The Big Issue Foundation supports vendors to achieve financial stability through their magazine sales whilst helping them to overcome social exclusions that have previously held them back. We achieve this through a model of Service Brokerage.
Our frontline workers - Service Brokers - are trained to accurately identify the needs of a Big Issue vendor and provide expert information, advice and guidance best able to address these needs. They do this by accessing local services, maintaining support networks and preventing Big Issue vendors falling through the gaps in society across nine core areas:
Personal Sales Goals
Big Issue vendors are supported to achieve and exceed personal sales goals.
Big Issue vendors are supported to improve their budgeting skills, manage their money, open bank accounts and address any underlying debt issues.
Big Issue vendors are supported to access safe and secure accommodation and prevented future homelessness through ongoing support.
Big Issue Vendors are supported to gain official ID which facilitates registering for many services including obtaining a bank account.
Health and Wellbeing
Big Issue vendors are supported to register with a GP, access dental treatment, mental health and other specialist health services.
Big Issue vendors are supported to explore career opportunities by helping vendors recognise transferable skills, update their CVs, search and apply for jobs and with interview coaching.
Big Issue vendors are supported to add to their skill set and pursue aspirations through further education and training opportunities.
Additionally, our national Vendor Support Fund is available on application to vendors throughout the United Kingdom. The fund aims to give a small hand up to vendors with a specific objective in mind. Vendors save and contribute a percentage towards the cost of the item required. We grant the additional cost from our donated funds to help make the idea a reality.
We also facilitate a Vendor Savings Scheme which aims to foster a saving culture amongst Big Issue vendors. It is not designed to replace bank/credit union accounts but instead encourages vendors to budget and change their mindset to move away from hand to mouth living.
Our work is not funded by Big Issue magazine sales. We are financially independent and supported through the generosity of our donors. Please make a donation and help us to help more vendors change their lives for good.