The Spark was created by John Dawson in 1992, a big idea that sprung from personal tragedy, and took root in the West Country. After many years as a labour of love the Spark has evolved into the UK’s biggest, free, ethical quarterly magazine. BBC Bristol described the Spark as “the best of the alternative West”, a compliment that has been proudly stuck on the cover ever since. From a small office, with a tiny core team and a slew of writers orbiting remotely, the Spark has managed to be both oracle and touchstone for many people over the years. Writing about people who are making ripples and standing up to be counted: pursuing their passion for a better world by making things happen in their own lives, in the lives of their communities and in the wider world. John has moved on now, but his vision for the Spark remains at the core of what the Spark is about. The editorial is totally independent and the adverts are a genuinely trusted resource for seekers and searchers of all kinds. The idea was always to create a magazine that sparked people into making new and positive changes in their lives, and to make people feel like they had a community they could draw strength and support from.
The main areas of interest are ecology, holistic health, social change, sustainability, spiritual and personal development, food, and family, as well as covering campaigns, activism, courses and events. Vicki West, the Spark’s editor explains that the mission is simple. “We want people to trust us, to be inspired, and to tell us when we get things right (and wrong!). We have long-term, loyal advertisers, in these cash-strapped times and 100,000 readers, (plus 840 followers on Twitter).” The website has recently had some love and attention lavished on it, and the Spark has become more interactive, more relevant, more up-to-the-minute. “We only publish four times a year,” Vicki continued. “So this has been a huge step towards staying in better touch with our readers. We hope we can continue to be the West Country’s alternative voice for many years to come…”
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