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Ellesmere Port musician Ian Prowse becomes Big Issue vendor

Prowse says the experience was 'sobering and enlightening'

A well known Ellesmere Port musician has done his bit to help the homeless.

Amsterdam frontman Ian Prowse, originally from Little Sutton, took to the streets of city centre Liverpool to sell the ‘Big Issue’ as part of ‘Vendor Week’.

The singer/songwriter and founder of the band donned a hi viz yellow jerkin for his stint.

Ahead of the unusual gig he took to social media to say: “It is with a little bit of trepidation that I’ll be becoming a Big Issue seller today. Doing my bit for ‪#‎VendorWeek‬ here in Liverpool.

“I’ll be at the Bold Street entrance to Central Station between 1pm and 2pm. All the money I make will go to the vendor whose patch I’ll be taking for the hour.

“Come and say hello, I’m hoping to beat Billy Butler’s total of more than three sales.

“It’d be good to see ya.”


Afterwards he added: “Well that was an odd experience. In my hour I was bought two sausage rolls, two cups of tea and got totally ignored by about 6/7 people.

“The vast majority though at least bothered to politely(ish) say no, many explained they had no change and in total I sold 18 copies.

“To be fair I had friends, family and fans of my music come up and buy one, the lovely Polish woman I was vending with said she’s lucky to do three or four all afternoon.”

Of his experience he commented: “You could tell who the people were who were going to look right through you as you asked, they had pinched angry faces, the body language screamed ‘Get a Job’.

“I must have said the words ‘Buy the Big Issue Sir/Madam?’ 750 times in an hour. Usually when you get knocked back on something you gather your thoughts before going back in, with this you had to immediately deal with the rejection then do it again, then again, and again.

“Gotta be hard to take that, day in day out.”

He concluded: “Thanks to everyone who bought @bigissuenorth today for #VendorWeek. A sobering and enlightening experience all round.”

Supporters were quick to post with Helen Rickaby saying: “Well done Ian for highlighting this.”

Helen Smith said: “All credit to Big Issue sellers, out in all weathers and facing society’s prejudices! That’s a hard day’s work!” while Colin Machin commented: “Good on you Ian.”


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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