Big Issue Foundation

Putting His Best Foot Forward

Paul is a new vendor who sells the magazine in Bridgend, South Wales. Through Big Issue Foundation’s Vendor Support Fund we’ve helped Paul to improve his health and wellbeing.

Paul is a new vendor who sells the magazine in Bridgend, South Wales.  

He got into trouble when he was younger due to drug use and spent time in prison. After being released, Paul ended up working in factories and did some serious hours, but wasn’t enjoying that line of work. It was also taking its toll on his body and mind. 

Paul heard from a friend about The Big Issue and signed up in December. He is now one of the top sellers in the country and really enjoys working for himself. He loves speaking to his regulars outside Tesco, where he’s become a familiar face. 

Paul has recently given up drinking thanks to the routine The Big Issue has given him, and he’s started to focus on his health. He started running but soon realised it wasn’t for him so he searched for other ways to exercise. 

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He has now taken up rucking, which involves putting weights (or bottles of water in Paul’s case) in a backpack and going walking. He tells us this burns the same calories as running and he has really taken to it. 

Paul had mentioned to staff that he got quite lonely, because he was new to Bridgend and didn’t know many people. We discovered that there is a local ramblers club who go for walks of between five and 15 miles on Sundays. We thought this would be a great way for Paul to exercise and meet people.

Paul loved the idea and through the Vendor Support Fund he got waterproof walking boots and trousers. He is really looking forward to going out on walks with the club and getting stuck in.

The Vendor Support Fund (VSF) enables Big Issue vendors to achieve employment, training and other personal aspirations which require financial support. Vendors are helped to identify goals and aspirations and assisted to complete an application form. They then save and contribute a discretionary amount – typically 20-50% – towards their chosen cost with the VSF covering the remainder. The VSF is entirely funded by donations.

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

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