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Press Release

Scottish school pupils champion social change with The Big Issue magazine

The magazine will be sold by pupils from the participating schools across May and June and aims to champion the Social Enterprise Schools programme projects they have been working on over the last year. 

  • The Big Issue magazine has partnered with the Social Enterprise Academy to produce an exclusive edition, giving young people a platform to raise awareness of the big issues they care about.
  • Pupils at 13 schools across Scotland will be selling the special edition in their local communities this week.

From today (Monday, 16th May) children from 13 schools across Scotland will try their hand at selling a special edition of The Big Issue magazine which has been created in partnership with the Social Enterprise Academy. The magazine will be sold by pupils from the participating schools across May and June and aims to champion the Social Enterprise Schools programme projects they have been working on over the last year. 

The Big Issue (TBI) and the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) have partnered for the fourth year in a row to produce the special edition of The Big Issue, involving primary and secondary pupils from across Scotland. The special, social enterprise-inspired supplement will run in all copies of The Big Issue from today (Monday 16th May), with additional copies being sold by young people in 13 schools that are featured in the special edition.

The Social Enterprise Schools programme, innovated in partnership with the Scottish Government in 2007, enables every young person to step up, realise their potential, and create the change they want to see in the world.  Through the programme, the Social Enterprise Academy will provide young people from every school in Scotland the opportunity to run their own social enterprise by 2024.

Social Enterprise Schools has so far reached over 1,100 Scottish schools with international replications currently taking place in Australia, Egypt, England, Malaysia, and South Africa.

The aim is for pupils to play an active part in their communities whilst making social change happen in creative, energetic and inspiring ways. Each pupil involved has been thinking about the future, and what they can do to make it better for themselves and for everyone.

The Big Issue has worked with the Social Enterprise Academy for the past four years to create a ‘schools takeover edition’ of the magazine, which pupils sell in their schools to raise money to support their own school social enterprises, and community projects and charities in their wider communities.

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Paul McNamee, UK Editor of The Big Issue, said: “Each year we are knocked out when we see all the hard work and creativity that these young people put into their social enterprises. 

“This year it’s clear that they are not just thinking about and discussing the big issues – environment, food, poverty, loneliness and mental health – but they have rolled up their sleeves and put into action their social business plans, which are clearly making a real difference.

“We are delighted to be able to share their work with Big Issue readers, and show how SEA is growing to offer this kind of support not just across the UK but internationally too.”

Neil McLean, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Academy, said: “The partnership with The Big Issue has become an important calendar moment for everyone at the Social Enterprise Academy.

The pupils featured in this year’s magazine are helping to create more sustainable and inclusive communities for all of us, and we want to make sure that every young person has access to this type of hands-on learning experience.

I would encourage everybody to pick up a copy and be inspired by the change that can happen when we empower our young people to believe that they are capable of solving the social and environmental issues that keep them up at night.”

One of the schools included in the special edition of The Big Issue is St Bernard’s Primary, a true social enterprise champion school having taken part in the programme for the last six years.

Elaine MacEachen, Head Teacher at St Bernard’s Primary, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this special edition of The Big Issue Magazine to showcase our social enterprise projects within St Bernard’s Primary. Social Enterprise plays a massive part in helping our pupils develop their passion to create the change they want to see within our local community and realise their potential in this world.”

Russell Blackman, Commercial MD of The Big Issue, said: “We are so excited to be partnering with the Social Enterprise Academy again. The programme that SEA runs is a wonderful project which inspires young people to support those in the community and beyond and empowers young people to take action on the social issues that matter to them.”

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available to buy across the UK for £3. The special edition will be available to buy from later this month in the following schools:

  • Kyle Academy, Ayrshire
  • Easter Carmuirs Primary, Falkirk
  • Glebelands Primary, Dundee
  • Currie Primary, Edinburgh
  • Ross High, East Lothian
  • St Denis’ Primary, Glasgow
  • Grangemouth High School, Falkirk
  • Kelso High School, Scottish Borders
  • Kinross High School, Perth and Kinross
  • Inverbrothock Primary School, Arbroath
  • Lornshill Academy, Clackmannanshire
  • Greenhills, South Lanarkshire

For more information visit: www.bigissue.com.

To support The Big Issue and its network of 1,300 vendors around the UK, please pick up a copy from your local vendor or, if you can’t get to a local vendor, buy a subscription at www.bigissue.com/subscribe.

For more information on how to get involved in the Social Enterprise Schools programme, please visit: https://www.socialenterprise.academy/scot/social-enterprise-schools

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