I learnt about the Big Issue Foundation quite recently, through a series of coincidences, not the least of which is that my next door neighbour works for the Foundation in Birmingham. I knew that Susannah had something to do with the Big Issue, but it was only when I happened to witness the tremendous support that she was providing towards an ex vendor (not even a current one!) that I began to realise that there was more to The Big Issue than selling magazines.
Susannah invited me to visit The Big Issue offices in Birmingham, and I saw her and her colleagues taking the time to chat to the vendors who came in, discussing whatever was on their minds and tactfully checking they were okay. When I told others at my firm all about the good, pragmatic, non-patronising help that the Foundation provides we agreed we wanted to get involved. We offered to man a weekly drop-in advice centre, and signed a team up to take part in a "Vendor day".