will support creative projects for young people.
Curious Minds is a registered charity no. 1130988 that works across the North West to make sure all children have access to quality arts and cultural learning activities, providing kids with opportunities to be creative, have fun and stretch their minds and imaginations, giving them the best start in life.
The concept for the book was devised by creative collective Dorothy and its development was assisted by Arts Council England.
Maxine supports the Big Ride for Palestine:
Is an English stage, film and television actress
I am supporting the Big Ride as it is essential to show the Palestinian people that we are appalled by the long and horrendous suffering they have endured at the hands of the Israeli government.
Hopefully this terrific event will go some way to forcing our government to wake up and take responsibility.
I wish all the participants a fun packed ride and may your bum be not so numb!
Here’s a new photo of Maxine Peake supporting the ‘Show the Love‘ campaign:
A new short film aims to inspire us to protect the people, places and life we love from climate change for generations to come.
Actors Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake have joined forces to help make a powerful video about climate change.
Former children’s Laureate and ‘War Horse’ author Michael Morpurgo, Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman and director Stuart Rideout of film production company Ridley Scott Associates also helped create the powerful five-minute film – which aims to inspire us to protect the people, places and life we love from climate change for generations to come.
In ’I wish for You…’ a grandfather (Jeremy Irons) writes a poignant letter to his granddaughter, declaring his love for her and describing the world that he wishes her to grow up in – and that climate change threatens. In later life, the grandchild (Maxine Peake) rediscovers the letter and resolves to do all she can to fulfil her grandfather’s wishes for the world.
The film is part of a BT-supported campaign from The Climate Coalition – which includes WWF, ActionAid, RSPB, Oxfam, the National Trust, The WI and Christian Aid – which will turn hearts green this February, inspiring the British public to ‘show the love’ for all they hold dear but could lose to climate change. The campaign is calling for 100% clean energy within a generation.
In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, designers from Wayne Hemmingway to Celia Birtwell, school children, artists, Premier League football clubs, churches, arts institutions and businesses will make, wear or share green hearts to kick start conversations about the things they love and want to protect. Green hearts will also appear in unexpected locations – from playgrounds to mountainsides, football pitches to beaches.
Jeremy said: “So much we love is still under threat from climate change. December’s historic agreement in Paris might lead some people to believe that the job is done – but Paris simply set the direction of a journey we must now all take together.
“I took part in this film to show my love for the world that climate change threatens. My grandchildren won’t be safe and secure unless we take proper care of our one and only planet.”
Maxine added: “This film is a celebration of the bonds between us and the world that sustains us. Climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people first and worst – so we owe it not just to our own families, but to families everywhere, to act fast to protect them.
“75% of people in the UK support renewable energy – but only 9% think there is that much backing for change. By watching and sharing this film, we can spread the message that if we act together, it’s not too late to build a cleaner, fairer future.”
Watch this short behind the scenes of a special new film, ‘I wish for you…’
‘War Horse’ author Michael Morpurgo and actors Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake have joined forces to make a powerful new 5 minute film especially for you.
It’s part of the #showthelove campaign: show your love this Valentine’s Day and let’s protect the life we love from climate change.
Sign up now to be the first to watch when it launches in just a few days time: www.showthelove.org.uk
Now the hustle and bustle of the festive period has settled down and the January sales are coming to an end our towns and cities become quiet and, for our vendors, can be lonely places. Although the sales and crowds are gone, they are still working hard to earn an income – selling Big Issue North magazine.
Each year, well-known people from around the world take part in #VendorWeek – taking an hour out of their day to stand alongside our vendors and try their hand at selling Big Issue North. Not only do they help drive sales for our vendors and get a really valuable experience, they also help raise funds for the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), which supports more than 100 street papers worldwide.
This #VendorWeek, February 1st – 7th 2016, we have the support of some wonderful guest sellers. Here’s the full list:
Monday, 1.30pm: Matthew Gardiner, CEO of Trafford Housing Trust, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Thursday, 9.30am: Ian Munro, CEO of New Charter Group, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Thursday, 11am: Maxine Peake, actress, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Thursday, noon: Dave Power, CEO of One Manchester, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Thursday, 1.30: Prose, band, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Thursday, 3pm: Clint Boon, (Radio) DJ, musician (The Inspiral Carpets), Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Friday, 10am: Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Police Police and Crime Commissioner, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Friday, noon: Lemn Sissay MBE, author/broadcaster/Chancellor of University of Manchester, Royal Exchange Theatre (St. Ann’s Square)
Friday, 4pm: Kate Green MP, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston, Stretford Shopping Mall
Monday, 5.30pm: Bishop of Liverpool The Rt Revd Paul Bayes – Liverpool ONE
Thursday, 9.30am: Gary Millar, Councillor for Old Swan, Liverpool, former Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Central Station (Bold Street entrance)
Thursday, 11am: Keith Mullin, lead guitarist in The Farm/lecturer at LIPA, Central Station (Bold Street entrance)
Thursday, 1pm: Ian Prowse, front man of Amsterdam, musician, Central Station (Bold Street entrance)
Friday, 10am: Bill Addy, CoE Priest, CEO of Liverpool BID Company – Marks & Spencer
Friday, 10am: Mik Artistik, poet, musician & artist, outside House of Fraser on Briggate
Tuesday, 1pm: Jon McClure, front man of Reverend and the Makers, outside Town Hall
Last year’s Big Sell raised funds for INSP and generated fantastic media coverage for Big Issue North – 29 stories in the press; two BBC radio broadcasts and four broadcasts on TV, including ITV Calendar and Granada. It was also popular on social media, with our messages on Twitter and Facebook reaching more than a million people last year!
You can help raise funds for INSP by donating here: www.vendorweek.insp.ngo!
Here’s what our Big Sell participants are asked to do:
• Spare an hour of their time to join a vendor on their pitch and ‘sell’ Big Issue North in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester or Sheffield
• Promote that they’re involved with #VendorWeek
• Raise funds for INSP
• Give us a quote
The money earned while selling Big Issue North will go to vendors in the city where the magazine was sold. All other money raised through #VendorWeek goes to the International Network of Street Papers which supports street papers around the world to start up, grow and develop so that they can provide homeless and unemployed people with a way to earn an income and improve their lives.
What last year’s guest sellers found:
Last year’s Big Sell saw 23 people spend an hour of their day selling Big Issue North across our region. Here are some impressions of their experiences:
“Most of the time when I’m doing my job, people look at me, they show an interest. This afternoon, it’s been fascinating watching people averting their eyes, trying not to notice what I’m doing … I have a little more appreciation of how demanding it really is.” Dr. David Walker, Bishop of Manchester
“It’s hard work to get people to buy the magazine. And there are far, far too many people in this rich country of ours who still don’t have a proper home to go to at night.” Kate Green MP
“Even in a hi-vis jacket I became invisible. People walk past me. They might have smiled sympathetically. One or two nodded at me. But only three people put their hands in their pocket. I admit I wasn’t very good at it. I think you’ve got to become hardened to being ignored … It’s been a fantastic learning experience for me. And it just shows you what Big Issue vendors go through every day.” Ian McMillan, poet & broadcaster
“It’s been bloody hard work. People ignore you. People blank you. Some people are really nice. Next time I walk past a Big Issue seller I’ll be buying one.” Ian Munro – Chief Executive of New Charter
“Selling the Big Issue – probably the hardest job I’ve ever done in my life to be honest … It reminds you of the driving force vendors must have to do this. It takes some neck. It’s alright for me but for them it’s their daily grind. This is their everyday on these streets. It’s also bloody cold.” Allan Beswick – BBC Radio Manchester
“It’s almost like you’re a ghost in the middle of the road … I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to do this every day of your life without knowing where you going to sleep tonight either. My heart really goes out to the people actually doing it ‘cause what they’re trying to do is work their way out of the predicament they find themselves in. And homelessness is something that as a society we should not accept.” Keith Mullin, LIPA/The Farm
“I’m taking part in the Big Sell [because] I thought it would be a really good idea to get involved and just experience what the vendors have to do day in and day out. And it’s a difficult sell!” Mark Burns-Willamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
“Spare a thought for those who spend all day and in far more inclement weather than this in order to sell this excellent magazine. Everybody knows the Big Issue but not everybody buys the Big Issue. And that includes me. Please think of the homeless. Think of the Big Issue. Buy the Big Issue.” George Galloway, former MP
You can watch all last year’s participants’ full feedback in our Big Sell 2015 playlist here: