Former Big Issue vendor Bill Webb organised a music night in Bournemouth and raised £500 for The Big Issue Foundation as thanks for helping him out of homelessness.
The 66-year-old former British Army medic hosted five live acts at Bournemouth’s The Goat and Tricycle pub on 29th April to raise cash for The Big Issue Foundation. This is the second fundraiser Bill has organised, having raised £250 at his first one prior to the pandemic.
“I wanted to give something back to the organisation that helped me get on my feet many years ago.”Bill speaking to the crowd at his fundrasier
Bill had been running a pub in Kent when he had a nervous breakdown. Having worked for years without any time off, he just couldn’t take it anymore. Handing in his notice felt like the only option left. But he didn’t just lose his income. He lost his home too as his flat came with the job. Suddenly he was homeless.
Having nowhere to turn to, Bill his dog Chloe set off on a long trek around the South Coast. They slept wherever they could find shelter, eventually finding a cave where they stayed for six months. By the time Bill arrived in Bournemouth he was ill, exhausted, and penniless. It was then that he first came across the Big Issue family.
In 2018, Bill stopped selling the magazine and moved into mainstream employment as a brewery tour guide. He also went on to win a Rising Star award in recognition for his work at the brewery.
Local bands Gillian jazz Duo, Tricycles, Hannah Gough, New Tricks and Wonky Donkeys all volunteered to play at the event, with DJ Sheldon also putting on a show for around 300 people at the pub, with a further 100 listening outside.
Bill also organised a pool competition, a darts competition and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses to help raise funds. Additionally, pub staff member Elle created a custom guitar (pictured above) to be auctioned off on the day.