Bath business student supports two Big Issue artists

(L to R) Jon Brown and Brian Jones All the profits from the sale of the Christmas cards will go to the two men

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A University of Bath student is helping two Big Issue sellers to showcase their artistic talents.

Cynthia Cheung, 21, met the men while handing out free lunch boxes she regularly makes for homeless people.

Ms Cheung, who is studying business, has used her own money to have their poems and drawings published and made available to buy as cards.

"When I met them they were such lovely people, I just wanted to help promote their talent to the world," she said.

One of the men, Jon Brown, has already had some success realising his dream of becoming an illustrator.

'Homeless not hopeless'

Through a chance meeting with an author while at his pitch outside Waterstones a year ago he secured a commission to illustrate three children's books.

Later he was asked to design a window display for Waterstones which featured a dragon he named Lucky.

"I've put the dragon into a Christmas setting for the card," said Mr Brown.

Mr Brown puts his love of illustrations down to time spent watching his grandfather at work.

"My granddad was an engraver who made embossed cards and when I was little I used to spend hours watching him work and talking to him about what he was making," he said.

"I can smell the metal now and see all the stamps and chisels he had.

Sold through website

"This is what I've always wanted to do."

The other artist, Brian Jones, who describes himself as "homeless not hopeless", has been a rough sleeper for more than 20 years.

His latest poem, written especially for Christmas, asks the reader to remember the poor while enjoying the best of the season with friends and family.

Ms Cheung has used her business training to source a publisher and has had 50 cards of each of two designs printed. They are being sold through her website called Fulfill Our Purpose.

"All the profits from the sale of the cards will go to the two men," she said.

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