Southampton FC footballers joined a team of Big Issue vendors to sell our special edition Saints magazine to launch a unique partnership between the two organisations, which aims to provide new opportunities for vendors at the heart of their local community.
Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu, Manolo Gabbiadini and Florin Gardos took up a different kind of pitch in Winchester town centre on Tuesday to try their hand at selling the magazine alongside local sellers Mark Morgan, Lee Barnes, Gary Jackson and Kev Collick.
The first-of-its-kind magazine is on sale this week across Southampton and the surrounding area – including Portswood, Lordshill, Bitterne, Ringwood, Lymington, Eastleigh, Romsey, Winchester, Salisbury and Isle of Wight (Newport, Ryde and Cowes) – and will be distributed as the official match-day programme at the club’s first game of the season versus Swansea City on Saturday, August 12. For those who live outside of this area it is available to buy from The Big Issue Shop.
As part of the initiative, Big Issue vendors in collaboration with The Big Issue Foundation will also be provided with the opportunity to enrol in an eight-week employability programme, run by Saints Foundation, 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.
Saints and England midfielder Nathan Redmond, said: “I could see how hard these guys have to work, they’re out in all weather. It’s not easy and I have huge respect for them. It was great to meet the guys, and be involved in a partnership where two great organisations like Southampton FC and the Big Issue can achieve so much together.”