Photo from left to right Kirsten Smith,
Liam Fitzmaurice, Stephen Fatuga
and Simon Chilcott
The Big Issue Foundation (Bournemouth)
51-53 Poole Hill
T 01202 589 870
There are two Big Issue distribution offices in this area, Bournemouth and Portsmouth, with two other magazine distribution points, one within Trinity Day Centre in Winchester and another in Salisbury Alabara day centre. The offices have relatively small teams covering a wide area of some 2,424 square miles with over 100 pitches that Big Issue vendors can sell from and both external distribution points are visited regularly during outreach.
There is a full time Service Broker Liam Fitzmaurice in Bournemouth and a part time Mobile Service Broker Stephen Fatuga covering Dorset and Hampshire as a whole, working alongside a dedicated sales and distribution team.
Bournemouth’s distribution office is situated very close to the town centre which at present is holding a large Christmas market; the office is also near to our world renowned seven mile stretch of golden sand including the famous Jurassic coast.
We see a very large number of tourists and visitors to the area and many of our Vendors have taken the opportunity for formal training by completing their NVQ in Customer Service from Bournemouth and Poole College. As well as the NVQ’s, all vendors receive sales training from our trained staff, covering presentation and selling techniques tailored specifically towards selling The Big Issue and aiming at the increase of their employability skills and financial management.
We work closely with the local outreach teams targeting rough sleepers, managed by partner agency CGL and attend a monthly multi agency rough sleeper action group in both boroughs. We are driven by a multi-agency approach to target specific vendors that are rough sleeping in the area so the Street Services Team can engage and offer further housing support. Working closely with external organisations like Bournemouth Borough Council as we are part of the referral pathway for supported accommodation. This has worked really well and many of our vendors have been housed by supported accommodation providers in the area.
By working closely with our in-house NHS clinic provided by our local Community Mental Health team, we have achieved many fantastic outcomes by engaging vendors with this much needed health service.
Here in Dorset & Hampshire we have recently appointed a new member of staff (Stephen Fatuga) who will be working in an innovative way of taking services out to vendors selling the magazine in Dorset and Hampshire. The new Service Broker and Distribution staff will be working in partnership with agencies distributing the magazine while supporting existing and new vendors. This post is complementing an existing service in Bournemouth working with over 60 vendors.
All Vendors have three monthly reviews following a self-assessment model, which helps vendors to assess the progress made and focus on the next steps they would like to take towards their needs and aspirations.
Over the past year, we have organised a number of workshops for vendors, including budgeting, healthy eating, money management, CV building and careers advice. There are also a whole host of activities in our themed weeks throughout that be found on our service reports here.
Our vendors work incredibly hard to sell their magazines and make further positive changes in their lives. We are really grateful to the customers, our friends, supporters and all the other agencies across the two counties for their support and generosity.