News

Mahesh's story

Until three years ago Mahesh was working for a blue chip company in south London.

He had a good salary and a home of his own. However, force of circumstances saw his life change dramatically, which led to him being jobless and homeless.

“In less than 18 months, my life collapsed; hostels, friends sofas and rough sleeping became ‘home’ all too quickly,” Mahesh says. For many vendors at Christmas this is their reality. But Mahesh approached The Big Issue and The Big Issue Foundation and started to rebuild his life; he was determined to make a change and started working 10 hours a day, seven days a week.

This ‘self-help’ attitude put Mahesh in a much healthier position, and with support of The Big Issue Foundation Mahesh was able to get off the streets. The Big Issue Foundation not only provided the support and advice that Mahesh needed but also offered practical items such as the deposit for his flat share where he moved in earlier this year.

Big Issue vendors contribute 20 per cent of the cost of items such as a passport; this chimes with our ethos of self-help. After all, we all respect and value things if we feel we have made a personal contribution. Mahesh agrees:

“It’s important to give something back, to contribute in life; it’s nice to feel that you play an active part in being part of the solution.”

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.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
How this social enterprise is tackling stigma and helping neurodiverse people into work
Neurodivergent piece
Employment

How this social enterprise is tackling stigma and helping neurodiverse people into work

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby: 'We need to end short-termism to fix the housing crisis'
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Housing crisis

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby: 'We need to end short-termism to fix the housing crisis'

DWP risks repeat of Post Office scandal with plan to snoop on claimants' bank accounts, MPs warn
dwp/ bank accounts spying
Benefits

DWP risks repeat of Post Office scandal with plan to snoop on claimants' bank accounts, MPs warn

Earth Day 2024: Big businesses must take responsibility for environmental impact, retailers say
Earth Day
Earth Day

Earth Day 2024: Big businesses must take responsibility for environmental impact, retailers say

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know