On the 30th June, actor Rupert Graves turned 57 and inspired his loyal fans, known as the Graves Diggers, to raise over £2,500 to support Big Issue vendors.
We caught up with Al who created the fundraiser to tell us a little bit more.
“Shortly after the first series of Sherlock aired in 2010, a small group of fans got together on social media and realised that Rupert Graves, the very talented and handsome actor playing DI Lestrade, was somebody we’d all admired in a lot of other films and TV programs over the years, as well as enjoying his part in Sherlock. So we set up a fan account to show our appreciation and, since we love terrible puns as well as Mr Graves, called ourselves GravesDiggers.
When he turned 50 in 2013 we wanted to mark the occasion but, instead of sending him cards or gifts, we chose to donate to a charity in his name. It was such a success, we’ve carried on and made it a tradition, choosing a new charity each year. We always try to make it one we know he supports or is involved in and his wife, Susie, very kindly helps us with suggestions or confirms our pick.
This year Mr Graves tweeted several times in support of the Big Issue vendors who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic so they seemed like a natural choice for his birthday gift. Even though we come from all over the world, not just the UK, we all can appreciate what great work TBIF does for the vendors.”
We salute Rupert Graves for his support on social media and for being a source of inspiration for his fans. Funds raised via this birthday fundraiser will help to support Big Issue vendors as they return to selling the magazine post-lockdown.
The Big Issue Foundation has been providing both financial and emotional support to Big Issue vendors during the lockdown and now our focus is on supporting a successful return to selling the magazine.
We have already supported funding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for vendors to make both vendors and the public feel safer.
We have also funded 10 free copies of The Big Issue magazine for every returning vendor to give them a hand up towards regaining their independence post-lockdown.