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The Big Issue celebrates the top 100 Changemakers in society for 2024

Today (Monday 22nd January) The Big Issue has published its ‘Top 100 Changemakers’ list for 2024, as voted for by the public. 

Today (Monday 22nd January) The Big Issue has published its ‘Top 100 Changemakers’ list for 2024, as voted for by the public. 

The Big Issue 100 Changemakers list is a tribute to the people and organisations who have focused not on themselves but on the rest of us. 

Changemakers marks its 5th year in 2024. And, for the first time, the publication has called on the public for nominations for those they believe are responsible for innovative change.  

The magazine’s list showcases the top 100 Changemakers across the UK in the following categories: Housing and Homelessness; Food and Nutrition; Climate, Environment and Sustainability; Sport, Culture and Fashion; Education, Mentorship and Business; Communities, Migrants; Refugees and Asylum Seekers; Women, Fashion and Children; and Health and Disability. 

The top Changemakers range from the UK’s first clothing brand created, designed and hand-produced by young ex-offenders to a former Royal Navy Officer, whose work highlighting the experiences of veterans affected by the military’s LGBT ban, led to a historic public apology from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last summer. Other nominees include social media influencers, local community fridges, and an octogenarian who over the last 50 years has collected unwanted household goods for people experiencing homelessness.

One group we’ve decided to spotlight in this year’s list for the first time is Young Changemakers; individuals aged 25 and under who are already making a significant impact in their communities. 

Kevin Osei was one of these Young Changemakers, nominated in the Education, Mentorship and Business category. He started the mentoring charity Bridging Barriers in 2020 to help young people aged 18-25 from black and minority ethnic backgrounds kick-start their careers in Newham, London. Kevin received the most Changemaker nominations, with 190 votes from a dedicated fanbase of young people he’s helped. 

Osei said: “I am hoping to have a much bigger impact than I did last year in the lives of the young people that I serve through my charity Bridging Barriers. This year, we plan to do that by providing young people with more employment opportunities. We are also looking to host more in-person events, helping young people to network with like-minded individuals and build their social capital.”

Famous friends of the publication were also invited to nominate Changemakers. Acclaimed actor, Jodie Whittaker, nominated the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice. She said: “The hospice contributes to our community in a way that some people are lucky enough to not know about. There are so many positive effects of having children’s hospices within driving distance for people. Funding children’s hospices is so difficult and challenging, so I’d really like to highlight Forget Me Not.”

Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “For the first time, we have a list drawn from public nominations, showing both the goodwill and wisdom of Big Issue readers and supporters and also of the people and organisations they’ve stood up for.

“To all the creators, the agitators, the activists and the thinkers, to those doing their best to make things better, we celebrate and thank you all. This is a list to inspire and to shout long and loud about. Please find your local vendor and buy a copy to feel as inspired as we have been by all the Changemakers’ mighty achievements.”

This edition of The Big Issue, featuring the Top 100 Changemakers, is available to buy from 22nd January across the UK. The full list of Changemakers can be found at bigissue.com. 

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