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Truro public figures step into vendors' shoes in Big Issue Sell-Off

The mayor, the town crier and store managers from shops around the Cornish city joined vendors Stuart Anderson, Andy Gilbody and Nick Cuthbert to try their hand at selling the magazine

Truro Sell-off

The Mayor of Truro, the town crier and shop managers from around the Cornish city all went head-to-head yesterday as they stepped into the shoes of a Big Issue vendor to experience what it is like to sell the magazine.

The Big Issue Sell-Off saw Mayor Robert Smith and Town Crier Lionel Knight as well as managers from Marks and Spencer, Holland and Barrett, Rowe’s Cornish Bakers and Debenhams don the red tabard to learn of the challenges that vendors encounter every day.

All sales of the magazine were in aid of popular vendors Nick Cuthbert, Andy Gilbody and Stuart Anderson who were on hand to observe and offer advice in the hour-long sell-off.

Truro sell off Andy Gilbody Nick Cuthbert Lionel Knight Robert Smith

Vendors Andy Gilbody (left) and Nick Cuthbert (second right) were joined by Town Crier Lionel Knight and Mayor Robert Smith

Holland and Barrett chief Naomi Allen came out on top in the competitive contest, selling 63 magazines.

And the initiative was hailed by town crier Knight. He said: “I’m here today to support The Big Issue sellers as well as the managers who have come out to support them. I think selling the magazine for an hour to get an idea of what it takes to sell the magazine is a great idea.”

M&S store manager Mark Millibanks sold The Big Issue along with Cuthbert in February – the vendor sells the magazine outside the Lemon Quay store – and that paved the way for yesterday’s expanded event.

 The Big Issue’s Devon & Cornwall team leader Steve Carter said: “The sell-off experience was a great opportunity to show, on a small scale, what everyday life selling the magazine on the streets is like for Big Issue vendors. 

Rowe's Bakers Sally Truro Sell-Off
Rowe's-Bakery-Truro-sell-off
Rowe's Cornish Bakers brought a mascot along to help sell the magazine

“Nick was a fantastic ambassador for The Big Issue, showing them the ropes, providing sales tips as well as sharing his experiences of homelessness and poverty.”

Cuthbert, 54, added: “It was a good fun competition. A good experience and great to get the word out there about The Big Issue. A big thank you to the Mayor, the store managers and the town crier, I enjoyed the experience a lot.”

Images: Jo Lueng

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