I needed to get my life back on track.
I found myself homeless for a long period, stuck living in a hostel. I felt like I needed to get my life back on track and thought becoming a Big Issue Vendor would allow me to do so. I also thought it would be a good way to meet and talk to some new people.
I have a good number of stories as a Big Issue vendor. I got to meet Russell Brand and even the Dalai Lama! Once I got to meet Stephen Fry when he was filming a TV programme about the city. A picture of us even ended up in the magazine! That was a nice momento.
One day when I was on my pitch near St Pauls, a member of Freshfields staff, a law firm on Fleet Street, came over and spoke to me about corporate placements at her office. She got in touch with one of her colleagues who contacted The Big Issue Foundation. Matthew from the foundation then got in touch with me to ask me if I would like to take part. That’s how I ended up in a corporate placement scheme, selling the magazine one day a week in the canteen at Freshfields.
During my placement, I was offered work experience in the post room, which was the highlight of my time here. It was something different and I got to meet great people! I really have enjoyed meeting all the staff, it gave me a real idea of what it’s like working in an office. I enjoy sharing this experience with my customers at my regular pitch when they ask me how I’m getting on.
Ever since my placement at Freshfields, I have felt a lot of improvements. In particular, my confidence has developed a great deal. I have lots to talk about with my customers. Everything about it has helped me. It’s not just about the extra money, it’s more about the people. I was quite apprehensive at the beginning but I really have enjoyed every minute of it. It was my birthday recently, and I received so many cards. It really made the day special.