Skip to main content

Big Issue North boss provides unique insight into homelessness

Monday 9 April 2018

THE HEAD of a major charity working to tackle homelessness will be joined by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham at the University of Salford as she offers a unique insight into the issue.

University of Salford graduate Fay Selvan, Chief Executive of the Big Life Group and Big Issue North as well as Chair of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), will talk about the issue her organisations deal with on a daily basis at the Homelessness – Whose Fault Is It? event, held on Thursday  April 12 as part of the University’s annual alumni lecture series.

Record number of homeless people 

Official figures show the number of people sleeping rough in England has reached a record high following a 73 per cent rise over the last three years, and more than 4,750 people are now estimated to be sleeping on the streets.

Fay, who graduated with an MSc in Strategic Leadership from the University, will examine the issue through her vast experience following 26 years with the Big Life Group – one of the largest social enterprises in the UK, offering opportunities to those members of society who have the least.

Following the lecture, she will discuss the issue with Andy Burnham, who has pledged to eradicate homelessness across Greater Manchester, and with the University’s Professor Philip Brown. 

Impact of new policies

Professor Brown is Director of the University’s Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) which has carried out extensive research into the issue across Greater Manchester and the UK, including a two year study on behalf of the Welsh Government to assess the impact of new policies which were introduced by the devolved government and are shortly to be rolled out across England.

Anyone who has visited a city centre recently knows that rough sleeping has increased to a shocking level over the last few years

Professor Philip Brown from the University of Salford said: “Anyone who has visited a city centre recently knows that rough sleeping has increased to a shocking level over the last few years – and this is now routinely supported by official statistics and the impact on charities.

“The current level of collaborative working between organisations who want to address homelessness across Greater Manchester is largely unprecedented. The University of Salford is supporting the ambition of the Mayor by providing space for the issues to be discussed, provide critical scrutiny about approaches being taken and contribute evidence to policy making and practice. 

"We’re delighted to welcome our alumnus Fay Selvan as well as Andy Burnham – two of the UK’s most important contemporary figures within the homelessness agenda.”

Register here to attend the event, held at the University’s Chapman Lecture Theatre from 6:30-8:30pm on Thursday April 12.