Winner of Big Issue Christmas cover contest announced

The wining design featured Santa Claus and a snowman Credit: Big Issue/PA

A heartwarming design of a Big Issue seller next to Father Christmas and a snowman created by a 12-year-old girl  has been chosen as the front cover of the magazine’s Christmas edition.

The colourful painting, by Kaoriko Tamura, was chosen from almost 900 entries in the annual children’s competition, with a theme this year of “together” amid the country’s political divisions.

Kaoriko, a pupil at the ACS International School in Hillingdon, London, said she hoped the front cover would help sell more Big Issue magazines this Christmas.

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee said: “There is something very honest and simple and warming about Kaoriko’s creation, and that’s not just the great fire in the middle.

“Seeing the vendor at the heart of the scene, welcomed and at peace, embracing the theme of ‘together’ says more than so many words, and there is such a vibrancy and richness to the painting.

“It’s a wonderful scene and it’ll help our vendors out on the street hugely. Every year our socks are knocked off by the love and soul that so many young people pour into their entries. Each one is exceptional.”

Head judge Julian Clary, said: “I spent ages ruminating but in the end I chose Kaoriko’s as this was the drawing that made me feel most Christmassy.”

Hong Kong-born Kaoriko moved to London with her family last year after living in Japan.

She said: “I hope that my cover will help Big Issue vendors sell more magazines at Christmas because I have created the cover thinking of them, spending the money they get from selling the magazines for things they need.”