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'It’s a happy image': Big Issue Christmas Kids Cover Competition 2022 winner

Join us for tidings of comfort and joy with the winner of the Big Issue Christmas Kids Cover Competition and ALL the amazing entries

The Big Issue, featuring artwork by the winner of the annual kids cover competition

The Big Issue, featuring artwork by the winner of the 2022 kids cover competition

From snowmen to carol singers, cuddly cats to smiling Santas, the imagination and talent on show in this year’s Big Issue Christmas Kids Cover Competition has blown us away. Hundreds of creative kids submitted artworks spreading a festive message of comfort and joy, and we’re delighted to share ALL of them in the video gallery below. 

The winning entry by Fergus Rutherford-Moyler, age 10
The winning entry by Fergus Rutherford-Moyler, age 10

It was a very tough call, but this year’s star prize went to 10-year-old Fergus Rutherford-Moyler, from Glasgow, for his ingenious snowman vendor collage. The special edition of the magazine, featuring his artwork, will be on the streets from December 12.

“Wow, that’s great!” said Fergus, who’s a bit camera-shy and lets his art speak for itself. “I like The Big Issue, so I got some magazines and some paper and I cut shapes and put them together. I was just going to have a snowman but then I wanted them to wear a Big Issue jacket and hat, so they looked like they were selling The Big Issue. I think it’s a happy image.” 

“Oh my goodness! That’s really exciting,” said Fergus’s mum, Ailie Rutherford. “We always get our Big Issue from Brigitta on Trongate [in Glasgow city centre]. She’s great.  

“Every year Fergus is dead excited when the Christmas Kids Cover Competition comes round. He’s been entering for years. He’s just always full of ideas. He’s been getting quite into collage recently, and we enjoy using old copies of The Big Issue.” 

As well as seeing his artwork on the cover of this week’s magazine, Fergus will also receive a £250 Love2shop voucher, courtesy of Iceland supermarket.   

BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James was our competition judge. He said: “The standard of entries was so high. Even if you didn’t get yours printed this year, I hope you had fun doing it.” 

James praised the humour of Fergus’s winning entry. “I absolutely love this design. It’s simple, yet inventive and very funny,” he said. “I can’t wait to show my mate George that sells the magazine outside the BBC. I’ll say this is based on him. Merry Christmas!”  

Big Issue Christmas Kids Cover Competition runners up
Second place went to Alice and Rory Cameron for their 3D Christmas tree cover made of Rory’s handprints. Third place went to seven-year-old Jim Bailey for his alien Santa.

The quality of artwork this year was so incredible that we have also awarded two runners-up prizes. Second place went to sister and brother team Alice and Rory Cameron, who are seven and four, for their 3D Christmas tree cover made of Rory’s handprints. Third place went to seven-year-old Jim Bailey for his alien Santa. Both runners-up will receive a £100 Love2shop voucher, courtesy of Iceland. 

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee said he was delighted to see yet another cracking cover emerge from the Kids Cover Competition. “Everyone at The Big Issue looks forward to this time of year. It’s exciting to see so much talent from the next generation,” he said. “Christmas is a really important time for The Big Issue, particularly in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. A great cover is vital to help our vendors make money to get them through the hard winter months. 

“Congratulations to Fergus, Alice, Rory and Jim for their brilliant designs, and to Beeston Rylands Junior School, who won our group prize.” 

A small selection from Sycamore class, Beeston Rylands Junior School in Nottingham

Big Issue Christmas Kids Cover Competition: Best group entries

Across Britain, lots of schools and youth groups took time out from regular lessons to learn about The Big Issue and create bold cover designs for our Christmas Kids Cover Competition.  

We had so many bundles of brilliant entries it’s been hard to pick a favourite, but we just had to highlight the amazing work from Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton; Countesthorpe Academy, Leicestershire; Beath High School, Cowdenbeath; St Columba’s High School, Gourock; Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, Edinburgh; St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock; Countesthorpe Academy, Leicestershire; Sacred Heart Primary, Southend; Bilston Church of England Primary; Whybridge Junior School, Rainham, and entries from 3rd Darley Dale Guides.

Against this very stiff competition, this year’s winning group of entries came from the year five Sycamore class at Beeston Rylands Junior School in Nottingham. “They’re going to be so excited!” said class teacher and art coordinator for the school Karla McCallion. “We had a huge discussion about what The Big Issue is and how it helps people. They were just really inspired to get involved.” 

Thanks to our friends at Iceland, The Big Issue is able to give a prize of £500 to our winning group entry. McCallion said the money would make a “huge difference” as school budgets are tight and a large percentage of the children they teach come from disadvantaged backgrounds. “Certainly we’re in an area where people need support,” she added.

“We have set up a new reading area in our classroom and we’re short on books. Each child could choose a book and we can have it in our library. Or we might set up an art workshop. We just don’t get handed that amount of money!” 

The Big Issue Christmas Kids Cover Competition Gallery 2022

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