Irvine Welsh, Mariane Pearl support Scottish homelessness charity INSP
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
Glasgow-based charity INSP (International Network of Street Papers) has two new high-profile Ambassadors to support its work fighting homelessness through social enterprise and independent media.
Scottish Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and French journalist Mariane Pearl join the charity’s group of ambassadors which includes Brazilian author Paulo Coelho and Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow.
INSP supports The Big Issue magazine and over 100 other similar projects in 40 countries worldwide, helping them with start-up support, staff and vendor training, funding, networking and campaigns to raise awareness of their work. INSP also provides editorial support through a unique online news service for its street papers. With a combined readership of 6 million people per edition, the network attracts the attention of famous names, such as Prince William and the Dalai Lama. Interviews with famous names create a huge boost in sales for homeless vendors worldwide.
Irvine Welsh’s appointment followed his popular interview for INSP’s news service where he described the street paper concept as “one of the great social achievements of the last 20 years”. The interview was published by street papers in South Africa, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the U.S.
"I see so many friends struggling to keep a home together, or trying to rebuild one,” Welsh said. “They deserve the same rights that I enjoy. Homelessness issues are now sadly ubiquitous across the western world, and very much a product of the weak priorities our political leadership has set.”
Mariane Pearl spoke to INSP journalists at the end of last year about being thrust into the limelight when her husband Daniel Pearl and father-to-be of their unborn child was kidnapped and killed by a Pakistan militant Islamic fundamentalist group in 2002. The interview was published by INSP street papers from the U.S. to The Big Issue in Japan.
Pearl said: “I am delighted to become an ambassador of INSP. Journalism should always be on the side of the people, it should be in the streets and for the streets.”
INSP’s Executive Director Lisa Maclean said: "Worldwide, our street papers support more than 28,000 homeless people each year, but in a changing media and economic landscape, it’s so important that we have the support of people who can help raise awareness of the positive work and the impact of our network”.