The Big Issue is saddened to announce that long-time New Milton vendor Ed Sirani has died.
Veteran vendor Ed died in hospital on September 20 at the age of 63.
He had sold the magazine for a decade in the Hampshire town and was known for championing The Big Issue cause.
As well as becoming a stalwart on his pitch outside McColl’s in the town and outside Morrisons on Sundays, Ed also had a board with information about The Big Issue on his pitch as he “liked to educate people”.
Ed’s dedication saw him named Vendor of the Year by The Big Issue’s Dorset and Hampshire team back in 2015.
It is testament to the impact that Ed had on the community in New Milton that a floral tribute has been placed on his pitch while The Big Issue is in the process of organising a book of remembrance to allow Ed’s beloved customers to pay their respects.
This is something that Ed would have loved, said Kirsten Thomson, The Big Issue’s South West regional manager, as “he used to take great pleasure in how many Christmas cards he received, which always made him feel special as he felt his customers took the trouble and went out of their way to include him”.
Kirsten added: “Ed was very much part of the community in New Milton and he was proud of selling The Big Issue. He liked to educate people about The Big Issue and he was friendly and consistently working.
“Ed had his challenges, but he was there every Monday saying a loud hello to everyone in the office in his cheery, cheeky manner and it feels strange not seeing him on a Monday.
“Ed was very caring, kind and considerate. He loved his customers and the people of New Milton so it is a real shame that we have lost him. We at The Big Issue are saddened by Ed’s death and we will really miss him.”
The Big Issue has received a flurry of tributes to Ed with one of his regulars, Anne Sharp, writing to us to pay tribute. She said: “Ed has been someone I’ve spoken to pretty much every week since moving here a couple of years ago and I was getting increasingly worried about the fact that I hadn’t seen him for three weeks.
“Ed’s passing is very sad and I’d like to offer my sincere condolences.”
Joe Bailey also got in touch to pay a touching tribute to the much-loved vendor.
He said: “The folk of New Milton in the New Forest wish to say goodbye to their Big Issue seller of 10 years, namely Ed Sirani.
“He has not been well for a couple of years but he never let this stop him travelling over from Southbourne to New Milton three days a week to see his “family” (his friends who supported him). RIP Ed.”