Southampton Football Club is partnering with The Big Issue to provide new opportunities for Big Issue vendors in their local community.
From today a special Southampton FC edition of The Big Issue will be sold by vendors across Southampton and the surrounding area, and it will be distributed as the official match-day programme at the club’s first game of the season versus Swansea City on Saturday 12th August. It is also available for sale from The Big Issue online shop. The issue costs £2.50.
As part of the initiative, Big Issue vendors are being given 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.
When they complete the course, vendors will be able to apply for long-term appointments with Southampton Football Club.
Both the club’s Saints Foundation and The Big Issue aim to improve the lives of vulnerable adults.
Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation and Community Partnerships at Southampton Football Club,said: “We’re delighted to help provide adults in and around the area with opportunities and skills they need to take the first step towards a fruitful career – whether that be with Southampton Football Club or elsewhere – and we hope to see fans and residents alike get involved with the campaign to support local vendors.”
Big Issue vendor, Lee Barnes, said: “When I first started to sell the magazine, I’d hide behind the magazine, but The Big Issue brought myself out a bit more, developed me a bit more, given me a bit of confidence and made me see that there may be a future beyond this.”
Big Issue MD Russell Blackman, added: “The Big Issue looks forward to developing a partnership that will look to harness the passion of the club and its fan base to inspire, support and further our mission to dismantle poverty through the creation of opportunity.”
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