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.
Bean has been supportive of The Big Issue’s work in other areas in terms of fundraising and our relationships with partner organizations and initiatives. This has even included a visit to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister when he (Bean) appeared on the front cover of the magazine.
Working with The Big Issue has provided other memorable hi-lights including a couple of stints at The Big Chill festival selling programmes and taking part in the festival itself. He has also enjoyed acting as a point of contact between The Big Issue Foundation and vendors, advising them on events and support services available.
UCH (University College Hospital) has developed the London Pathway programme which provides medical services to homeless people with a specialized Care Navigator.
The programme has been designed around the needs of a homeless person and critical to its success is the input of those service users who have experienced homelessness themselves. Bean has been involved with the Pathways project for two years and provided an invaluable level of input. The good news is that he has now been offered a full time position as a Care Navigator and is now preparing to move on from The Big Issue.
We wish Bean every success in his new role and thank him for the contribution he has made to The Big Issue’s mission of helping people help themselves.