We’re saddened to report the death of two of our longest-serving and much-loved vendors.
Keith Northam has passed away after losing his long battle with cancer on February 19.
The Big Issue veteran, 50, had sold the magazine for more than 20 years. A book of condolence has been opened for Keith, a loved and fixed part of his local community, at his pitch outside Saffron Walden’s Waitrose store.
“Keith had a great relationship with everyone who worked here and with many of our customers,” said store branch manager Jim Brewin. “He was so popular a number of partners and customers signed a 50th birthday card for him last year. In tribute to Keith we’ve set up a condolence book at our welcome desk for everyone who knew him.”
In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.
Big Issue East Anglia regional manager Jim Graver added: “Keith was a highly respected and very popular vendor who had sold the magazine for over 20 years and was probably one of the longest-selling vendors in the country.
“He will be greatly missed by all that came into contact with him. He was polite, funny and very friendly with a great attitude and he really was a credit to the organisation.”
R.I.P. Vincent … I saw this note yesterday morning and can‘t get it out of my mind. Vincent was the guy who sold the Big Issue outside Hammersmith Broadway. He was the guy who, a long time ago, had lived in Holland and spent a lot of time in Freiburg. The guy who spoke really good German. The guy who was sometimes happy, sometimes grumpy, but always kind and always there. The guy who cheered me up so many times and the guy everyone knew. He was there from the first day I arrived in London and as such was probably the first person I knew here. And now he‘s gone. Just like that. And with him a little piece of my heart. I take so many pictures every day… of so many things – and I never took one of him. I wish I had. I wanted to write this here to have in writing that he existed and that he meant so much to so many people. I hope he is happy, wherever he is now. . . . . . . #homelessness #homeless #portrait #farewell #soitgoes #london #londonist #bigissue #documentingbritain #goodbye #hammersmith #visualsoflife #home #westlondon #_londonface #hammersmithandfulham #thebigissue
Vincent Gorman, known as ‘Vinny’ on his pitch at Hammersmith Broadway, died on February 14 aged 48. The circumstances are unknown at this stage.
One of his customers, Kiki Streitberger, paid a touching tribute online. She said: “Vinny was there from the first day I arrived in London and as such was probably the first person I knew here. And now he‘s gone. Just like that. And with him a little piece of my heart.”
Another regular, Dionne Stewart, added: “He was a lovely man and when I heard the news it really upset me.”