Seven-year-old's picture of Santa delivering houses to homeless wins Big Issue competition

Gabriela Beard holding a picture she drew of Father Christmas delivering presents to homeless people which will appear on the front cover of The Big Issue

A picture by a seven-year-old girl of Father Christmas delivering presents to homeless people has won The Big Issue’s Kids Christmas Cover Competition 2021.

The drawing, by Gabriela Beard from Worcester, will appear on the front cover of this week's Big Issue magazine.

In the picture, Father Christmas is delivering houses to homeless people, thanks to a gadget that makes them small enough to fit into his sack.

Gabriela, whose design was chosen out of hundreds of entries, said she felt "very happy" to have her drawing on the cover of The Big Issue.

She came up with the idea of Santa delivering houses at Christmas by herself and said she enjoys art and "likes to scribble".

Gabriela Beard’s front cover for The Big Issue Credit: Big Issue/PA

The judges were also impressed by the entry from her 10-year-old sister Isabella.

Their mother Ana said: "I think the whole school (Broadheath CE Primary School and Pre-School) will be very proud as we are a small school in the Worcester countryside.”

Ana worked at Marks &Spencer in Worcester before the pandemic, and along with both her daughters would buy The Big Issue from the vendor who used to sell at a pitch outside the shop, so the girls were aware of issues of homelessness.

Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue, said: "Every year, the Kids Christmas Cover competition is something that everybody at The Big Issue looks forward to. The ideas and the joy bouncing off the pages lifts us all.

"This year, the theme of ‘Christmas Wish’ brought brilliant ideas.

"It’s always the trickiest of decisions to pick just one winner but Gabriela’s Santa delivering homes to those in need was so direct, glorious and simple, it had to be her."