The Big Issue Foundation
Unit 1 York Court
Upper York Street
T 0117 942 8538
New service brokerage team in Bristol getting stuck into role
Bristol has a relatively new service brokerage team, just over six months old, who have been getting stuck into the role. Jode Mayhew and Katharine Wall have been working with the fantastic sales team and well over 100 vendors in the vibrant Bristol office, some of whom are recognised the city over and have become a part of every day life for all in Bristol.
Located just off lively Stokes Croft in St Pauls, the area surrounding the Bristol office is a hub of community life and charitable organisations, giving easy access to our partners, including:
- Compass Centre
- Bristol Drugs Project
- Bristol Bike Project
- Julian House Night Shelter
- Bristol Debt Advice Centre
- Credit Union
Our work consists of referring and signposting our vendors to these and other local organisations, training courses and other opportunities.
Recent Foundation work within the Bristol Office has included the Big Sleep Out in Circomedia, the Centre for Contemporary Circus and Physical Theatre, in the disused St Pauls church. Several of our vendors were on the panel and we were very proud of their honesty and commitment to the Big Issue, stating how it’s changed their lives for the better.
The Bristol team have been involved in awareness raising this summer at festivals throughout the South West, including Bristol’s own VegFest, where our vendors were also involved. At each festival we’ve had an interactive mural to capture festival goers perceptions and thoughts about the vendors and the work we do, challenging these where necessary.
The Bristol office has a lot of Romanian vendors and we are currently inducting our second Romanian translator in order to help those vendors more. We are helping those vendors who need it with a weekly ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) class to enable them to sell the Big Issue more effectively and access more services in the UK. We’ve developed a process that links their badge to their attendance and improvement during these lessons.
As well as a small team of staff members we have lots of committed and enthusiast volunteers, who provide a wide range of skills to help our vendors progress, including both Polish and Romanian face-to-face translation, ESOL classes and knowledge of the blight of some of our vendors.
If you are interested in supporting our work in this office or any of our other offices by volunteering please click here