Gold at the Sports Business Awards


Serena Crisp, Head of Partnerships and
Philanthropy at The Big Issue Foundation
and Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation

We are absolutely thrilled that our partnership with Southampton Football Club/Saints Foundation won gold for the Sports Innovation Award at the prestigious Sports Business Awards 2018 last Friday. 

This is primarily focused around the opportunities the club has offered Big Issue vendors including vendors selling a special edition of The Big Issue magazine (as part of the match day programme) at the first match of the season as well as four Big Issue vendors going on to secure jobs at the club following their participation in the Saints Foundation employability programme.

Following the programme, Gary Jackson, June Fullerton and Julie Cherry all secured stewarding roles at St Mary’s Stadium, whilst vendor Aaron New, who also completed a Level 1 accreditation in customer service as well as CV writing workshops and mock interviews, gained employment in Halo conferences and events at the club. During their time on the programme, the vendors were supported and encouraged by the wonderful team at the Saints Foundation, who run the programme, as well as our dedicated front line team based in Bournemouth.

Gary, who was unemployed for 18 months before he secured work with The Big Issue, said: “Southampton Football Club and Saints Foundation have given me the inspiration and emotional support to completely change my outlook on life. I’ve began to believe in myself again, and I’ve been inspired to always do my best.”

Serena Crisp, Head of Partnerships and Philanthropy at The Big Issue Foundation, said: "We were so delighted to win gold for the Sports Innovation Award at the Sports Business Awards on Friday. We had some stiff competition so when they called our name we were absolutely ecstatic, racing up to the stage to collect our prize! Our partnership with Saints has gone from strength to strength; creating opportunity, hope and purpose for those so often marginalised within our society. The partnership offers so much potential and we are excited about further plans to work together in the coming months including a Big Stadium Sleep Out in partnership with the Saints Foundation!"

Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation, added: “We are really proud to have won gold for ‘Sports Innovation’ at the Sports Business Awards, for our work with The Big Issue across the course of the 2017/18 season. From the launch of our world-first matchday magazine in August, and throughout the subsequent employability programme delivered for Big Issue vendors at St Mary’s Stadium, it has been clear that the values and objectives of the two organisations align perfectly. We are delighted that the success of the partnership has now been recognised externally, and to win such a prestigious prize is testament to the hard work put in by all concerned, not least the vendors themselves”.

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