There’s been a lot happening over the last month across the country: Mindfulness training, corporate placements, sales training videos, a sociology study and the death of a much-loved colleague…
DORSET & HAMPSHIRE
After a tough time, Bill Webb (pictured), our Bournemouth vendor moved into a local authority flat. Bill said: “I found myself back in my tent last August feeling pretty down. However I was persuaded by the team in Bournemouth to engage with Street Services, and by October they found me a place in supported accommodation which saw me indoors for Christmas. I was advanced on the housing list due to the supported accommodation losing its funding and was very lucky to be offered the first place I saw. The flat had no furniture but thanks to The Big Issue Foundation’s Vendor Support Fund and also Homes for Heroes (which I was put in touch with by The Big Issue Foundation), Chloe my dog and I now have a fully furnished and comfortable home with a lifetime tenancy at a rent we can afford.” Two Sociology Student from Bournemouth University recently completed a 20-day placement with us studying high-selling vendors and their techniques. We’re utilising their findings to create bespoke, in-depth sales training to support new and- low-selling vendors. We’re also using their customer buying profiles to plan how and where we raise awareness in the most effective way. We are delighted to highlight the exceptional endeavours of James who sells consistently in the Christchurch area and is very friendly towards staff and vendors alike. He has recently saved towards his replacement passport with the help from the Vendor Support Fund which he is using to travel to Calais and volunteer with refugees. Well done, James!
We have welcomed Sam Wood, a History student from the University of Bristol, to our team on work experience. Sam will be helping out in the office and going out on outreach every Thursday. He will be supporting our GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller) drop-in group on Thursday mornings, with a focus on addressing issues this community faces and linking them up with relevant services that fully understand the barriers our GRT vendors face and can provide support to overcome these. Victim Support held an informal information session at the Bristol centre, so that vendors know where to get support if they have been affected by a crime.
In Bath we introduced a sales training video for new vendors. This has got a really positive response and is a great tool for helping vendors during their first couple of days on pitch. The Bath office also hosted a group of National Citizen Service volunteers for two homeless help action days. They screen printed 200 Big Issue Supporter bags for vendors to give away with magazines to their customers. And finally, we are very pleased to report that we now have four lovely vendors in Weston Super Mare: Pete, Robin, John and Matthew. We ran some sales training workshops and have linked up with services in the area including 1 in 4 People (a mental health support organisation), Addaction and North Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau so that we can support our new vendors to move forward.