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Lynne’s Story

My name is Lynne and 13 years ago I had a nervous breakdown.  My son was 2 years old and my relationship with my partner broke down and I had to leave the family home.

I ended up on the streets of Birmingham sleeping under the canal and in doorways.  I started drinking really heavily  – this was the height of my depression.

For many years I was lost and felt there was no hope for my future.  Then one night the Outreach team told me about the Big Issue.  I needed to get myself out of the situation I was in.  I was suicidal.  I signed up that day and that was the day my life started to change.  This was my first step to recovery.

The last 3 years have been an uphill struggle but I now live independently in my own flat with my three cats  Jojo, Normo and Timbo.

“I don’t think I would be alive today without this help.”

I have also stopped drinking and I have been dry for 2 years now.  This would not have been possible without the help and support of Tom from The Big Issue Foundation and the rest of the team at the Big Issue.

I don’t think I would be alive today without this help. My Issue gives me a great sense of being and pride. I hold  my head high and am now reaching for  the stars.
I have just started college and my future looks bright.  None of these achievements would have been possible without the help from the Big Issue family and for this I am eternally grateful.


Tom Belte, Area Service Broker, The Big issue Foundation. Tom has worked closely with Lynne for several years.

‘I met Lynne 5 years ago; I inducted her on her first day. She is unrecognisable to the Lynne I met then. What has stayed though is her natural ability to remain caring, friendly and smiley even when times were incredibly tough for her. Lynne got out of her situation with these qualities and kicked on, I have always enjoyed the mutual relationship we have maintained during this time. She has her own home now, a Big Issue pitch to sell on, cats to care for and a life which can overcome life’s hurdles due to her lovely soul and inner strength. She is made of tougher stuff than I’ll ever be made of and for that reason I have always admired her. Lynne was awarded in January through our vendor awards the award for ‘Women of The Year’, from her piece of writing and her time at The Big Issue it is definitely easy to see why.

If you like to support our work in helping more vendors move on please make a donation today.

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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