A CONTEST to sell the most issues of nationwide homeless magazine The Big Issue Cymru has seen a three-copy rise in sales in Barry.

Barry & District News reporter Sharon Harris joined Rita – who hails from Romania and usually operates from a Cardiff pitch – outside Iceland, on Holton Road, on Thursday (April 3) to sell The Big Issue Cymru.

The event was part of The Big Sell Off organised by The Big Issue Cymru and took place throughout the first week of April.

Big Issue Cymru distribution manager, Beth Thomas said: “We’re delighted that so many people have agreed to try this. Selling The Big Issue is a hard job. Our vendors are on the streets every day facing the weather, apathy and sometimes abuse. Bringing attention to this – and having fun selling the magazine – is really important.”

Chief executive officers from a number of companies also tried their hand at selling – among them Tom Bennett, chief executive officer of Pack-IT group and Jim Mullan, chief executive officer of The Big Issue.

Reporter Sharon said: “I’d like to thank my genuine buyer Sian, of Barry, who was my first customer and my colleagues Chris and Laura who donated to such a worthy cause. Those who promised and never parted with their pennies - your cards are marked and I know where you live!

“I used to write for the magazine so have always known that the vendors are genuinely working hard, in all weathers, and doing their best to improve their life situations. They are not just expecting something for nothing and people should at least stop for a friendly chat even if they can’t buy on every occasion.

"Human kindness is invaluable to someone who may be alone and you never know what circumstances have resulted in them needing help. I always had a premonition I may end up selling The Big Issue Cymru one day and I enjoyed trying to overcome a lack of footfall to increase an hour’s worth of sales.”

For details, visit www.bigissue.com or www.bigissue.org.uk