Vendors in Southampton have recently attended 6 weekly workshops on the theme of Confidence Building and Independence Skills.
These workshops followed the success of a ‘Budget Healthy Eating Workshop’ organised as part of Health Week in November 2012.
Pula from Training for Work in Communities led the workshops, which were held in the dining room of Two Saints Homeless Day Centre.
The trainer began the sessions focussing on the practical life skill of cookery. Each week, she taught the vendors a different recipe, from vegetable curry to strawberry and chocolate chip scones. She used this opportunity to discuss nutrition with the vendors and to give them tips to improve the nutritional content of their diet.
Crane.tv is the leading video magazine for contemporary-culture covering the latest developments and key trends across art, design, fashion, food & travel.
They have documented Stik’s amazing initiative to launch, for free, unique posters distributed within The Big Issue magazine, available for one week commencing the 11th of March.
There are four versions of the poster to collect. Stephen Robertson, CEO of the Big Issue Foundation “This is Stik’s brainchild. The concept is so in keeping with our aims and objectives. To get a print, and even the set, fans will have to talk to vendors and buy their magazines. Big Issue vendors are frequently the recipients of negative stereotypes and prejudice. Stik has created a stunning piece of work and the opportunity to see homeless people in a different light; as ‘art dealers’ and brokers of creativity on the streets of our country. This is art at work in a way that we have never seen”
Dean Porter (Ex Big Issue vendor) last year completed the London to Paris Bike Ride and raised over £1500 for The Big Issue Foundation. Being a vendor at the time Dean received an amazing amount of support from regular customers and kind strangers. You can read about Dean’s London to Paris ride here.
Since the ride last year we were all very happy to hear that Dean had got a job as a Food Delivery Man and had handed in his Big Issue tabard to try something different. Although no longer a vendor, Dean is still a very good friend of the Foundation’s and would love nothing more than to take on the challenge again of cycling 230 miles from London to Paris in three days.
Street Art has something ‘BIG’ to say
The streets are the world’s biggest art gallery, communicating to the community in an everyday setting. Big Issue Vendors do just the same, visibly working in the community, vying for customer attention and challenging perceptions of homeless people as they seek to work their way out of homelessness.
On the week beginning Monday March the 11th, Big Issue vendors will become the unique distributors of an exclusive series of posters by the world renowned street artist, Stik. The posters will only be available in the Big Issue magazine for 1 week. There are 4 different versions to collect and, to get hold of them, the public will need to find a vendor and buy their magazine; the starting point of change for vendors country wide.
I have now been volunteering and working for The Big Issue South West and The Big Issue East Midlands in various different capacities for the past 18 months. I really enjoy working in my current position in the East Midlands and am an avid supporter of how the organisation works.
I thought it was time that I got more involved in The Big Issue Foundation and having taken part in the first Big Brum night walk last year, I thought it was about time I aim for the big one - The London Marathon.
Over the next few months, leading up to a beautiful summertime, The Big Noise 2013 presents a series of fantastic fundraisers in aid of The Big Issue Foundation.
The events comprise a series of small arts and music festivals, Big Noise: Small Sessions, in the build up to a huge and multi-spatial arts festival at The Bussey Building / CLF Arts Cafe on 8th June 2013.
The first build-up fundraiser is due to take place on Sunday 3rd March from 3pm at The Speakeasy within Hackney Downs Studios and we are pretty excited about it.
The most depressing week of the year is known as ‘blue monday’ and traditionally falls in the last full week of January. To help inject a little optimism the Big Issue office in Bristol ran their very first ‘Wellbeing Week’ for Bristol vendors.
Monday: Two vendors and several volunteers attended First Aid training delivered by the Red Cross. Each vendor who attended received some discounted magazines, a goody bag; and a raffle ticket. Four vendors attended an 'English for speakers of other languages' course, which was themed around ‘wellbeing’.
So I've found myself on track to run a marathon, my first! What made me sign up and why have I chosen to run for the great cause that is The Big Issue Foundation?
I signed up for a challenge, to become more focused and to achieve something I never believed I could. I've never bitten off something that is likely to be so physically.. well, physical and take dedication to training.
I wanted to do it for The Big Issue Foundation because at this time of economic doom many more are finding themselves in situations they never dreamed of being in - homelessness and poverty are generally not career choices!
Sam Scuffham (Musician & Big Issue Foundation Ambassador) is hosting the Big Pancake Party to raise funds for The Big Issue Foundation on Pancake Tuesday.
“Over the last two years I have been involved in events that the Big Issue have put on to raise awareness for issues on homelessness. Being involved really does open your eyes as you become witness to how hard the charity and their volunteers work to help vendors to improve their lives. I have heard triumphant stories from vendors about how the with help and opportunities the Big Issue Foundation have been able to provide, they have turned their lives around. As much as we all love a success story, It's hard for any charity to be able to provide for everyone who is in need but I believe that if we could all do something we enjoy and raise a little more money for a charity we feel passionate about at the same time we can all make a difference to help extend the opportunities to reach out to more people. More success stories all around please... With a pancake for good measure.” Sam Scuffham.
What is Health Week?
Health Week is The Big Issue’s initiative to encourage a healthier lifestyle among its vendors, through assessing their health and offering ideas and information on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle. We deliver a week of activities focusing on increasing access to health services amongst our vendors.
Studies have indicated that eight in ten homeless people has a physical health need, and seven in ten have at least one mental health problem, making such an initiative particularly important for the colder winter months. In line with the ethos of The Big Issue, we aim to encourage the development of long term skills offering a number of drop-ins and workshops for vendors, designed to encourage a self-sufficient approach to personal hygiene and diet, as well as the management of any particular health needs with reference to relevant specialists.
Our survey revealed health problems such as heart conditions, asthma, diabetes, liver problems, rheumatism, angina, bad knees, kidney and back problems. 46% of vendors surveyed revealed that they problems with their teeth.