Birmingham & Black Country

Stabbed Big Issue sellers: Birmingham memorial service

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Media captionIan Gladwish, 31, and Wayne Busst, 32, were killed in Union Street almost two weeks ago

A memorial service has been held at a church in Birmingham for two Big Issue sellers who were stabbed to death in the city.

Ian Gladwish, 31, and Wayne Busst, 32, were killed in Union Street almost two weeks ago. A 23-year old man has been charged with their murders.

The service was held at St Martin's Church in the city centre.

Big Issue founder John Bird described the two men as being "very, very popular".

'Good people'

Bill West, who described himself as a friend of Mr Gladwish from the streets, said the deaths had brought a lot of people together.

"It has also bought Big Issue vendors closer together and the public have been very nice and showing sympathy towards vendors," he said.

"There is genuine feeling in the city and sympathy coming from around the world. There are still good people out there."

Image caption Mr West said the public had "showed sympathy" to Big Issue sellers

The Reverend Emma Sykes told the congregation news of the men's death was "sad and shocking".

She said: "Today we have a chance to come together, to remember their lives, to give thanks for them, to pray for their family and friends but to also pray for our city and the many who every day live and work in its streets."

Paying tribute to the men, Tom Belte, West Midlands area manager for the Big Issue, said the men were getting a "hand up, not a hand out" by working for the magazine.

"They were using it to improve themselves and they got the support," he said.

Former Big Issue worker Richard Jones said: "I understand how it is out there. You have to put yourself out there and you are at risk from anything."

Mr Busst's brother Jack said he was planning a sponsored skydive in May in memory of his brother to raise money for The Big Issue Foundation.

Mr McNamee said the magazine wanted the public to send in anecdotes and pictures of their local vendors.

"Following the killings of Ian and Wayne we were inundated with messages of condolence for them and support for vendors across the country.

"People have a real connection with their vendors. I wanted to build on this, and make something positive from the terrible deaths."

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