Vendor Stories

Sammy's Story

This is Sammy and he is 22

He is taking part in our Vendor Development Programme with a law firm in central London, where the vendor goes into the workplace and sells the magazine one day a week. This is also a chance for Sammy to work with a mentor at the law firm who will guide him through training as part of the project.

Terry's Story

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.

Phil’s Story

“I’m made up that after 20 years, I have my full licence.”

Congratulations to Phil who has won the Vendor Achievement Award in Oxford for his continued excellent customer relations and his hard work towards his goals. The award of a £20 gift voucher and certificate were presented by Sergeant Miriam Purple of Thames Valley Police at the end of the sales and money themed fortnight. The Sales and Money Fortnight is one of three themed events in Oxford; the others are Aspirations and Health Weeks. During these weeks there are various different opportunities to engage with other services in the local area.

Alan's Story

Alan is a Big Issue seller by St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and also a keen writer. Looking for inspiration for his writing, Alan travelled to ‘the beautiful city of Amsterdam’ in January 2010. Here, he sold the street magazine “Z” , during Holland’s coldest winter for 30 years.

Mick's Story

Three months ago we shared Mick's story a Big Issue seller from Birmingham. Mick was on a journey to find peace with his past and an opportunity to look to the future. The Big Issue Foundation supported Mick to get a passport so that he could be reunited with his Mum in Tenerife after 27 years apart. We are so happy to report that three weeks ago, Mick, along with his brother and sister, travelled to Spain and reconnected with his family. This trip allowed Mick to finally bring peace to a part of his life and end a lifetime of questions.

Darren's Story

“Every single customer of mine has been so helpful. They have changed my life”

“I've just got my first house. I’m in private rented accommodation now. There is nothing much in it yet – a TV, chair and a cooker – but I love it to bits. My landlord knew me because I’ve been on this pitch for a few years. He used to stop and chat, and then one day he walked up and said: “I have a house for you!” I was gobsmacked. I am still over the moon but it has also made me lonely. I’m used to living on top of other people at B&Bs. I have never had a house on my own.”

Bean's Story

Bean Stocks has been working with The Big Issue for several years, initially as a vendor and then as a vendor co-ordinator, selling magazines to other vendors and assisting new vendors at our distribution point in Victoria.

After living in Spain for a number of years and with the tenancy on his flat coming to an end he returned to the UK without anywhere to live and a serious lack of funds. He was previously aware of the Big Issue and decided to start selling it to fund accommodation costs and to make a legitimate income.

Peter’s Story

Only look down on those you help up

I need to find somewhere to sleep, safe for the night. No money, no bedding, only the pavement. These were the thoughts going through my mind, as I watched the darkness loom, in the knowledge that tonight would be no different than the previous nights. Only cold, damp, depressing, dangerous.

Dean's Story

Dean Porter is a former London vendor and will be doing two, yes two cycling events for The Big Issue Foundation this year. Before he joins the team this September for the London to Amsterdam cycling challenge he will be cycling the Prudential Ride London in August.

Dean is a keen cyclist and has previously taken part in 3 cycling challenges for The Big Issue Foundation. Below, Dean shares his motivation for supporting us through these events.

James's Story

WE ALL STRUGGLE to make the changes in our lives that will help us to move forward. That change is often only possible because we make our minds up to do something and there is someone there to see it through with us.

For former Big Issue vendor James Bowen that someone was a cat… a cat he named Bob: "The day I met Bob my life changed forever. I was no longer invisible. People not only stopped and bought a copy of The Big Issue from me but often stopped to talk to me," says James.

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