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Issue 1354 - The Big Issue Saved Me

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‘The Big Issue saved me’: The incredible, life-affirming story of top firefighter Sabrina Cohen-Hatton
There were times I was really hungry. I would eat out of bins. I was too young to claim any benefits – they offered me £15 a fortnight ‘bridging allowance’. Don’t spend it all at once.

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, 36, is one of the most senior firefighters in the country, having taken charge of the service’s 2017 response to terror attacks in Finsbury Park and Westminster in London. She’s also a prize-winning academic and author.

But it was a long road to get there – Cohen-Hatton was left homeless as a teenager after her father’s death.

She says one decision turned her life around: Choosing to be a Big Issue vendor. Not only did it help her earn a living, but it helped her reintegrate back into society.

“So that was the great thing about The Big Issue. It gave me an opportunity to earn. It gave me some dignity back at a time when I felt like I didn’t have any.”

Read Sabrina’s incredible story in full in this week’s Big Issue

The Big Issue

The Big Issue’s own-brand products support the creation of a range of work-based opportunities for disadvantaged people.
The Big Issue has spent over 27 years at the helm of self-help revolution. It all began with the launch of The Big Issue magazine in 1991, which was created to offer homeless and disadvantaged people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by selling a magazine on the streets. Since then over 200 million copies magazine have been sold by over 100,000 people. Vendors buy the magazine upfront for £1.25 and sell it on to the public for £2.50, and in doing so each runs their own micro-enterprise. In 2005 Big Issue Invest was launched, with the aim of extending The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of social enterprises and charities across the UK. To date the organisation has directly invested in over 350 such organisations, and manages or advises on more than £170 million of social funds.
Read all about The Big Issue

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