The Big Issue and Southampton Football Club have launched a unique partnership which will see a special Southampton FC edition of the magazine sold by vendors in the Hampshire region, and distributed as the official match-day programme at the club’s first game of the season versus Swansea City on Saturday, August 12.
The first-of-its-kind programme (below) is jam-packed with unmissable Southampton exclusives. This includes: an interview with star striker Charlie Austin; a candid, reflective Letter To My Younger Self interview with legendary Saints’ FA Cup-winning former manager Lawrie McMenemy; a look at the new Premier League season with St Mary’s hero Francis Benali; fan messages from manager Mauricio Pellegrino and captain Steven Davis; an insight into the incredible, life-changing work of the Saints Foundation – and much more.
It will be available to buy from Big Issue sellers in Southampton and across the region, including Portswood, Lordshill, Bitterne, Ringwood, Lymington, Eastleigh, Romsey, Winchester, Salisbury and Isle of Wight (Newport, Ryde and Cowes), from Monday (August 7). If you can’t reach a vendor, you can purchase a copy via The Big Issue Shop.
Also as part of the initiative, Big Issue vendors will be provided with the opportunity to enrol in an eight-week employability programme run by Saints Foundation, the club’s official charity, which will equip them with job-ready skills and offer work placements across the club. Upon completion of the course, vendors will then be able to apply for long-term appointments with Southampton Football Club.
Improving the lives of vulnerable adults and the poorest members of society is at the core of both Saints Foundation and The Big Issue’s missions – ‘Turning Potential into Excellence’ and, of course, our own ‘A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out’ mantra – and in coming together, we hope to create long-term job prospects for Big Issue vendors in the local area.
Earlier this week, our vendors Lee Barnes and Mark Morgan joined Southampton FC stars Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida at the club’s Staplewood Campus to celebrate the launch, while Nathan-Redmond, Oriol Romeu, Manolo Gabbiadini and Florin Gardos took to the streets to have a go selling the magazine.