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The Big Issue Foundation wins top award

The independent charity that supports magazine vendors is hailed for its groundbreaking corporate partnership

The Big Issue Foundation – the independent organisation working with our vendors to help them rebuild their lives – is the winner of prestigious business award.

The Big Issue Foundation connects the magazine vendors to the services they need, whether its employment, training, education and learning, health care or housing.

And the charity has been named a winner of a Lotus Award along with one of its corporate partners, the global law firm Freshfields Brockhaus Deringer.

The organisation began its partnership with the law firm with a corporate placement programme, which has seen a series of Big Issue vendors sell the magazine in its London office.

This vendor is then given the opportunity to develop skills that are relevant to their work aspirations through a mentoring programme.

The Big Issue is a big reason I’m sitting here today

One former vendor, Joel Hodgson, used his corporate placement to kick-start a new career at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The firm was so impressed by his work ethic, he was hired to work in the billings department at the London HQ.

“This job transformed my life,” he said. “I’ve got security, a career. I can plan for the future, rather than looking at everything as day-to-day. And The Big Issue is a big reason I’m sitting here today.”

Stephen Robertson, CEO of The Big Issue Foundation, said he was “delighted” to the innovative partnership was recognized by The Lotus Awards. “Our work involves the proactive engagement of our business supporters who, in turn, become magazine readers, advocates and activists at work and outside,” he explained.

Freshfields now partners with The Big Issue Foundation in a number of other ways, including working on a pro bono basis for the foundation, investing into front-line services and organising vendor days, which sees employees work alongside Big Issue vendors for a day to see how selling works.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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