Dr Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner is pleased to announce that by selling a respectable two copies of The Big Issue in the North in Barnsley he contributed towards an extra £11,000 being raised for INSP (International Network of Street Papers) during Vendor Week.

The initiative was part of the Big Sell during Vendor Week when Dr Billings took to the streets to sell The Big Issue in the North to passing shoppers in Barnsley Town Centre.

He said: “Selling The Big Issue in the North is no easy task. I was speaking to people in Barnsley for thirty minutes alongside Marcu outside Marks and Spencer. Thankfully I was able to sell two issues.

“The Big Issue in the North is a remarkable idea. Marcu told me how it works for him. He comes into Sheffield to buy copies each week which he then sells from his Barnsley town centre pitch. The small amount of money the vendors make from each sale provide them with some independence and dignity to manage their own lives. It moves them away from, potential homelessness, vulnerability and the option of turning to crime – which is why Police and Crime Commissioners supported them.

“I found for myself how difficult it is to sell cold but also how many passers-by do not understand how it works. I would urge everyone to take the time to buy one Big Issue in the North in the coming weeks and help those who have found themselves in difficult times and needing some extra help.

“It takes a lot of courage to stand on the street day in day out and I salute those vendors who are trying to turn their lives around and take back some control over their lives.”