After such a successful event last year, the Big Issue Night walk returned again for 2016! 300 keen walkers took to the streets of London between the hours of 10pm and 6am to raise money for the Big Issue Foundation to help continue to make a difference to the lives of Big Issue vendors on their journey away from homelessness.
The Fair were appointed to plan and deliver the event from start to finish which included mapping the 12 .5 mile (20km) route around London’s famous landmarks. Providing full Event Management including Health and Safety Management, we ensured that all walkers were well guided, supported and kept safe while walking through the city on the particularly cold Friday night.
Throughout the day, we spent time putting up directional signage to ensure the route had full directions and was clear for walkers and delivered fresh snacks and refreshments to each of the 4 rest point venues along the way.
The Big Issue team and all volunteers arrived at St John’s Church, Waterloo which was the start and finish location for the event. This location is also the home to one of The Big Issue magazine distribution points making it the perfect place to start and finish the night. With all volunteers allocated to their official spots, merchandise all set up and snacks looking incredibly tempting – we were ready to welcome in the walkers!
With a queue of enthusiastic attendees outside St Johns, we knew the night ahead was going to be great!
On the door to welcome attendees and check tickets was Casey. Casey used to be homeless but due to the success of becoming an official Big Issue vendor, he now helps out at with The Big Issue Foundation. To fill the additional bouncer role available on the night, we could think of no-one better than our very own Louise!
All set and ready, the walkers slowly made their way in to get registered. With enough time to grab a hot drink and energy snack, Big Issue waterproof and map, slowly but surely the whole of St Johns Church was filled with a sea of red. With 300 people filling up the seats, we had the pleasure of listening to two of London’s finest Choirs before key note speakers took to the stage and the all-important Safety Briefing.
We had the pleasure of listening to the opening speech courtesy of The Big Issue Foundations CEO, Stephen Robertson. Following this were some inspirational talks from James and Street Cat Bob, marathon runner CJ de Mooi, Pathway UK’s Stan Burridge.
After a quick cardio warm up, all walkers were ready to go! We were on hand and ready at the starting line to send everyone off. The team then split up to go to various locations over London, ready to encourage the walkers, keep morale high and make sure they are walking in the right direction (no one wants to walk and extra 1km in the wrong direction!)
The route passed through the following locations:
– St Johns, Waterloo
– St James
– Around Piccadilly
– The Samaritans (Soho)
– Tottenham Court Road
– St James Church, Islington
– Shoreditch Town Hall
– St Pauls
– Mansions House
– South Bank
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Big London Night Walk 2016 and a special thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their Friday night to help a really great cause.
It was great to meet everyone who took part however there has to be a special mention to our favourite walker of the night, 9 week old puppy, Menace!
And finally, a very Happy Birthday to the former Big Issue vendor James Bowen!