We still get the angry letters. In fact, we still get non-angry letters too. One of the joys of working at The Big Issue is that when we talk of a mailbag, it’s not just a virtual one. Correspondence, handwritten, typed, sometimes with letters cut out and stuck on pages, arrive daily. But the angry ones repeat a pattern.
Why, they demand, does that Big Issue vendor have a phone? Why does that vendor have better trainers than me? Why doesn’t that vendor look more, you know, homeless?
The answer is always the same. Because they’re working. Because they’re WORKING!
The men and women who sell The Big Issue are making a decision to work their way back into society. They take the bold step to stand out on the street and sell this magazine. To stand outside, come what may,toface the public and build
They make an investment. They buy The Big Issue for half the cover price and go out and trade. That is a gamble. They make calculations, business decisions, how many do they need, what is the time of day for a particular passing trade. They go out onto the street and bravely begin.
If they have good trainers or a phone it’s because they’re working and The Big Issue is working for them. They’re earning, they’re saving. Salute the trainers!