Behind the scenes

A Week in the Life of Service Broker: Hannah and Holly, Oxford

A week in the life of Service Broker: Holly and Hannah, job sharing in Oxford

Monday

Holly: I meet up with Broadway Oxford City Outreach for their 6.30am round. I catch up with our rough sleeping vendors, and speak to people new to the city about The Big Issue. I set up an appointment with someone who wants to be badged up. Back at the office I see a vendor who has just had his first dentist appointment after I helped him complete his application for the new surgery around the corner from the office.

Tuesday

Holly: In the morning I induct the man I met yesterday. We discuss our Vendor Savings Scheme, to help him save for his tabard deposit and budget for magazines. In the afternoon I go to the city centre to see some vendors on their pitches. A vendor wants to know about the Dog’s Trust Hope Project, to get help with costs if his dog needs a vet.

Wednesday

Hannah: Conor, one of our super volunteers is here, helping to create useful up-to-date spreadsheets of contacts. We work closely with other services to find the best support for each vendor. A colleague from Crisis Skylight drops in to learn more about what we offer. I induct a new vendor and look into his support needs. A regular collaborative outreach on a Wednesday is with the local Harm Minimisation team; they offer drug and alcohol support, advice and referral as well as a needle exchange.

Thursday

Hannah: I induct and train up a returning vendor and look into his support needs. We never give up on people no matter how challenging or complex their needs. In the afternoon, I meet a vendor for his three-month review. Over a coffee we talk about sales, opening a bank account, health, accommodation and the possibility of support to get a passport. Later, I talk to a colleague from Streets Revolution and discuss the wellbeing activities they currently offer. A walk around the pitches in town allows me to meet vendors as they sell and they can raise any issues they might have.

Friday

Hannah: I am planning this year’s Aspirations Week: I spend the morning thinking up ideas and inviting local providers to offer their support. I collect leaflets from another service for our office information display. As vendors drop in to buy magazines and book onto pitches I catch up with them and offer advice and encouragement – and sometimes a little banter. I explain to a vendor the benefit of having a basic bank account to help her save money and discuss the ID that she will need. All of our vendors are working to increase their income and to become financially-included. I am sure our vendors know how proud we are of the hard work they put in to improving their futures.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Inside the Big Issue: The curtain comes down on TV game changer Inside No 9
Inside the Big Issue

Inside the Big Issue: The curtain comes down on TV game changer Inside No 9

Inside the Big Issue: The economic impact of Taylor Swift
Inside the Big Issue

Inside the Big Issue: The economic impact of Taylor Swift

Inside the Big Issue: Christopher Eccleston's marathon feat
Inside the Big Issue

Inside the Big Issue: Christopher Eccleston's marathon feat

Inside the Big Issue: Earth Day 2024
Inside the Big Issue

Inside the Big Issue: Earth Day 2024

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know