- Organisation works with Global Street Art to create eye-catching 3D ‘shopfront’ in London to demonstrate how the business model works and challenge existing perceptions
- The social enterprise has launched a new digital initiative, empowering vendors with personalised QR codes to connect with their customers and earn more
A local Big Issue vendor who sells the magazine in Cardiff, Stuart Drucker, is one of ten vendors across the UK trialling a new digital initiative from the Big Issue Group.
The Big Issue Group (BIG) recently unveiled a shopfront mural in Shoreditch, London entitled – ‘The Street is my Store’ – in an effort to highlight that, despite not having a traditional bricks and mortar outlet from which to sell, vendors are running mini businesses, buying and selling copies of the magazine to earn a living in order to change their lives.
The mural, created by Global Street Art’s also aims to raise awareness of a new and innovative digital initiative that will help create new ways for customers to interact with vendors and help bolster Big Issue vendors’ income.
Stuart Drucker, who is one of ten vendors offering the new digital initiative to his customers, and who sells the Big Issue outside Co-op, Whitchurch, and Roath Farmers Market, spoke about when he started selling the Big Issue: “Around 10-11 years back I started selling the magazine – I had been addicted to drugs but Big Issue helped me through rehab. The team got me all the support I needed and helped me get back on my feet.”
He continued: “The Big Issue was amazing with me through it all. I really can’t speak highly enough of them. The staff got me to the point where I was doing a 5k run and a 10k run all in aid of the Big Issue. I stopped selling because I got a flat when I was coming out of rehab and then I got a job working at Asda as a butcher and a fishmonger but they closed my counter. And I went back to selling the magazine and volunteering for the Big Issue.”
On current public perceptions of the Big Issue, Stuart explained: “They don’t understand what the Big Issue does for people – they think we just get sold magazines which we sell on for a profit. They don’t realise the amazing background work the organisation does to help vendors get back on track. And the support they provide. It’s just so much more than selling the magazine. The team here in Wales are brilliant – so cheerful and positive and always there for me.”