Big Issue Vendor

Southampton school pupils create special local edition of The Big Issue

The publication has partnered with Saints Foundation and Go! Southampton to produce an exclusive local edition, giving marginalised young people a platform to raise awareness of the big issues they care about

The Big Issue, Saints Foundation and GO! Southampton have partnered to produce a special edition of the magazine, out on the streets of Southampton this week.

A celebration of the city and all it has to offer, the one-off edition of The Big Issue was conceived and created by a dozen local school pupils.

Working in collaboration with Saints Foundation and GO! Southampton, this special edition of The Big Issue features, amongst the many great articles, a unique insight into the world of Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as he is introduced to the joys of Southampton by the pupils.

The partnership will see the special Southampton edition distributed free with this week’s edition of The Big Issue by vendors across Southampton and the surrounding area from Monday May 6th.

It will also be distributed alongside the official matchday programme at the club’s last game of the season against Huddersfield on Sunday May 12th – a double celebration as the crowd will be on fine form marking Southampton’s survival in the Premier League. Copies will also be distributed throughout all participating schools and to GO! Southampton’s 600+ member businesses.

The Big Issue, Saints Foundation and GO! Southampton partnered to produce the special edition of the magazine, holding editorial and creative workshops with 12 pupils aged (13-15) from six schools at St. Mary’s and also at Big Issue national editorial headquarters, in Glasgow.

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee with the pupils at The Big Issue's editorial headquarters in Glasgow

The 12 young people were selected from Saints Foundation’s Community Champion schools programme that runs across the city. The Foundation’s Community Champions work full-time in six of Southampton’s secondary schools, helping those who struggle in mainstream education and getting them back on a path for success. They also offer unique experiences to pupils, helping them to raise their aspirations when they leave school.

“We are so excited to be working with The Big Issue once again in this unique way in order to support marginalised young people, “ said Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation and Community Partnerships at Southampton Football Club. “The young people involved were selected on the basis that they had a creative spark that being involved in the project might help to develop further.

Big Issue Editor, Paul McNamee, said: “I am delighted that we are collaborating once again with the mighty Saints Foundation and this time with such an inspiring bunch of young people. There is such a positive force coming from Saints and also, I’ve discovered, from the rest of Southampton. They genuinely want to help people be the best that can be. We support that at The Big Issue. Also, if my regular team had editorial meetings buzzing with as many ideas as this young team have, I’d be over the moon!”


This is the second special edition that The Big Issue and Saints Foundation have collaborated on. As part of the original initiative, Big Issue vendors were provided with the opportunity to enrol in an eight-week employability programme, run by Saints Foundation, which equipped them with job-ready skills and offer work placements across the club. Three Big Issue vendors now work at St Mary’s stadium as a result of this employability programme.

The Big Issue special edition will available from Monday May 6th, from selected Big Issue vendors across the Southampton and Hampshire area, participating schools and at Southampton FC’s last game of the season on Sunday May 12th.

The schools who took part in creating the special edition of the magazine were:

  • Woodlands Community College
  • St George Catholic College
  • Cantell School
  • Oasis Academy Mayfield
  • Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill
  • Redbridge School