Press Release

Ten-year-old is announced as winner of the Big Issue Kids Christmas cover competition

Since the first competition in 2013, The Big Issue has seen thousands of entries from young readers.

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

10-year-old Fergus Rutherford-Moyler from Glasgow has been named the winner of the Big Issue’s Kids Christmas Cover Competition 2021, in association with Iceland and judged by BBC Radio 1 DJ, Greg James.

Fergus’ design, depicts a snowman as a Big Issue vendor. The picture is a beautiful collage of a snowman dressed in the famous red Big Issue tabard and cap, with a Big Issue magazine in hand.

Fergus’ ingenious design was chosen out of hundreds of creative and highly festive entries, all of which were very impressive. The magazine with his design as its cover is available to buy from Big Issue vendors across the UK from Monday 12th December.

Since the first competition in 2013, The Big Issue has seen thousands of entries from young readers.

On hearing he had won, Fergus said: “Wow, that’s great! 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 him to wear a Big Issue jacket and hat, so he looked like he was selling the Big Issue. I think it’s a happy image.”

Fergus’ mum, Ailie Rutherford, was also really pleased with the result, adding: “Oh my goodness! That’s really exciting. 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.

This year, there was also a group prize for the Kids Cover Competition, this prize went to winning group of entries that came from the year five Sycamore class at Beeston Rylands Junior School in Nottingham. The Big Issue, thanks to Iceland, has been able to give a prize of £500 to our winning group entry.

Class teacher and art coordinator for the school Karla 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.

On how the school would spend the money, McCallion explained: “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!”

Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “Everyone here looks forward to this time of year. It’s exciting to see so much talent from the next generation. 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.”

Greg James, BBC Radio 1 DJ and Big Issue Kid Cover Competition judge, 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. I absolutely love this design. It’s simple, yet inventive and very funny 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!”

The quality of artwork this year was so incredible that Big Issue 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.

If you want to support, you can buy a magazine from your local vendor or buy a gift subscription from them. They will get 50% of each subscription purchased. Visit bigissue.com/Christmas to find out more. 

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