We are very happy to announce that Bournemouth vendor Bill is moving on to a new career as a brewery tour guide at Southbourne Ales! (Photo: Bournemouth Daily Echo).
A former British Army medic, Bill spent several months living in a cave and then walking along the coast with his dog Chloe before becoming part of the Big Issue family.
“For four years I have been working with The Big Issue speaking to students at Bournemouth University about my story to tell them a bit more about homelessness. I’ve also given speeches ahead of the Big Issue Foundation’s Night Walk and Sleep Out events. The feedback we get is terrific as I always try to give plenty of information without snowing the students under, and they tend to engage with it and have plenty of questions.
It has certainly been excellent preparation for the job at Southbourne Ales, which I started on Good Friday, and has been going really well. I’ve always been into real ale when I used to run a pub on the Isle of Grain in Kent – we had six different beers on the bar over 18 months and I only repeated one due to customer demand. I’ll be on my pitch until April 24 while giving tours Wednesday to Sunday so it is a seven-day working week at the moment. I’ve brought leaflets from Southbourne to my pitch so hopefully I’ll see a few of my regulars down there for a tour.
My customers have been really supportive and I’ve already had 12 good luck cards. I want to take this opportunity to thank them and The Big Issue for all the support over the past six years – I don’t think I could have done this without them.”
You can read more about his story here.