Big Issue Foundation

A week in the life of a service broker: Sam Grief, Bristol

Every Tuesday the local rough sleepers’ Outreach Team join us on our outreach. We visit pitches and see how each vendor is doing. Chatting with vendors on their pitch allows them to be more open.

Monday

My busiest and my favourite time is when vendors come in to purchase the new magazine and I find out how they did with their sales the previous week. Chatting with vendors in the morning also gives me the chance to find out how they are. We have quite a few new vendors at the moment who need encouragement and support.

Later I meet a vendor who is rough sleeping and desperate to get into a hostel. His mental health is bad and he is struggling to cope. I encourage him to see the Homeless Health Care Team. Over 50 per cent of our vendors manage mental health issues.

Tuesday

We are planning a week of activities in November to help vendors manage their health. One vendor, Ian Duff [pictured above with Sam], suggested running a healthy eating session. An ex-chef, he is setting up a social enterprise called DuffCooks, to help people learn basic cooking skills.

Every Tuesday the local rough sleepers’ Outreach Team join us on our outreach. We visit pitches and see how each vendor is doing. Chatting with vendors on their pitch allows them to be more open.

Wednesday

In Bristol for a meeting about how we can offer our services to more vendors. We are planning to link with support agencies near some of our rural pitches. As a small team it can be tricky to get out and about, so will use our fantastic team of volunteers to help.

Thursday

A new volunteer starts with us this morning. Lauren is from America. She is here until December, so my colleague, Jim and I chat with her about what she would like to get involved in. Lauren is studying English so she is going to write case studies about our vendors to put up in local cafes near their pitches.

Friday

Bath has seen a significant increase in begging, so today I meet with other agencies in the city to create a plan. We talk about what we can offer, but also realise we need the public to understand their role. Many of the people who are begging are trapped in that situation as people continue to give them money. This makes it difficult for the support services to encourage individuals to use the help available. Another meeting is fixed to see if we can involve the Council and local businesses to help us spread the word.

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

Recommended for you

Read All
DJs Against Street Poverty Organise Big Issue Fundraiser
Big Issue Foundation

DJs Against Street Poverty Organise Big Issue Fundraiser

Long-time Big Issue Supporter is Taking Action Against Food Poverty
Big Issue Foundation

Long-time Big Issue Supporter is Taking Action Against Food Poverty

FIS Worldpay takes on our Big Challenge Day
Big Issue Foundation

FIS Worldpay takes on our Big Challenge Day

Join Team Big Issue for the London Marathon
Big Issue Foundation

Join Team Big Issue for the London Marathon

Most Popular

Read All
The remarkable rise of Ncuti Gatwa: From sofa surfing and Sex Education to Doctor Who
1.

The remarkable rise of Ncuti Gatwa: From sofa surfing and Sex Education to Doctor Who

Boris Johnson set to scrap plan to let workers keep tips despite admitting minimum wage isn’t enough to live on
2.

Boris Johnson set to scrap plan to let workers keep tips despite admitting minimum wage isn’t enough to live on

Life On Mars sequel has ‘a lot of travelling in time and car chases’, John Simm reveals
3.

Life On Mars sequel has ‘a lot of travelling in time and car chases’, John Simm reveals

The controversial new laws rushed through by the government this week
4.

The controversial new laws rushed through by the government this week

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.