Hosting a corporate placement for a Big Issue vendor is a fantastic way to bring your Corporate Social Responsibility or Diversity and Inclusion agenda to life in your office, or simply to show your support for The Big Issue’s “hand-up not a handout” ethos.
Firms, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Simmons & Simmons, Northern Trust, Welcome Trust and Mondelez, are providing a Big Issue vendor with a supported sales opportunity, as well as skills development and mentoring from their employees, one day a week.
The programme also brings multiple benefits for the company such as:
- Alignment to community and diversity and inclusion objectives.
- Providing employees with a personal experience in the work place in-line with CSR/Diversity agendas.
- Providing skills based volunteering opportunities to coach, mentor and support Big Issue vendors.
- Powerful brand alignment.
- Visible support of an innovative programme.
Vendors are selected to suit the profile of the organisation, and partners are selected based on their interest in providing support to the vendor, helping them to get a valuable experience in a corporate work environment and develop skills that can help them on their journey away from the streets. The Big Issue Foundation’s front-line team work closely with our partners and the vendor to ensure the success of the placement.
The following quotes give our partner’s perspectives on the programme:
"The Big Issue Vendor Development Programme is an excellent way for us to involve everyone in our firm with The Big Issue. The engagement that vendors have with staff is extremely rewarding for both parties, and the vendors have become an important part of the London office. The work experience and training in a wide range of activities which the firm provides, which is delivered by employees throughout our firm, has also been very successful from everyone’s perspective."
Darren Oswick – Partner, Simmons and Simmons LLP
"We have been running the corporate vendor placement programme with the Big Issue Foundation since 2010. We saw the programme as a fantastic opportunity to increase the understanding of homelessness issues within the firm and more importantly, as a chance to improve the vendor’s employability skills and their sales. Our partnership has been a huge success. The vendors have had a really positive impact on staff and it's great to see the vendor's confidence and self esteem grow. Our staff now actively stop and chat and engage with other vendors as a result of us running the programme and understand the way the Big Issue works. We use the skills of our people to deliver training and offer one to one mentoring and our first vendor, Joel, is now working fulltime in our billing department."
Raj Parker – Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
For more information on the above, or to discuss your own ideas please contact Serena Crisp, Head of Partnerships and Philanthropy on 020 7526 3452 or by email email@example.com