The support of a wide range of Charitable Trusts and Foundations from the small family Trust run from the kitchen table to large Foundations with substantive geographical coverage is absolutely vital to The Big Issue Foundation’s work.
We are always looking to develop and strengthen relationships with Charitable Trusts and Foundations. We understand that Charitable Trusts have many demands upon their funds but we are confident that our innovative services can provide an excellent fit to the grant making objectives of many different Charitable Trusts and Foundations.
How can The Big Issue Foundation and Charitable Trusts and Foundations’ realise our shared aims?
The Big Issue works with and for people who are homeless and vulnerably housed to support them to become less socially and economically marginalised.
Buying the Big Issue magazine for £1.25 and selling it for £2.50 on a non-returnable basis provides for many a life-changing discipline and structure to the day. Prior to becoming vendors many make up a ‘group’ who are often described as having ‘chaotic lifestyles’ and ‘hard to reach’ by the homelessness sector.
Selling The Big Issue magazine provides vendors with a livelihood. The Big Issue Foundation’s role is to help vendors to make the positive life changes that they want to make.
The Big Issue Foundation with its small team of service staff works alongside vendors. We consciously don’t provide direct homelessness or related services. We act as a highly effective connector and facilitator, bridging the gap between our vendors and the support and solutions they struggle to seek and find alone.
Our Service Brokers advise, inform and support vendors so that they can access health services, find suitable accommodation, tackle addictions, sort and manage their own finances, and meet their own goals. These aspirations may be to sell more magazines, learn via a college course, start their own business, volunteer or gain a part or full time job.
Big Issue vendor’s stories are all different. We support each vendor’s self-determined journey focused on their goals and aspirations. We recognise each and every vendor as a person, entitled to all that each and every one of us expects as a full citizen.
We measure and manage every step along the way using a bespoke database maintained by our front-line staff, helping Charitable Trusts and Foundations see how their support is helping those experiencing homelessness.
In 2013/14 we worked with over 2500 individuals compared to 1900 in 2012/13, positive outcomes increased by 1849 to a record level of just over 4500 in the full year. In addition over £11000 was awarded to over 250 vendors through vendor support fund grants. Vendors saved a minimum 20% contribution towards these grants in keeping with our self-help ethos. The average cost per outcome was just £228 (full cost recovery). Outcomes vary from achieving personal sales goals, to achieving personal aspirations, to gaining official ID through to achieving employment or volunteering.
How you can help us
If you have links to a Charitable Trust or Foundation we would love your help. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about our work and how you or the Charitable Trust or Foundation you work with can support us to enable people who are homeless across the country to become socially and financially included.
Please contact Anna Kostyrina on Anna.Kostyrina@bigissue.com or call us on 020 7526 3451.
We really encourage funder visits so you can see for yourself how we operate on the ground. Please do get in touch if you would be interested in visiting.
One of our vendors, James, who sells The Big Issue in Bath recently wrote to us. His letter puts the benefits of our work and the opportunities which can arise far more eloquently than we could. I hope you enjoy reading it and find it pleasing to see the effect that your support could have. After all, it is people’s belief and generosity which enables us to offer the services which help vendors like James each day.
You can also find our downloadable accounts on our Big Issue Foundation Financial statements page.